June 2, 2017
Waking after a long but restless sleep. On my mind is hoping tge rest reinvigorates me today. Though it’s not the long hike up 6,200 ft Mt Washington, today’s hike needs to be 11 miles up and over three mtns, Webster, Jackson and Pierce, to get to Lakes of the Cloud Hut, which will give us a good start on hiking up Mt Washington tomorrow. The weather window is too good to not get it done.
After hiking up steep Mt Webster, then Mt Jackson, it appeared that the weather would be all of what was predicted, as we took time to appreciate the views and take pictures. We got to Mizbah Hut in good time and had a bowl of soup and some pastries, which were free to thru hikers, the weather seemed to change. The latest forecast at the hut was for the beginning rain to continue with a chance of snow on Mt WA. We decided to hike to the next hut 4 miles away at the 5200 ft elevation. It was a mixed bag, as we began without rain gear, then after a half mile changed into rain gear and gloves. With apx 2 miles to go, the wind picked up and the rain became more steady. Then the weather really hit, as the rain turned to light snow then hail or for frozen sleet with about 1 mile to go. With high winds, the hail was blown into our faces,, as I led us over the rocky path, leaning forward with our faces mostly downward to avoid painful pelting hail. I kept a fast steady pace and we got to the Lake of the Clouds hut, which was crowded with a full house paying guests, which gave the non heated hut a feeling of relative warmth. After our packs came off, we hung what we could to dry on hooks in the restroom and settled in with 3 other hikers: Foxtrot, Chuck, and Johnny. The hut master accepted us all for “work to stsy”, so after the paying guests had eaten, we got to help our selves to leftovers of soup, pasta, salad, rice and apple crisp for dessert. We ate til we were full, finishing all but the cold soup, which was also delicious. For work we helped clean the kitchen and in the morning we will sweep the dining room floors, before we get the 7am weather report and set out time to hike up the final 1200 ft of Mt WA.
After the guests went to their bunk rooms, we all found floor space in the dining area to set up our mattresses and. Sleeping bags or quilts. It’s quite cold but we are each grateful to be out of the weather and able to stay warm in our quilts.
As the wind howls st the predicted 25 miles oer hour, I fall quickly to sleep and feel cozy warm in my quilt and liok forward to tomorrow’s summit of Mt WA and getting to lower elevations.
I’m also now a twice daily user of tumeric, Advil, magnesium and extra strength Tylenol to keep hiking with my plantar fasciitis. No rain. No pain. No Maine.