Ascent of Mount Pierce on 2018-08-31
|Others in Party:||Paul Blanchette|
|Date:||Friday, August 31, 2018|
|Ascent Type:||Successful Summit Attained|
| Location:||USA-New Hampshire|
| Elevation:||4310 ft / 1313 m|
Ascent Trip ReportThe extended south presidential traverse 2018.
For my dad’s 60th birthday in late September we decided to do the south presidential traverse with a stay at Lake of the Clouds AMC hut and a summiting of Mt. Washington as the grand finale. In addition to the traditional traverse we wanted to get this stretch of Appalachian Trail (AT) from 302 to the summit. This added in Mount Webster and Mount Jackson and about 5 miles distance making for a long first day out.
We got to the trailhead at Webster Cliff Trail / AT off of the 302 around 6:30 and started going. The weather was great, not too hot or cold and mostly clear. As we got to the peak of Webster we encountered clouds and the summit was near whiteout. By the time we traversed Jackson peaks and headed towards Mizpah Hut, the clouds had burned off and we had a beautifully clear day the rest of the way.
The presidential section along the ridgeline was gorgeous and the weather perfect, we couldn’t have asked for better! I have battled knee problems over the last couple years and could feel them fatiguing as we approached Eisenhower. Due to time (needed to get to hut by 6pm for dinner!) and my concerns about my knee becoming a problem we took the bypass around Eisenhower and later Monroe. That meant we were actually following the true AT so we were OK with that.
We got to the hut shortly before 5, in plenty of time for dinner, and got setup in a room. I had never stayed in a hut before, but the experience was amazing! We met many great people, the hut workers were wonderful, and the accommodations were very good! I highly recommend and will definitely do again!
The next morning Mt. Washington was in clouds and we had plenty of time, so we decided to backtrack a little and do the Monroe loop to get the peaks and warm up. We were able to leave the big packs at the hut so this stretch was a nice warm up and it felt good to recover those two peaks, so we only really missed Eisenhower. After getting back to the hut we made our assent of Mt. Washington in a whiteout. Though I was a little disappointed with no view, especially since they had 80-mile visibility the day before when we were sitting at the hut, the experience of hiking in a whiteout and almost stumbling onto the summit because you can’t see more than 20 ft was pretty cool.
In the end we got a good picture on the summit and had a great all-around experience. With tired legs, a whiteout, and slick wet rocks we opted to ride the shuttle back down. No point getting injured on trying to get down we figured. This was an amazing trip and I would love to continue to do longer traverses and AMC hut stays! Happy birthday dad!
|Summary Total Data|
| Total Elevation Gain:||140 ft / 42 m|
| Total Elevation Loss:||230 ft / 70 m|
| Round-Trip Distance:||1 mi / 1.6 km|
| Route Conditions:||Maintained Trail|
| Gear Used:||Ski Poles|
| Weather:||Pleasant, Partly Cloudy|
| Gain on way in:||140 ft / 42 m|
| Distance:||0.4 mi / 0.6 km|
| Route:||Webster Cliff Trail / AT|
| Start Trailhead:||Low point from south peak 4170 ft / 1271 m|
| Loss on way out:||230 ft / 70 m|
| Distance:||0.6 mi / 1 km|
| Route:||Crawford Path / AT|
| End Trailhead:||Low point to Eisenhower 4080 ft / 1243 m|
|Ascent Part of Trip: Washington2018|
Complete Trip Sequence:
Total Trip Gain: 6464 ft / 1971 m Total Trip Loss: 5739 ft / 1749 m
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