Ascent of Mount Monroe-West Peak on 2018-09-01

Climber: Steve Blanchette

Others in Party:Paul Blanchette
Date:Saturday, September 1, 2018
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Mount Monroe-West Peak
    Location:USA-New Hampshire
    Elevation:5197 ft / 1584 m

Ascent Trip Report

The 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:47 ft / 14 m
    Total Elevation Loss:185 ft / 56 m
    Round-Trip Distance:0.9 mi / 1.4 km
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles
    Weather:Pleasant, Low Clouds
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:47 ft / 14 m
    Distance:0.1 mi / 0.2 km
    Route:Mt. Monroe Loop
    Start Trailhead:Low point from Monroe  5150 ft / 1569 m
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:185 ft / 56 m
    Distance:0.8 mi / 1.3 km
    Route:Mt. Monroe Loop / Crawford Path / AT
    End Trailhead:Lake of Clouds Hut  5012 ft / 1527 m
Ascent Part of Trip: Washington2018

Complete Trip Sequence:
1Mount Webster2018-08-31 a2635 ft / 803 m
2Mount Jackson2018-08-31 b302 ft / 92 m
3Mount Jackson-North Peak2018-08-31 c127 ft / 39 m
4Mount Pierce-South Peak2018-08-31 d485 ft / 148 m
5Mount Pierce2018-08-31 e140 ft / 43 m
6(Attempt) Mount Eisenhower2018-08-31 f400 ft / 122 m
7Mount Franklin2018-08-31 g692 ft / 211 m
8Mount Monroe2018-09-01 h360 ft / 110 m
9Mount Monroe-West Peak2018-09-01 i47 ft / 14 m
10White Mountain National Forest High Point2018-09-01 j 
11Mount Washington2018-09-01 k1276 ft / 389 m
Total Trip Gain: 6464 ft / 1971 m    Total Trip Loss: 5739 ft / 1749 m

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