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About


Mt. Monroe, Mt. Washington, Mt. Jefferson
Chandler's Purchase, NH, Sargent's Purchase, NH

Trailheads, measurements, times, distances, and maps are all approximate and relative to the hike(s) as shown below.
Looking up the Ammonoosuc Ravine Trail
Looking up the Ammonoosuc Ravine Trail

Route: Unknown trail, Ammonoosuc Ravine Trail, Mount Monroe Loop, (Mt. Monroe), Mount Monroe Loop, Crawford Path, (Mt. Washington), Trinity Heights Connector, Gulfside Trail, Jefferson Loop, (Mt. Jefferson), Jefferson Loop, Gulfside Trail, Jewell Trail, unknown trail

There was a limited but decent window of partly sunny skies and relatively low winds - just about right for an above treeline trek. Starting at the Cog base station, I soon encountered snow on the Ammonoosuc Ravine Trail. After crossing Monroe Brook, the snow was too deep and unstable to boot, thus I donned snowshoes.

Soon thereafter, the views were amazing - a recent avalanche had come down from one of the north gullies and taken everything with it, bumping up alongside the Ammonoosuc Ravine Trail. I'm not sure what was more impressive - the new views up the ravine or the countless knocked over trees in a long, wide line. I can only imagine what it was like to hike through here immediately after the avalanche - perhaps a feeling of a mini-Tunguska encounter.

After passing over the Gem Pool, the destruction was for the most part no longer visible (unless looking backward into the ravine in a few places). I ended up ascending via some snowfields above the treeline, snowshoeing until reaching the final crag below the hut. From there, it would be bareboots for the next few hours.

After a quick trip to Mt. Monroe, I headed up the Crawford Path to Mt. Washington, cautiously crossing over the sideslope snowfield. Fortunately, the snow was soft enough to get a good grip - otherwise, it would have either been crampon or detour necessary.

One last snowfield (being used by skiers) was crossed and soon I was at the windy summit of Mt. Washington. Other than some minor construction going on, I had the summit to myself. Seeing a big, dark cloud to the west, I weighed my options and decided to head down the Gulfside and make a decision at the Jewell junction.

Reaching the Jewell Trail junction, the clouds didn't seem to be as threatening. While the winds were up a bit, they seemed manageable. Thus, I continued north to Jefferson on generally bare trail.

Topping out on Jefferson, the views were increasingly hazy to the west, but still strong in other directions. Dark clouds still loomed just to the west. Not wasting time, I headed back on the Gulfside. Reaching the col, the clouds were almost suddenly gone, resulting in a nice blue sky. While it was tempting to linger awhile in the newfound nicer weather, I opted to continue down with the hopes of getting out well before sunset.

Nearing treeline, on-trail snow started, increasing to perhaps four feet in the woods. Not long after that, the lack of stability forced me to put on snowshoes for awhile, prior to reaching long patches below 3,700 feet. Sure enough, the patchy snow continued all the way to the bottom of the trail - a far cry from my trip a year earlier. Nonetheless, I was able to make it back before sunset.


Hike Ratings
Getting To Trailhead: Easy
Destination: Mt. Monroe
Length: Moderate
Steepness: Very Difficult
Navigation: Difficult
Views: Excellent
Crowds: Minimal
Destination: Mt. Washington
Length: Moderate
Steepness: Difficult
Navigation: Moderate
Views: Excellent
Crowds: Moderate
Destination: Mt. Jefferson
Length: Difficult
Steepness: Difficult
Navigation: Easy
Views: Excellent
Crowds: Minimal


Hike Stats
Date Hiked: Wednesday, May 5, 2010
Hike Commenced: 11:34 AM
Parking Elevation: 2,700'
Destination: Mt. Monroe
Ascent Commenced: 11:35 AM
Summit Reached: 1:23 PM
Time Elapsed: 01:48
Trailhead Elevation: 2,740'
Summit Elevation: 5,372'
Vertical Gain: 2,732'
Destination: Mt. Washington
Ascent Commenced: 1:25 PM
Summit Reached: 2:29 PM
Time Elapsed: 01:04
Trailhead Elevation: 5,372'
Summit Elevation: 6,288'
Vertical Gain: 1,301'
Destination: Mt. Jefferson
Ascent Commenced: 2:38 PM
Summit Reached: 4:21 PM
Time Elapsed: 01:43
Trailhead Elevation: 6,288'
Summit Elevation: 5,712'
Vertical Gain: 942'
Hike Ended: 7:00 PM
Hike Time Elapsed: 07:26
Hike Vertical Gain: 5,595'


The trailhead near the Marshfield Base Station
The trailhead near the Marshfield Base Station

Avalanche debris as seen from the Ammonoosuc Ravine Trail
Avalanche debris as seen from the Ammonoosuc Ravine Trail

Looking at Mt. Washington from Mt. Monroe - Click to enlarge
Looking at Mt. Washington from Mt. Monroe

Looking down the Crawford Path on the way to Mt. Washington
Looking down the Crawford Path on the way to Mt. Washington

Looking at the northern Presidentials from near the summit of Mt. Washington - Click to enlarge
Looking at the northern Presidentials from near the summit of Mt. Washington

The Gulfside Trail on the way to Mt. Jefferson
The Gulfside Trail on the way to Mt. Jefferson

Looking Mt. Adams from Mt. Jefferson - Click to enlarge
Looking Mt. Adams from Mt. Jefferson

Topographic map of Mt. Monroe, Mt. Washington, Mt. Jefferson - Click to enlarge


Directions to trailhead: To get to the Cog Base Station in winter, take 302 West from Crawford Notch, then take a right onto Base Station Road. In winter 2009-10, there was plowed parking available at the Cog Base Station. Looking up the mountain from the parking lot, the spur trail to the Ammonoosuc Ravine Trail begins up the hill to the right, a bit below two cabins.

Back to Mt. Monroe Profile
Back to Mt. Washington Profile
Back to Mt. Jefferson Profile




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