Ascent of Mount Monroe on 2016-11-05

Climber: Michael Stonek

Other People:Solo Ascent
Date:Saturday, November 5, 2016
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Mount Monroe
    Location:USA-New Hampshire
    Elevation:5372 ft / 1637 m

Ascent Trip Report

I started this solo hike of the lower Presidential Range at 7 AM from Crawford Notch. There was no snow on the ground when I got there the night before, but when I woke up it was coming down and it was quickly covering the trails.

I was on the Crawford Path and after 2 miles I reached the cutoff to the Mizpah Spring Hut (which was closed for the season). I took a left to stay on the Path on my way to Mt Pierce. The ascent from 1,800 ft to 4,310 at the top of Pierce was pretty gradual and made it for an easy climb. It was getting a little icy so after a couple of slips I decided to put on my microspikes. There was nobody on the trails besides me, but I was following some recent footsteps, which made it a little easier.

Mt Pierce didn't offer any particularly nice views (it was overcast anyway) but it was good to be there and set the target on Eisenhower. Crawford Path descended after the peak and then it climbed towards the Mt Eisenhower loop. From there it was 0.4 miles to the top of Eisenhower. From there on, you were above treeline. On a nice day, it would've been spectacular views, but not that day. It was snowing still, somewhat light but with the wind, it made it tough to see, and I strayed away a few times. I encountered a few hikers (finally!) that were coming from the Edmands Path, which I intersected after 0.4 miles. After another 0.2 miles I reached the junction with the Mount Eisenhower Trail (towards the Dry River Cutoff). I continued straight, still on the Crawford Path.

After a little over 0.3 miles I realised that I was missing Mt Franklin, which I also wanted to climb. I decided to get off the path briefly, reach this peak, and then return. Mt Franklin is not considered a 4,000 footer (even though it sits at over 5,000 ft) because of the very short relevance. Back on the path, I reached Mt Monroe after another mile. It was still coming down, a wet snow, and I was getting drenched. And the wind was picking up. I reached some wooden signs indicating 2 different routes to take. Those wooden posts are very difficult to read to begin with, but when they are all covered with snow and ice, even more. I used my knife to clean up one but it was still difficult to see what it said. Looking at my map I decided to take the one on the left, which seemed the fastest one to the Hut.

Once I reached the Lakes of the Clouds Hut I decided to cut my hike short. My original plan was to do a loop back by taking the Dry River Trail to the Cutoff and then to Mizpah Hut. But I was walking exposed to snow/rain, wind and the cold for over 2 hours and I just wanted the quickest way to the cover of the trees. From the Lakes Hut there are about 5 different routes that one can take, and I didn't want to go on the wrong one and get lost. So I went with the safest one, which was going west on the Ammonoosuc Trail towards the Cog Railway and the Ammonoosuc Ravine. This trail seemed to be much more popular (many hikers were coming/going to Mt Washington) and it was much easier to follow, despite several river crossings.

I made it to the Ammonoosuc Ravine trailhead at 4:15 PM and some friendly hikers from MA gave me a ride back to my car...

The final tally was: 12 miles and 4,750 of elevation gain in 9 h 15 min.
Summary Total Data
    Quality:6 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Stream Ford, Scramble
    Gear Used:
Crampons, Ski Poles
    Weather:Snowing, Cold, Windy
Windy with snowshowers
Ascent Statistics
    Route:Crawford Path
    Start Trailhead:Crawford Notch  
Descent Statistics
    Route:Ammonoosuc Tr
    End Trailhead:Base Station Rd  
Ascent Part of Trip: SoPresi

Complete Trip Sequence:
1Mount Pierce2016-11-05 
2Mount Eisenhower2016-11-05 
3Mount Franklin2016-11-05 
4Mount Monroe2016-11-05 
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Michael Stonek
Click Here for a Full Screen Map
Note: GPS Tracks may not be accurate, and may not show the best route. Do not follow this route blindly. Conditions change frequently. Use of a GPS unit in the outdoors, even with a pre-loaded track, is no substitute for experience and good judgment. accepts NO responsibility or liability from use of this data.

Download this GPS track as a GPX file

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