Two people, a mother and son visiting from South Carolina, wanted to take on New England’s highest peak: the 6288-foot Mt Washington. Not drive up it, not on the train, but to hike its rugged, challenging trails… trails so typical of our area. On lead for this trip was Redline Guide Phoebe Seltzer. Following the lead of some of her fellow guides, Phoebe kindly put together a short synopsis helping us convey the experience to our you, our other readers, and to the guests we guided. This is their keepsake story, so to speak.
We met at the Pinkham Notch Visitor Center at 7:00AM and soon after headed up the Tuckerman Ravine Trail. We were treated to views of the raging Cutler River early on, then an even better view at the Crystal Cascades. We made good time on the way up observing lots of water flowing across the trail at points and admiring the view from the bridges.
Once up at “Hojos” (Hermit Lakes Caretaker’s Cabin and shelters) we had a second well-deserved snack and water break. We could see snow up in the Bowl (inner Tuckerman Ravine). I pointed out the ski routes from the shelter as we rested up. After refilling at the pump, we headed up to see the Bowl itself. And from within the Bowl proper I could see the snow was at the bottom of the ski run known as “The Chute.”
We made the steep trek up the Headwall to the Alpine Garden and marveled at all the water. We could see the water cascading down as we headed up and flowing across and above the trail. We took our final break at the Tuckerman Ravine Crossover junction then headed up for the final push to the top. It got a little windy on the summit cone but nothing that wasn’t manageable. It was fun and exciting.
Once at the top we were treated to a short line for the summit photo before checking out two of the three gift shops up there. Great souvenirs were found at both. When it was time, the guests, as planned, were treated to an exciting ride down the Mt Washington Auto Road in one of the vans put into commercial service up there. The youngest member of the team was especially stoked about it (and also about Huntington Ravine after I told him about it). I headed down Lion Head Trail and back onto the Tuckerman Ravine Trail after the guests were safe and sound in the van. —Phoebe Seltzer (Edited by Mike Cherim)
Up next, now let’s check out the photos!