Saturday, 8 November 2014

White Mountains part I: Presidential traverse

Presidential traverse day two: The Perch to Nauman tent site via Mt. Washington summit 

During the night at The Perch weather changed. Morning was cold and I could hear the winds howling above us when we were packing up. It will be nice and clear day with stunning views I thought while chewing soft granola bar for breakfast. Soon as departed from the shelter we start climb into the mist.

Into the mist

Looking back from the cloud
Wind shifting clouds were blocking our views. It got cold and it was time to move to keep warm. With Mt. Jefferson ahead of us I was hoping wind will ease up but once at the summit I had to hid behind massive cairn to prevent getting blown away. We didn't stay long. Mt. Jefferson loop was cut short and we backtracked to where we came from.

Oh man thats crazy wind up here!
Naw its just White Mountains.
If it's cold and windy the only reason to keep moving is to stay warm. At 3.3 mile to Mt. Washington conditions got even worse and view was limited to only a couple of meters. By the time we reached the tracks of Cog Railway that takes tourist up to the Summit of Mt. Washington I was wearing all my spare layer bare sleeping bag and down jacket.

Cog Train going down from Mt. Washington

Few moments earlier we were eccompanied with other friend of mine Konrad and his hiking partner. It was pure luck they ran into us at that point on the trail. We were suppose to meet up on the summit but our timing was more to just perfect. Good times!
Steve & Konrad happy to meet up
At the very summit the weather conditions stayed pretty much the same. Amazed by how many people were up on the summit even in such bad conditions I soon found out either they've used the Cog or drove up in their cars. What cars? The mist was so thick that there was no sign of any cars up there.

Mt. Summit
Obviously Mt. Washington is very popular among US hikers and I had to queue to get to the summit post and take the picture. We all stop at the Visitors center and I found out that the Mt. Washington is know to record the fastest wind speed ever. There was no chance of weather turnning back "normal" so now the four of us continued along the trail passing the Lakes of the Clouds hut all the way down to Nauman tensite where we decided to camp for the night.

Shelters on Nauman tent site platforms
We had to choose the biggest platform to fit only three shelter. Fourth is pitched on right side of the platform on the tent overflow spot. Pitching tarp on wooden platform can be done with a help from few solid rocks.
Despite little extra weight I think my DIY KISS (keep it simple stupid) camping slippers were very welcome. My feet were never so happy after a long day on the trail.
Sporting KISS camp slippers

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