Mt. Jefferson, New Hampshire

March 11, 2006.

11 mi | 3000’ | 9:30 hr.

Boundary > Caps Ridge > Jefferson > Gulfside > Jewell

Anthony and I met up with Frank and Lindsay at the Cog parking lot this mild morning for a winter attempt up Mt. Jefferson. Due to the high winds forecasted for the day we strayed from the original plan to hike over the castles to the summit.

We walked out to the Caps Ridge trail from the base of the Cog, taking the scenic route as we missed a turn near the start of the hike. Frank was having ankle problems and was moving slowly. Eventually, a liner sock stuffed into his boot provided a fix that lasted the duration of the hike.

Once on the Caps Ridge we encountered some serious deep snowdrifts, which we stubbornly bullied through sans snowshoes. We were too lazy to take them off our packs. We took turns breaking trail until the ridges opened up and spit us out onto the first of three Caps.

The Caps were covered in slick, patchy ice, which made the ascent tricky and very slow. Another group of people caught up to us and at this point and decided to join us for the rest of the hike.

Eventually Anthony smartened up and put his crampons on, so the rest of us followed suit. This made walking infinitely easier. We headed up towards the summit, eventually leaving the trail markers behind and just took the best-looking way to the top.

It wasn’t all that windy up there but it was gorgeous. We took one quick break before reaching the top. Everyone arrived eventually, one at a time. Instead of waiting for the whole group to reach the summit, a couple of us headed back down out of the weather to warm up.

I was feeling pretty tired and hungry, so the walk out was slow. We took several breaks on the way. It was a long day spent with good friends and beautiful weather. What a way to say goodbye to winter!

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