Mount Washington – how to climb almost 2000 m not being aware of it!

written by womenofpoland 21 November 2017
How to climb the mountain peaks? 😀

I guess that for many of you the title is simply ridiculous, but that’s the best way to describe my trip to Mount Washington! 😀 The Mount is actually 1917 m and is the highest peak in the White Mountains and also in New Hampshire. My friend (Ewelina) persuaded me to this trip. She is a mountain lover so that was a regular trip for her. I was scared and curious at the same time. I didn’t have any valuable experience in this field, but she convinced me that I will handle it. I used to swim twice a day, so a lot of physical exercise is not terrible for me. I believed in myself. I put on my best sneakers from Lacoste by the ankle (sorry, but I didn’t have proper shoes), shorts and a t-shirt. You know what? I had a lot of hard trainings in my life, after which I was dying, but climbing that mountain was the hardest thing in my whole life.

Preparations

New Hampshire is a relatively unknown state in the United States. Probably, I would never come here if I hadn’t been assigned to Camp (Camp America) here. At the end of our work at Camp, we managed to catch some free time to set off on a day trip to the mountains. Of course it was Ewelina’s concept, because I wouldn’t fall for such an idea. 😀 But I agreed. We didn’t have GPS, so before we left I saved some Print Screens of the road. Getting to the Mount Washington was supposed to take us 3h – so as for a beginner driver, the route itself was quite heavy. The problem was that we couldn’t leave Camp too far. That’s why we told our superiors that we were going to the closer mountain … 😀 We only told our roommates where were we actually going… Just in case.

Well, we’re going to Mount Washington!

We got up around 8 o’clock. I know it’s a bit late, but when you get up every day at 6:30 you want to sleep longer whenever its possible? 😀 Besides, I wanted to be rested! I was aware of how hard it will be. A few minutes later we got into our Chevrolet Tahoe and started our trip.

To our positive surprise, the trip passed quickly and without any surprises! We didn’t get lost and arrive as quickly as possible. Finally, we saw the sign of Mount Waschington parking. How much we were surprised when it turned out that we have to pay for it. However, it was the entrance to the top! This time we were even more surprised because we didn’t think we could go to the top of Mount Washington by car. For a moment I wanted to do it, but seeing the enthusiasm of Ewelina, I didn’t even mention that. 😀 Meanwhile the guard informed us that as we go straight ahead, there will be a free car park with entrance to the trail. Indeed, it was!

Tuckerman Ravine Trail

Although we arrived quite late, there was still plenty of free places in parking. The journey was not as tiring as I feared, but it was all thanks to the automatic gearbox! Traveling with a automatic gearbox is really easy, especially for beginners. 🙂

The entrance to the trail was marked with a large table. There was a small table with the word “open” on it. Everything was cool, but there was another warning table- slippery stones, landslides, etc. I was a little scared, but Ewelina comforted me once again, saying that it was so dangerous only in the winter. 😀

The length of the trail is about 6.6 km. With the fact that I found it in one place – the trail is often divided into two parts. The first one is the route to the shelter, which is located at 3.9 km. The route is defined as ideal for a weekend getaway with your family. On the other hand, the rest of the trail is “for the warriors”. Believe me that if I knew that they were describing this route like this, I wouldn’t be so sure to go!! 😀 Meanwhile, I was still in bliss unconscious. All I knew was that the tour would take us about 7 hours in round way. That was true, because we did it in 7 h! I also found that usually it takes 5-9 h.

Tuckerman Ravine Trail

The first part of the trail

Mount Washington welcomed us with beautiful weather. We couldn’t ask for a better weather conditions! 😀 The beginnings of the trail are really enjoyable. We walk along a path that was probably created for those who initially want to get to the waterfall only. We also stopped here to take some pics. But without losing much time, we moved on ahead. For me, even the first part of the trail was not that easy and pleasant. Mostly it goes on the stones, which are slippery and can move. It’s easy to twist your leg here. In addition, there are no spectacular views. The dense forest surrounded us so we didn’t really see how high we were. By this time, it wasn’t that bad, though Ewelina left me far behind. 😀 I don’t hide, I walk quite slowly, but despite this “easy” and “pleasant” route I was already tired! 😛

Waterfall – our first stop

“Warrior” Part

But the real battle with weakness has begun here. Although I had more than half of the trail behind me, the real challenge has just started. The path had disappeared and in exchange for it appeared high stones, after which it was necessary to climb. Sometimes I went on my knees because it was so steep that I was afraid of my own life. 😀 I didn’t even have good shoes !!!! At least we finally got to the scenic part of the tour. Next to the stones we climbed, a small stream of waterfall flowed down. From the bottom it didn’t look quite compelling, but up it was just fabulous. In general, I thought that when I got to the waterfall, it would be over. I was already dying there. When I finally succeeded, I almost start crying. There was still one very sharp wall, without a path, lined with only moving stones.

I sat down on one of them wondering what to do. I cried tiredly, and Ewelina became my worst enemy. 😀 Well, she went to the top on her own, what was great idea, because I wanted to kill her!! I hated her so much at that time! 😛

On the way to the top!

On the way to the top!

On the way to the top!

On the way to the top!

On the way to the top!

I’m dying…

To the top!!

The Mount Washington Observatory blossomed somewhere blurry at the top. I knew it wasn’t so far away, but it was the longest way for me. I walked 10 steps and sat down again on the stone with tears. All in all, I don’t know why I cried. 😀 I had extreme emotions and I was super tired. At the same time Ewelina was already at the top, but I was sitting there and crying. Finally I got up because it would be the biggest stupidity to stop here.

Without looking up, I slowly began climbing to the top. I saw Ewelina, who was already coming down, but when she saw me she shouted that I was so close and turned back. Actually, it took 5 minutes and I was sitting next to her on the curb. I was barely conscious. Behind us cars were parking at the observatory, which can be reached for a fee. So they didn’t understand my drama that I was going through. 😛

Almost on the top! 🙂

Almost on the top! 🙂

Almost on the top! 🙂

Too tired for being lucky

I have achieved great success. Although up there, at 1917 m I wasn’t aware of it yet. It was my second summit, which I entered (a few days before, I climbed in New Hampshire much smaller and easier Mount Cube). I know that I risked going in the improper shoes and in addition without any experience. Entering the summit, with rest took me over 4 hours.

I had to go down again, which also was quite challenging. With each step my legs were becoming less stable. In addition, time was flying fast. We had to leave the tour before sunset – we didn’t have any flashlights ! While it was not a problem for Ewelina, I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to finish it.

Fortunately, we managed to safely come down in 40 minutes before sunset. Except that, small fly bite my eye at the corner, which on the second day caused a huge swelling under the eye. Luckily, I was treated by a nurse at the Camp.

Surprisingly, down here I felt more satisfied than at the top of Mount Washington. I knew it was over, and I even liked Ewelina as before. 😀 Actually, I am grateful to her, because now when I sit comfortably in the chair I feel so good that I did it!

Back at Camp

When I sat down comfortably at the driver’s seat, I moved quickly towards Camp. It was almost 7 PM, and before us there was another 3 hour trip. This time it was not as light and pleasant as the previous one. It was dark and my eyes barely see the road. At the same time, I slowed down, and so we dragged ourselves like turtles. I didn’t let sleep Ewelina because she was watching the route with me. We were driving for 3.5 hours. We came back around 10:30 PM. I only took a shower and fell on my bed. I couldn’t sleep for an hour, but finally the dream came. I had that thought in my head that at 6:30 AM I must be in the kitchen ready to work …

Let’s sum up the trip to Mount Washington

Thanks to Ewelina, I did something that I probably wouldn’t have decided in my life. I’m proud of myself, because I know that I have overcome my weaknesses on the road. I’m also glad that she didn’t tell me the truth that the trail is heavy (by the way, this is the penultimate trail on a scale of difficulty), only that I can handle it! I know that wearing sneakers on this trail was very risky, but trust me: Coming to Camp America, I didn’t think I would climb mountais. 😀 😀 Do I like to walk in the mountains right now? 🙂 Well, hard to say. It seems to me that I have the same feelings as before. If I get a chance, then why not? 😀 But believe me that after the trip to Mount Washington, for a few days I didn’t want to hear the words mount or mountains at all. 😀

If you want to grab some additional information of Tuckerman Ravine Trail – click here.

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