Mt. Washington
White Mountain National Forest, New Hampshire


Description first, pictures last...

It started off as a mild, humid and calm day in the 80's. Then, about .9 miles from the summit while ascending, Mt. Washington, known as "Home of the World's Worst Weather", has lived up to its name. The dark ominous clouds moved in, looking like "Satan" (named by another hiker that was close behind us). The clouds rolled in quickly, the wind started to howl and then the sky opened up with a torrential down pour, sleet, hail and the worst lightning and thunder I have ever encountered.

I took the time to reflect on my dog, Salem who is absolutely scared of thunder storms, I now feel her fear. I wanted to be like Salem, looking for the nearest lap to jump in for comfort from the storm. But, there was no laps up there to jump into, just the evil sky, the nearest rock and puddle. I was drenched at this point, everything was coming down sideways. I used my good rain poncho for my camera, and besides, it wasn't the rain that was unbearable, it was the lightning. We were no longer entering the storm, we were a part of the storm. There was no place for cover, just slippery rocks, large puddles forming and make-shift waterfalls. The visibility was poor, most of the time only 10 feet in front, barely enough to make out the next Cairn. At one point, I had to wait for the clouds and fog to move on while I sat there searching for the next cairn.

Up on the top, we quickly ran in for cover, although it wasn't raining anymore, the wind was wicked and the visibility was poor. There is a weather observatory at the top of Mt. Washington, and just like Pikes Peak in Colorado, it also has an auto road. There are 2 gift shops, a museum and a small area to grab some food. The weather is forecasted in real-time on a large computer screen on the wall, conveniently located near the log of past deaths on this Mountain. According to the weather report, another storm is quickly moving in and this one was going to be a bad one. The forest rangers were making their rounds with all the hiker's to make sure nobody was hiking back down. They directed us to the option of taking the cog railway down or the shuttle. We took their advice, if we did not, then I may have never written this description of the hike.

It was eleven years ago the last time I hiked Mt. Washington. I ascended Huntington's Ravine, and about 1/2 way up, a storm rolled in, nothing like the storm mentioned above, but the winds were 40 MPH with gusts of 50-60 MPH on the top. I had to crawl to the summit sign because I thought I was going to be blown off. Visibility was about the same and I was unable to enjoy the view that this mountain has to offer. I'm not done with this, there is always next year. I'm determined to hike Mt. Washington and get the view I deserve, but with utmost respect to mother nature.

Please visit the Mt. Washington Website, they have webcams up there - it is rather interesting! Mt. Washington Website

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The beginning of Mt. Washington hike
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Many signs with information
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Warning signs
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More signage
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Tuckerman Ravine is where we want to go
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With all do respect...
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Many signs were new
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the trail
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Waterfalls along the way
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more trail shots
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trail was full of boulders
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trail is steep
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We have to climb up that after this break
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Views are getting spectacular
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Canon Mtn Ski Area
threedogz@cox.net 7/18/2006