The White Mountains

We resumed hiking with full packs in Hanover. The next two days were full of practice climbs, reacquainting our legs with steep ascents and jarring our knees hiking downhill.

At first, the weather was pleasant and we were having a great time. We spent our first night in New Hampshire camping in a trail angel’s backyard, meeting the new crowd of thru-hikers around us. Unfortunately, the next night, after a rainy late afternoon push, we stealth camped by a power line and were assaulted by hoards of mosquitos, black flies, and no-see-ums as we packed up and ate breakfast.

We hiked over Moosilauke the next day, a long and steady climb, gorgeous windy summit, and perilously steep descent–our formal introduction to the White Mountains. After the near-vertical descent down to Kinsman Notch, we hitched into Lincoln, NH, where we stayed at Chet’s place and prepped ourselves for more big mountains.

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The Whites are some of the most challenging and rewarding hiking on the whole trail. We enjoyed the tough days, pushing our bodies to their limits, testing our endurance.  The trails were rocky and sometimes our progress was slow, but it has been a powerful and fulfilling week.

We had shitty weather on Franconia Ridge and over Mt Garfield; otherwise, we were so fortunate in our timing. As we went over Mt Washington, we marveled at the mostly sunny conditions and the gentle breeze, rare conditions for this mountain. The whole Presidentials were amazing. Such stark, dramatic, impressive landscapes. We were surrounded by mountain silhouettes on every horizon.

We also appreciated the sweet work-for-stay situations at the AMC huts at night. Extra shout-outs to the awesome croos at Lonesome Lake, Mizpah, and Madison Springs Huts, and to Emily from Lakes of the Clouds and Zak from Carter Notch; these folks were great.

 

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We were exhausted by the time we got to Gorham. It’s rainy today, perfect conditions for a zero, so there we are. Maine tomorrow.

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