The Presidential Traverse – Mt Washington NH
The Presidential Traverse in New Hampshire is without any doubt the finest mountaineering traverses in the White Mountain region. The rugged 20+ mile traverse started off in the valley and in three miles gained the ridge then the traverse continued on with the next 15 miles above treeline in the alpine zone. The traverse climbs over 8500 feet as it crosses over 9 presidential summits.
Terry and I have completed the Presidential Traverse in winter years back and we were now ready for another go. On this traverse we planned a two day traverse utilizing Lake of the Clouds Hut for a mid traverse overnight stay. With a stable forecast we headed out and enjoyed cooler temperatures and brilliant cobalt blue skies.
Terry and I are psyched to have completed this 4100 ft climb and to be on the summit of the first peak – Mt Madison (5367 ft)!!! Our traverse route started at the Appalachia Trail climbed for 2 miles on the Valley Way trail then linked into the steep Watson Path to the summit of Mt Madison.
Madison is in the background, Terry is on the steep boulder field of Mt Adams (5794 ft) the second highest peak in the range. This section of terrain is very rugged with so many large boulders and a vague path to follow.
Next stop was Mt Jefferson (5712 ft), number three is the White Mountains. With these three northern peaks completed we started to ease our pace. With plenty of time to reach our destination, The Lake of the Clouds Hut we stopped frequently to take in the spectacular views.
Putting more glide in my stride with these new mountain runners from Mammut.
The winning shoe for long ultra-trails! The MTR 201-II Max is lightweight, has excellent cushioning and the aggressive gripex™ Sonar tech sole.
Terry cruising along the alpine zone – I think this is the area know as Monticello Lawn below Mt Jefferson.
Monticello Lawn is a large expanse of alpine sedge and rush near the otherwise talus-covered summit cone of Mt Jefferson
Mt Clay (5531 ft) is our next peak to cross with the rock pile Mt Washington in the distance.
Our route skirts along the edge of the cirque named the Great Gulf.
So many boulders to climb around!!!
Our summit selfie on Mt Washington (6288 ft)
The true summit is just behind us and had a line and wait for a photo in front of the Mt Washington sign.
A beautiful area – the first Lakes of the Clouds.
This hut is a popular destination and was packed with 75 overnights guests on a mid week night. We enjoyed meeting new climbers, a hearty meal and a well earned nights rest.
Lakes of the Clouds is in a spectacular location situated just above treeline in the saddle between Mt Washington and Mt Monroe (5384 ft).
This view is of the southern Presidential traverse route from Mt Franklin (5000 ft). The terrain eased up with less boulders and the path was mostly down the hill from here. Our last climb is Eisenhower the rounded summit over a mile away.
Mt Eisenhower (4780 ft) with is huge cairn built right on the top.
Terry is excited to be reaching Mt Pierce (4310 ft). Mt Pierce is the final summit of the Presidential traverse, from here we followed the trail into the forest and down the Crawford Path to the Highland Center.
The Presidential Traverse is a most sought after objective for mountaineers. Art has completed and guided the traverse in all the seasons. The winter is certainly the most challenging and committing time of year.
Contact Art Mooney to discuss the options for your Presidential Traverse!!!