Sunday, July 10, 2016

AT 2016 -> Days 87-104 (6/23-7/10) (miles 1,593-1,870)

I'm writing from Gorham, NH about 40 trail miles from the Maine border.  The past 5 days in the White Mountains of New Hampshire have been very challenging and rewarding (with still more to come).  The terrain is the toughest of the entire trail, rugged, rocky, steep, but also beautiful.  Each climb tops out above tree line (a rarity on the AT!) with views of surrounding peaks and valleys.  Two sections of trail (Franconia Ridge & the Presidential Range/Mt Washington area) stay above tree line for extended distances.  The weather has been ideal for this section, but I can see how people can get into trouble up here when storms move in.  In one word I would describe the Whites as - relentless.  Vermont by contrast was mostly below tree line, very lush and green.  Up next, Maine!   

Entering Vermont, the AT and Long Trail share the same path for 100 miles until Maine Junction.

Beaver Pond in VT
Stratton Mtn VT lookout tower

Little Rock Pond, VT


Hanover NH

Climbing up Mt Cube NH

Camp along Brackett Brook, NH

Ascending Mt Moosilauke NH

Summit of Mt Moosilauke, mile 1,796

Ascending Kinsman Mountain, steep

Eliza Brook

Lonesome Lake

Summit of Mt Lincoln looking toward Mt Lafayette - Franconia Ridge section

Summit of Mt Lafayette looking north

Early morning atop South Twin Mountain

Summit of Mt Guyot looking south

Zealand Hut - Appalachian Mountain Club huts are located throughout the Whites and are very expensive to stay at.  They are open to the public though, and hikers can fill up water bottles and purchase snacks at the huts.

The bunks of Zealand Hut

Thoreau Falls

Climbing up to Mt Washington from Lake of the Clouds Hut

Summit of Mt Washington, mile 1,856

The tourist train on summit of Mt Washington

Above the clouds between Mt Washington and Mt Madison, very rocky trail

Mt Madison with Madison Hut in the foreground, the AT descends to the hut then climbs up and over the peak

Descending out of the Presidential Range to Pinkam Notch