Monday, August 21, 2006

Mt. Adams August 17, 2006

Mt. Adams is the second highest peak in the Whites and the grand views from the top of Adams, on this beautiful day, didn't disappoint. The great weather provided an unusually calm day above tree-line. Usually the winds blow hard at this altitude in the Whites.

However the trail we choose to climb Adams was more difficult than we expected. The trail featured 1.5 miles each way of above tree-line climbing with great views. However we choose the historic Lowe's Path because the AMC guide considers the trail the "easiest" way up to Adams with, in their words, always moderate grades and good footing. Not so! On the way to other destinations we have climbed up two other trails that go to Adams – the Valley Way and Airline. IMHO both are superior in footing. The Lowe's Path features extended sections of steep wet rock which was particularly slow and tedious for Deborah and me on the descent. The kids were always ahead and stopped to wait for us to catch up. For Deborah and me the fatiguing decent took 5.5 hours to navigate the 4.8 miles down. The final 1.8 miles, with much better footing, took only 1 hr, so it took 4.5 hours to descend the rough 3 miles. This was exhausting and the slowest descent on any mountain that we could recall.

The trail was as it "is". We didn't hear the "greensong" today and could never fall into the extended hiking rhythm which can be so enjoyable. The footing was just too tough on this, the longest vertical climb up any of the 48. The mountain though was beautiful and we will return to Adams again but on another trail. #48

Distance 9.6 miles; Climb 4450 ft; Elevation 5799 ft.

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