Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Mt. Washington and back

The steps up to the actual summit seem innocuous enough, even though there are entirely too many--and then you realize your legs are aching, you're gasping for breath, and your heart is pounding--oh my god, you think, this was a mistake. heart attack heart attack. Then you remember that Mt. Washington is 6628 feet above sea level, and you are suffering from a mild case of oxygen deprivation. gaaaassp gaaaaasp

this is what I call a driveby shot, he drove by, I hung out the window and took the picture. Mountain in the middle is Mt.Adams, and what you do NOT see is no guard rails, and a very long way down into the valley. That long white snowpatch to the left is on Mt. Jefferson. We hiked to that one year, on the fourth of July, so my husband could ski on it. We slept overnight up there, wedged against rocks so we wouldn't slide down the mountain. Three miles in, three miles out.

They chain the buildings to the concrete, to keep them from blowing off in high winds. In some cases, with the taller structures, they use actual nautical chain that's used for huge anchors. It's very impressive.

Looking down over the edge, into the valley a mile below.

On the way home we stopped here, at Glen Ellis Falls--not as impressive, perhaps, as Arethusa, but the walk down in is even steps, and I managed the whole gig without whining. In itself, no mean feat.


  1. Lovely mountains. I note that you photographed them in June, when they're *green*, like all mountains oughtta be.

    Thanks for taking me along.

  2. My pleasure, Ron.

    Well, Mt. Washington has what might be called a really short summer, and on the top there is no vegetation over four inches high. Even the Alpine gardens are well below the summit, nestled in protective hollows, most of them facing east and south.

    It was a truly rare day up there, since most time the winds blows very hard and it rarely reaches above 60 deg. I think it was around 50 yesterday and calm. But the parkas came with us in the truck. You truly never know when the mood will change.

    what's fun is watching how the scrub pines get smaller and tougher looking as you ascend, until finally they are the size of junipers and then just disappear totally from the landscape. Some of them, no taller than I am, are said to be a hundred years old. they don't grow, they just survive.