9/7 Mizpah Hut Camping (13.8)

October 16, 2013 at 1:15 pm

IMG_20130907_164740_502Today we actually made it out before Ash and LOBO, although we didn’t by any means get an early start.  The first few miles of our day were a huge relief after the Franconia range.  One of the nicest trails in the region, Ethan Pond Trail is a forgiving, flat descent.  We reached Crawford Notch quickly and began our ascent up Webster Cliffs.  The climb was one of our steepest yet, but the exposed ridge that it followed up made it one of our most scenic climbs as well.

IMG_20130906_175903_694We climbed hand over hand up the first section of rocks and almost immediately had a gorgeous view of the notch and the Franconia range looming behind it.  With each new level of ledges that we reached, there was a more and more expanded view than we had previously had.  At the top of Webster Cliffs were some incredible camping spots and it took a lot of will power to keep going instead of staying and watching the sunset.  We have decided to take our time getting to Katahdin now, but we also know there is weather coming in soon and that will make a big difference on top of Mt. Washington.

IMG_20130907_170624_156

Mt. Washington, as most people know, is the most dangerous climb of the Northeast due to the extreme weather conditions that its topography and geographic location inspire.  Bearing this in mind, we were eager to at least make it as far as Mizpah hit, which is the last hut before treeline.  We made it shortly before dark, just as it began to sprinkle on us.  There was no work for stay at the hut (something the White Mountains try to offer thru hikers, although it usually falls through) but our neighbors at the campground there had a large bottle of whiskey that they didn’t want to drink alone.  That was certainly enough to make us happy campers; There is nothing better at this point for our disintegrating knees.  The staff of Mizpah did offer us their dinner leftovers in exchange for some dish washing, so we made out with two dinners tonight!  We stayed up late talking with the two guys at our campground and fell asleep to the sound of a light rain on our tent.

IMG_20130907_165208_626A storm system swirling over Washington.