Showing posts with label Mt. Washington. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Mt. Washington. Show all posts

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Square & Whitehorse Ledges – Rock Climbing

Pinkham Notch, rock climbing
Square Ledge

Beautiful day for climbing! My buddy Geoff and I headed out to Square Ledge, Pinkham Notch’s local crag. You can see this cliff from the AMC Pinkham parking lot. Access is super easy from the AMC Pinkham Visitor Center – just park and cross the street (Route 16) to the Lost Pond trailhead. Cross over the wooden bridge, then turn left onto the Square Ledge Trail. Lots of tourists also headed to the top of the ledge to photograph the Ravines, Washington, Adams and Madison.  Afterwards we headed to Whitehorse Ledge where I got to lead the 2nd pitch of Sea Of Holes. Thanks for a great climbing day Geoff! Enjoy some photos taken of our day!

Hangover Rock

The face of Square Ledge

Thanks for the belay!

Gorgeous views of Pinkham Notch from 
the top of Square Ledge

Checking out Thriller Arete

At Whitehorse Ledge I got to lead the second pitch of Sea Of Holes. I gotta get used to climbing slab with all the gear hanging off me. Didn't even need it all considering I clipped into a piton and then I placed a .50 cam and then a #1 micro cam to the anchors.

At the anchor of P2 Sea Of Holes 
(I actually couldn't find the anchor at first. Started up to the tree on the
left as it had a sling and biner around it. Then I traversed back to the right
and after figuring out where to put my 3rd piece of pro, I spotted the anchors.)

Looking over to Cathedral Ledge

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Glen Boulder - Solo Hike

Shaka from Glen Boulder above Pinkham Notch!

Glen Boulder  (3,700ft)
Trail: Glen Boulder
Elevation Gain: 1,750 feet
Mile: 3.2 roundtrip
Duration: 3hrs, 20 minutes (includes stop along the trail and at the boulder)
Difficulty: Easy to moderately strenuous
Danger: Low to High (there are several water crossings, very slippery rocks, steep section, exposed rock scrambling, loose rocks along trail)

I almost didn't leave my house today because it was raining over it! LOL!

But I figured I’d just drive up north and check it out anyways. And I might as well since I was already packed. As I headed to North Conway, the skies gave way to sunshine and fluffy white clouds. I couldn’t believe how clear it was - weatherman wrong again! As I passed the Glen Ellis Falls trailhead I looked up and got a good view of the Glen Boulder and decided to give it a go. I had been curious about this glacial erratic for some time and wanted to see what it was all about. This would be a perfect short, steep hike to get in some rock scrambling and catch some good views. I banged a ‘u’ and pulled into the parking lot, almost full but with most folks heading to the Glen Ellis Falls.

Heading up the trail I was glad it wasn’t humid. I stopped often to take photos and to admire the trail below treeline. This may well be the trail I’d be traveling to summit Mt. Isolation one day.  Not too many folks on the trail as I made my way up. But once I got to the boulder, others started showing up. I spent about 40 minutes at the boulder eating lunch and taking photos and chatting with folks also eating their lunches at the boulder. On my way back down to the trailhead I passed more folks on their way up including a family of 4 with no hiking gear and lugging a gallon of Market Basket spring water. Near the trailhead it started to get really humid and sticky which momentarily annoyed me. But once I got to the trailhead and out from under the trees, it was less humid. So glad I finally made the hike to Glen Boulder…..a good day for it, I’d say!

**After my hike to the Glen Boulder, I decide to stop by the Iron Mountain trailhead just to make certain I could find it as I was planning to hike it in another week. Near the trailhead and at the fork, I had taken the wrong turn onto FR 325 instead of FR 119. So when I got to the end of FR 325,  I turned around. Back at the fork, I was just about to turn onto FR 119 and a large black bear came running out of the woods and across the street just 50 feet in front of me! So glad I always carry a can of bear spray! 

Enjoy some photos taken on my hike to the Glen Boulder!

Along the Glen Boulder Trail

There are several beautiful waterfalls along this trail. 
But I stopped at this one to try out my waterproof camera.
This "display model" cost me $30. I stuck it under water and it works!

Yay, the Alpine Zone, finally!! This is the part the trail leaves the trees and 
climbs over open rocks. The photo on the right shows a section of rock that 
might be a tad sketchy for those afraid of heights or not used to scrambling.

Yay, more rock scrambling!

Sitting behind the boulder overlooking Pinkham Notch.

Looking towards Gulf of Slides, Tuckerman & Huntington Ravines

Looking up at the open ridge crest from the boulder

Route 16 from Glen Boulder

Looking back down the Glen Boulder Trail

The Wildcats

A little better view of the Gulf of Slides

My chocolate zucchini cupcake

Side of the boulder that faces the Pinkham Notch

Friday, June 28, 2013

Seek The Peak 2013

13 more days until the Seek The Peak 2013 Mt. Washington hike!

I'm just a bit short of my goal - please help me reach my goal of $200 by donating here:

Mahalo nui loa (Thank you very much) to those who have already donated! If I reach my goal of $200, I receive FREE Admission to the Seek The Peak 13 After Party. And to boot, I also get some really, really cool prizes, check it out!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Driving the Mt. Washington Auto Road

"It belongs to the mountain." There are many things I will remember about the day I drove myself and my three grandchildren up the Auto Road to the Mt. Washington summit. But the most memorable is that statement made by my 5-year old grandson.

I always wanted to drive up the Auto Road and show my 3 oldest grandchildren (ages 7, 5 and 2½ yrs) the views from the summit. My husband was out of town on a golfing trip with his buddies so I took that opportunity to make the drive. Plus, the tollbooth fee at the Auto Road of $37 is a lot better than the Cog's $110 price tag.

I had my daughter pack cold weather clothing for the grandkids, just in case. I checked the weather report on the Mt. Washington Observatory website the night before and on the morning of the drive. The rains would hold off and so I packed my pickup and loaded the kids in. As we pulled out of our driveway, I yelled, "Mt. Washington, here we come!" All three giggled in excitement.

With two (bathroom) stops along the way, it took me 4 hours to get to the tollbooth at the base of the Auto Road.  The Auto Road is approximately 7.6 miles long and extends from the New Hampshire Route 16 in Pinkham Notch to the summit. It's next to the Great Glen Trails and across the street from the Glen House. Temps at the bottom were 85 degrees and humid, but the sign for the summit temps listed were 60 degrees. After paying our fee I was handed a packet which contained a "My car climbed Mt. Washington" bumper sticker as well as a certificate and a CD audio tour. You can listen to the tour online on the website. There is also a sign at the base warning of the steep, narrow road without guardrails. This is NOT a leisurely ride, folks! You should definitely take heed if you are afraid of heights!

After leaving the tollbooth, right away the start of the road is narrow and the grade increases. There are brown and white mile markers at every mile and water available for overheated "radiators only". There are also many turn-outs to use to let faster vehicles pass or to stop and let your brakes cool. The packet and CD that is given to customers at the tollbooth has driving information as well; speed limit is 20 mph, ascending vehicles have the right of way, don't pick up extra passengers, take all curves well on your side of the road, wear your seatbelts, turn the AC off, etc. And vehicles should be in the lowest gear on both the ascent and descent to prevent engine overheating and to use the transmission as a brake.

The views were STUNNING but I couldn't take my eyes off the road for very long so I ended up pointing out everything to the grandkids on the way up - they were blown away with the views above treeline. The road is indeed steep and narrow. And there is a mile (between 5 and 6) of unpaved road. It looked like packed dirt but I switched my truck into 4 wheel drive, just in case.

At the summit, even with folks leaving, parking was limited. We spent an hour and a half at the summit checking  out the Observation deck, the restaurant, the Museum, the Tip Top House, and all three gift shops. At the gift shop in the Old Stage House I bought Auto Road water bottles, and The Cat In The Clouds book for the grandkids. And a wooden, "Hikers Only" sign for myself.  We stood in line along with hikers and the other riders to get the summit photo. The Cog train arrived and we watched them load and leave.

There was a bit of drama on the way down. The couple in the Honda sedan in front of me couldn't get by the white pickup truck coming up the road. The wife got out and stood in front of my truck while he backed up to make room for the white pickup to pass. But he didn't back up close enough to the edge and the white pickup still couldn't pass.  The tour van behind me was driven by a woman and she got out to tell the guy that the road was wide enough for two vehicles to pass. But he still didn't budge, I think he was freaked. Finally the driver of the white pickup backed up and we were all able to pass. It was hilarious to watch the wife running to catch up to the car - it's not every day you get to see someone running down the Mt. Washington Auto Road in their flip flops! LOL!

The CD audio tour is nifty to have, my grandkids enjoyed listening to it on our way up as well as on our way down from the summit. For me, driving the Auto Road was scary fun....a thrill I'll never forget! I noticed something too and this is just an observation....aside from the tour van driver, I was the only female driver. I noticed that the vehicles and motorcycles on the Auto Road were driven by men.

On our drive back home my grandkids and I spoke about what we enjoyed the most of our day. I also commented about seeing a woman carrying off a rock as she was making her way down from the summit pile. My grandson commented that he had seen her too and thought she was taking it for her rock collection. I replied that she shouldn't be taking it as it didn't belong to her. "That's right, she shouldn't take it" my grandson said, "it belongs to the mountain!"

At the base of The Auto Road

 The Museum (4)

 The Cog Railway (3)

 Hikers along the Nelson Crag Trail
 Views of the Presidential's!

Links of interest:
Mt. Washington Observatory

Mt. Washington State Park

Mt. Washington Auto Road

Mt. Washington Cog Railway

Pinkhan Notch

YouTube Channel - Hawaii Girl Adventures

Check out my YouTube channel at:  Hawaii Girl Adventures I will eventually be phasing out blog posts and be posting videos of my climbing, h...