Back in July of this year my hiking partner and I set out on a trip we had planned for eight weeks. It seemed simple enough at first. To hike the presidential range in New Hampshire in one day, the hard way, heading north from Crawford Notch, and to arrive at the terminus at the Appalachia lot near Randolph some twenty two miles or so away. We used two cars and parked one at each trailhead. Mount Washington, our “rockpile”, lies almost perfectly in the middle of the ridge with eleven summits jutting out along the way. This would be our halfway stop, to enjoy a half hour of rest.
Beginning the hike around 6 AM, we ascended up to Mts. Webster, Jackson, and Pierce rather easily. We met several other hikers along the way who doubted our ambitious intentions and left us to ourselves. We hit Mount Washington, our seventh summit of the day, with fine weather, around 1 O’clock PM. After a stop in the summit building, we headed out again towards Mts. Clay, Jefferson, Adams, and Madison.
This part of the trip was tough. My partner and I needed encouragement from each other to push on when we felt groggy, and tired. We finally straddled the summit of Madison, our eleventh of the day, around 6 PM. With plenty of summer light left we lounged for a while then began our descent down the valley way trail. All told it was 11 summits in 14 hours and 15 minutes. What an absolutely fabulous experience.
Submitted by Brian Othot
Hudson, New Hampshire
Wed, 03 Nov 1999