Ascent of Mount Eisenhower on 2011-07-09

Climber: Dan Quinlan

Date:Saturday, July 9, 2011
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Mount Eisenhower
    Location:USA-New Hampshire
    Elevation:4760 ft / 1450 m

Ascent Trip Report

Wow, what a difference a few hours can make. The family started out at 10:30 this morning headed up Edmands Path. The plan was to hit Mt. Eisenhower, and then head north along the Crawford Path, passing over Mt. Franklin and Mt. Monroe then taking a break at the Lake of the Clouds Hut before turning south returning over the same route.

The idea was to be able to enjoy the views along the ridge in both the north and south directions. The morning weather was sunny at the trail head, but the summits were still in a thick fog/low clouds. The weather forecast was for clearing, even in the summits in the afternoon, so we were hopeful that the ‘clearing’ would take place by the time we got to the ridge.

As we made our way up Edmands Path (in the cool of the cloudy conditions) we met many hikers coming down in rain jackets and hats with the report that the summit is pretty well socked in and very windy. Undeterred we continued our way up, hoping the summits will clear by the time we get there. As we closed in on the ridge and the wind became noticeably uncomfortable we decided to stop for a quick lunch while we were somewhat protected in the woods.

Shortly before 1pm we reached the ridge line and were greeted with steady 35-40 MPH winds and a visibility of approx. 50’! Unfortunately our beautiful weather did not show up as we had hoped and we lost half of our group, Kaerstin and Gudi decided that the wind was too much and decided to head back to the car. Torsten was in an adventurous mood and decided to continue our trek across the ridge.

Lesson for the day: if the weather on the summit is for low clouds and fog with eventual clearing, remember that it is probably a strong wind that is going to do the clearing! The travel was slow and wet. The wind made staying upright a bit difficult when we were rock hopping up the West peak of Monroe, which we reached at 1:35. The fog was so thick that it would condense on my glasses and I needed to remove them to see the next cairn! Very carefully we descended the West Peak on Monroe and ascended Mt. Monroe at 1:50 to a very strong wind and zero visibility. If nothing else this was an adventure. We spotted the Lake of the Clouds Hut when we were about 30’ from it!

Torsten and I enjoyed nice warm cup-o-noodles at the hut with several others all waiting for the skies to clear. It was amazing, suddenly it was a bit brighter and then within minutes the summit was clear! And gorgeous! We left the hut at 2:50 and headed south down the ridge. It truly interesting to ‘see’ what we had just climbed and only an hour or so ago couldn’t see at all! The wind was still strong but the vistas made up for it.

Because of the zero visibility on the way up, we had skipped Mt. Eisenhower in the morning, which turned out to be a great idea. This afternoon the summit afforded 360 degree views, just wonderful. We left Eisenhower summit at 4:15 for the long downhill hike along the Edmands Path, we arrived sore but in a great mood at 5:40pm.
Summary Total Data
    Quality:7 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Scramble, Exposed Scramble
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles
    Weather:Cool, Very Windy, Clear
Very windy, which blew the low clouds away!
Ascent Statistics
    Start Trailhead:Edmands Path TH  
Descent Statistics
Ascent Part of Trip: Monroe-Eisenhower

Complete Trip Sequence:
1Mount Monroe-West Peak2011-07-09 a 
2Mount Monroe2011-07-09 b5500 ft / 1676 m
3Mount Franklin2011-07-09 c 
4Mount Eisenhower2011-07-09 d 
Total Trip Gain: 5500 ft / 1676 m

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