Looking north, approaching the summit

Eisenhower Dayhike - 20/May/2003

By David Metsky

Spring had arrived, and I had some mid-week time off. My friend Dave was looking to get above treeline for a hike and Eisenhower is such a great hike for that. On the way north I stopped at the viewing area for the Old Man to view what was left. Farwell, rest in peace. A few of Dave's friends met us at the trailhead and we started up. There were a few cars in the lot, so we wouldn't have the mountain to ourselves, but still many fewer than you usually see on the Edmands Path. The reports were that there was still some snow in the section just below treeline but it was unlikely to stop us. The hike started well enough, a pleasant day and the conversation turned quickly to politics. I decided to take my leave for a bit of quiet and pushed on ahead. I love this trail, you can hike at a steady pace because it's such a steady climb. Every once in a while I'd pause, the rest of the group would catch up, we'd hike for a while together then I'd jump on ahead.

Mount Washington Hotel    Washington coming around the corner    Warning Sign    Jefferson and Clay

Dry River Wilderness

Around the final stream crossing we started enountering a little snow. There is a stretch, just below treeline, where spring snow hangs on the longest. Due to the compaction of the snow underfoot, the ridge of snow remains along the center of the trail, making for some interesting footing in the narrow section of trail. Just past that there is enough sun to clear the trail for the rest of the journey. But we made it without incident, stopping on a nice rock just near the intersection of the Edmands Path with the Crawford Path for a bite to eat. Sitting below Eisenhower we had excellent views, such a nice day to be above treeline. After we all arrived we took our time eating our lunch and just absorbing it all.

Dave arriving at the ridge    Dave, having arrived    Looking down on Red Lake    Near the top    Almost there

Then, upward and onward! It's just a short hop from the ridge to the top, but the day was so nice that I spent a good deal of time taking photos along the way. A helicopter was doing the early season supply runs to Lakes of the Clouds hut, it was pretty interesting watching it haul loads up the Ammonoosuc Ravine. After the stop up top, we started down at a pretty mellow pace. Nothing special going on, just a relaxed descent on a perfect spring day. I spent some time taking photos of the trillium coming into bloom, my personal guidepost for the arrival of spring.

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