Mt. Madison in the White Mountains

Overnight camping & hiking

September 30th - October 1st, 2011

Hey everybody, Jill here bringing you a recap of our weekend trip to Mt. Madison in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. Let's just say our trip didn't go quite as we envisioned it. The pictures below are a clue that the cold, wet weather was just a teeny little factor. Predicted intermittent showers turned into downpours Friday night and consistent rain and fog Saturday afternoon.

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Christina, Zimu, and Elisabeth Jill and Therese
Mt. Madison How was it? Cold. Cold and wet. Cold, wet, and slippery. Tag on really pretty and that basically covers the trip. When we got there Friday night it was raining, when we woke up on Saturday it was slightly raining. When we got to the base of Mount Madison it wasn't raining but little did we know :P
Bridge At first, everything was going great. Yea it was a bit foggy but that just made the whole adventure even more cool. And although you can't see it that well, the rain made the river running under this bridge look like a really great white water rafting course (if only the water was deeper).

As for the temperature, it wasn't that bad at all. Considering how much we were moving around, at one point I was down to just one layer.

We took the Great Gulf Trail, which borders the Great Gulf Wilderness, and the Osgood Trail, which is the oldest trail used to ascend Mt. Madison and is part of the Appalachian Trail.

Therese Christina
Trail Let me say now, I can run a seven minute mile, but that's if the terrain is flat. It took us nearly two and half hours to hike two miles. Trust me, the runner in me was crying loudly. However, when the trail looks like this, you can see why it might have taken us so long.
Climbing above treeline Our joy of finally getting above the tree line was incredibly short lived since that was when Mr. Rain Cloud decided to unload on us! Perhaps thirty minutes later we'd find ourselves shivering in wind, unrelenting rain and, yes, hail. By that point I was way too cold to take any good photos of the peaks. Yes I say peaks because before you reach the top of Mount Madison, you have to cross twelve mini peaks first. I think our party got past three or four before wisely turning tail and making a run for it. Getting to the top would have been cool, but not worth getting hypothermia over.
Therese, Jill, Christina, Elisabeth, and Zimu I was soo cold... just like every body else! When we finally reached the bottom of the mountain, everyone agreed that we couldn't stand another minute, let alone another night. We raced back to camp, literally tossed everything into the van, and hit the road out of there. Even with the heater roaring on high, the cold refused to leave my bones and my hair remained wet for hours! And do you want to hear the worst part? So the whole drive back to Worcester, all five hours, our van was pelted by rain. We reached the outskirts of Worcester and suddenly, no more rain! It was like the storm had done its deed and turned around back to New Hampshire.
The White Mountains are beautiful and I will go back someday to complete the hike. Our adventure was a good reminder to always be well prepared, bring more layers than you think you'll need, and turn back if the weather is bad. For now, my body has developed a natural aversion to rain.
Mt. Madison

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