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About


Mt. Washington, Mt. Monroe
Chandler's Purchase, NH, Sargent's Purchase, NH, Thompson and Mesereves Purchase, NH

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

Route: Jewell Trail, Gulfside Trail, Westside Trail, Crawford Path, (Mt. Washington), Crawford Path, Mount Monroe Loop, (Mt. Monroe), Mount Monroe Loop, Ammonoosuc Ravine Trail

While I had originally planned to take the entire day off, a glance at my calendar reminded me that I could only take the afternoon off. Thus, I would be getting a late start.

My original plan was to ascend the Jewell, head over to Jefferson, then over Washington and down to Monroe, and then out. Arriving at the Cog base, I set foot up the Jewell Trail on Microspikes. Never really getting overly steep or tricky, I was able to make it to the Gulfside Trail on them.

Upon reaching the Gulfside Trail, I could see my plans were about to change. I had held out hope that I might be able to make it to Jefferson on Micropsikes (I had been able to do that stretch a month earlier on them) - however, the Gulfside Trail had a bunch of blue ice. Thus, I decided to forget about Jefferson, throw on the crampons, and do Washington and Monroe at a more leisurely pace.

Reaching the Westside Trail junction, I decided to check out that trail, as to hike something new to me. It basically lollygagged its way around the side of Washington, with a wicked sidehill (glad I wasn't on my Microspikes anymore). As I reached the Crawford Path junction, I could see lots of evidence of skiing - beautiful spring conditions, too! Climbing up the Crawford Path was unreal - the sky above it was a very deep blue.

I had the summit of Mt. Washington to myself. The views were spectacular - though some clouds were starting to build to the west, the views were nonetheless quite striking. Even Mt. Monadnock was seen to the south.

After having a sandwich, I got a bit chilled from the wind, so I decided to head back down the Crawford Path to warmer, less windy weather. As was the case in February, the Crawford Path still had a wicked sidehill on one part. The Monroe Loop was even more challenging than a month earlier - the initial walkway was blue ice, followed by a steep snowfield, undermined with blue ice.

The views from Monroe were tremendous as well - and with very little wind. While it was tempting to just plop myself down and wait almost two hours for the sunset, I decided to call it a day. Back at the Lakes of the Clouds Hut, I took another break - this time, I had a sandwich while sitting on top of the roof, thanks to the massive snow ramp that's been in front of the building for most of the winter.

The Ammonoosuc Ravine Trail was fairly straightforward and a lot less icy than I had feared. While descending Monroe, I noticed something in regard to the top of the trail. Hard to find in bad weather, there is often fear about trying to get down to the treeline from the hut properly. I figured out that, with one's shoulder to the side of the hut (the short side, near the trail junction sign), thus being perpendicular to the hut, one will be facing directly down the trail to the scrub.

I arrived at the Cog base just a bit before sunset - what a beautiful day for a Presidential hike!


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


Hike Stats
Date Hiked: Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Hike Commenced: 12:56 PM
Parking Elevation: 2,700'
Destination: Mt. Washington
Ascent Commenced: 12:58 PM
Summit Reached: 3:58 PM
Time Elapsed: 03:00
Trailhead Elevation: 2,710'
Summit Elevation: 6,288'
Vertical Gain: 3,878'
Destination: Mt. Monroe
Ascent Commenced: 4:13 PM
Summit Reached: 5:04 PM
Time Elapsed: 00:51
Trailhead Elevation: 6,288'
Summit Elevation: 5,372'
Vertical Gain: 390'
Hike Ended: 6:51 PM
Hike Time Elapsed: 05:55
Hike Vertical Gain: 4,398'


The Jewell Trail trailhead near the Marshfield Base Station
The Jewell Trail trailhead near the Marshfield Base Station

Looking at the Northern Presidentials from Mt. Washington - Click to enlarge
Looking at the Northern Presidentials from Mt. Washington

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

Looking toward the Sandwich Range from the Mt. Monroe summit - Click to enlarge
Looking toward the Sandwich Range from the Mt. Monroe summit

Topographic map of Mt. Washington, Mt. Monroe - 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 2008-09, there was plowed parking available at the Cog Base Station. Looking up the mountain from the parking lot, the spur trail to the Jewell Trail begins above the base station building, to the left.

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




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