Madison & Adams
When you shoot for the moon...
PeaksMadison (5367ft), Adams (5774ft)
TrailsAirline Trail, Gulfside Trail, Valley Way
Total Distance10.65 miles, 5,430ft elevation gain
TimeStart: 5:00am, 7:00 Round Trip
WeatherUndercast and frigid sun
Trail ConditionsPartially broken deep snow in the trees, textured crusty snow above.
Partners in CrimeCody, Doug and Rye
… you still end up with an epic time in the Whites.
The plan was to do a Presidential Traverse — hiking all the way from Applachia to Crawford Notch. Our best hiking mate, Doug, turned up at the call of an epic adventure. We met and dropped a car at Crawford Notch, spent the (brief) night in a hotel in Gorham, then hit the trail bright and early for a big day ahead.
Happily, Airline trail was broken, so we opted to take that instead of Valley Way. We followed in the footsteps of the kind folks who came the night before until we met their tent around first light. From there, we (and I mean mostly Cody and Doug) had our work cut out for us. The snow was deep, and we had quite the climb left. Finally, we made it above treeline where the snow was crustier from exposure, and we were treated to a beautiful undercast making our ascent seem even more dramatic.
On the climb up Madison, we braved the wind and cut a new path up to the summit. I had all my gear on and was still chilled. Rye was clearly cold, having ditched her booties. I decided I would head down after Adams, if she could make it. We had tried to bring her up there once before, but the sharp exposed rock hurt her pads and we had to take turns reaching the summit. But this time, snow smoothed over everything so I was excited to finally check this peak (which holds sentimental value to us, being where Cody proposed to me) of her list.
Rye was rejuvenated when we made it quickly back down the mountain to the hut, and we decided to push on for one more Presidential peak. The hike up Adams was stunning, and much warmer in less wind. We walked in and out of the harsh rising sun as it pushed its way over the ridge. Fittingly, Rye made it to the top first. Though it was probably my imagination, she seemed to understand that she was conquering a peak that had previously foiled her.
We said our goodbyes, and I turned back as the guys went on to complete (!!) their snowy traverse.
You May Also Enjoy
Kinsmen + Cannon Balls
Chewed up and spat out by the forest
This was a rough day in the Whites. We had plans in the area around 7pm and so wanted to fill our day with time in the mountains, when we probably would have been happier doing something shorter. Alas, we...Read more
Liberty + Flume
Ever upwards on the luge
Pretty straightforward hike up to Liberty and Flume. The trail was stable enough to bareboot it for a few miles before we got to the luge trail where many chose to sled rather than hike down, creating a pretty steep...Read more
Ladies' Weekend Mount Jackson
A frigid late start blue bird quickie
We really know how to pick 'em: Ladies' Weekend at the base of the Presidentials fell on the windiest day recorded atop Mount Washington in the last decade - 148 mph according to the Mount Washington Observatory. Plus, I had...Read more