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Climb into the clouds - mt washington

Posted 09-23-2012 at 09:36 AM by TAKINBETZ


Woke up to rain again this morning. This is the second morning it has rained without any predictions … how dare! Not following the rules!

Eventually it cleared up enough that we decided to head to Mount Washington for our last day in the Presidentials. When we got to the roadway, the top of Mt Washington and others were in the clouds.

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We started our climb in low gear; forecasts were 53 degrees with 30 kts wind at the top.

As we climbed and climbed, the vistas started to appear. At first they were simply white then the clouds started to move and we could see glimpses of mountains peaking through the cloud
You had to move fast, however. As soon as I took a shot and looked down at my camera to adjust a setting, the mountain disappeared!

The road got windier and narrower with the sides wide open and no guard rails. I found myself gripping the door and smashing my foot into the floor … for what, I don’t know. Finally talked myself into relaxing as there wasn’t anything I could do from my side of the car.

So then I just closed my eyes but thought I probably should keep them open in case I had to brace myself. On and on these thoughts came through my head as we climbed higher, steeper, cloudier and then … the pavement ran out! Oh joy! Now it was dirt packed with no shoulder on either side … wall of rock on one side, nothing on the other.

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Fortunately there were pullovers so that I could catch a view if there was one and catch a breath if I had one!

Got to the top. The clouds were swirling but for the most part they were under us.

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Walking through the clouds we went up to the observation deck and looked at the vistas as they came and went, went and came! Hikers were arriving from somewhere or getting ready to head out somewhere.

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The two in front of us climbing the stairs looked much the worse for wear. The guy was gasping as he climbed these stairs as though the stairs were harder than the rock scrambles he probably had just finished.

Mount Washington has some of the severest weather ever recorded. The weather station up there is manned all year and there were videos of the different weather events that have happened at the top.

As we were getting ready to head back down the cog train arrived dropping off passengers and picking new ones up. I imagine the ride down in the front of the first car must be a thrill as it looks like the tracks go right over the edge of the mountain.

We headed down and the clouds were clearing as we went. It wasn't any easier going down than coming up ... except we could see better .... I guess that's something to be thankful for.

It was a balmy 65 degrees at the bottom so the layers of jackets came off.

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