Franconia Ridge

Franconia Ridge

Sunday, August 21, 2016

A Hike To Ike

After an exhaustive work week and late to bed last night I had to drag myself out of bed for a hike this morning. My plan was to hike Mount Eisenhower (4,780') via the Edmands Path. This is one of my favorite trails in the White Mountains with its easy, moderate grade that ascends to a 4,000 footer. The weather was looking good but with possible showers and thunderstorms later in the afternoon.

I got a later than usual start and arrived at the trailhead with plenty of parking still available. I had noticed the high summits were in the clouds on my drive over and thought I might not get any views today but I knew the hike would be good. There was a breeze blowing and I didn't think much of it until later in the hike, actually it felt good. I still felt a slight tinge of humidity in the air making it slightly uncomfortable for me. Between a tiring work week and a late night I found myself struggling more than usual. I slowed down and took my time as I moved toward the summit.

The first view from the trail of the northern Presidentials showed the clouds clearing with only Mount Washington covered. As I got to the Crawford Path trail junction it was considerably cooler. I stopped to put on a long sleeve layer and zipped on my pant legs before venturing up to the summit. There were many hikers coming down and a few behind me going up.

The wind continued to increase as I went higher. When I got to the summit there was a strong wind blowing. The clouds were blowing off the high summits but Mount Washington never did get out of the clouds. The summit cairn was completely encircled with a crowd of hikers. With a lot of people and the wind blowing I knew I wouldn't be here long. I got my panoramic video and some still photos and was soon on my way down.

I apparently left the summit at the wrong time and got entangled in a line of hikers but broke free and was soon solo hiking again. It was an enjoyable descent with many hikers on their way up. I was glad to get an early start as it was getting very warm and it's always better to be descending in the heat and not ascending!

I arrived back at the trailhead to a full parking lot. On the drive home I could see the high summits were in the clouds, except for Mount Eisenhower's summit still visible from below in the valley. I was glad to have been able to muster up the energy for this hike. It was not the viewless summit full of clouds that I thought it was going to be. There were great views with an exhilarating windy scene of clouds whipping around the mountain summits but no rain. It was another great hike to Mount Eisenhower!

Enjoy the photos!

Clouds swirling about the high summits on the drive to the trailhead

Sun and clouds


Easy water crossing

Another easy water crossing

Not much left of the stone gateway

Edmands Path leveling out

Looks like an egg breaking out of its shell

Cog train heading up Mount Washington

Mount Franklin

Late blooming bunchberry

Hikers on the Mount Eisenhower cone

Red Pond

Mount Washington Hotel far below

Standing on the summit in a strong wind

Red Pond

Descending on the Edmands Path

Blue train

Red train

Yellow train at Marshfield Station

Some type of mushroom

A cairn with no purpose

Indian pipe

Exposed birch tree roots

Hobblebush leaves turning red

Back at the trailhead

A look back at the high summits in the clouds

Mount Eisenhower from down below

Having Fun in the Great Outdoors!

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