It was my first trip to the White Mountains and I'll definately be going back. I made the ascent via the Ammonoosuc Ravine Trail and had a great time with some scrambling. I also climbed Mt. Monroe and the views from the summit were amazing. Respect the weather though cause it snowed on our descent. I started the ascent with a buddy at about 9 a.m. which was a little later than we planned. The summit temperature was 41 degrees F. The average winds for the day were about 45mph. The beginning to the trail through the woods was spectacular with many crossings of the Ammonoosuc River and it's tributaries. After a steady climb we reached the Gem Pool. The cascade was beautiful and I don't think you're supposed to drink it but, I did, and the water was wonderfully refreshing. Then the steep part of the ascent begins. The trail makes a serious climb towards the col and it continues on very steeply until the tree line. Many more brook crossings are encountered and there is some ledge scrambling which was lots of fun. Once above treeline it is only a few hundred yards up to the Lake of Clouds Hut which was quite a relief for us. Inside there was lots of information and food. After taking a drink break we then ascended Mt. Monroe, via the Crawford Path. It was a fun little scramble that took about a half of an hour from the hut. Mount Monroe is my favorite of the Presidential peaks because of its solitude and beauty. I loved it and will climb it many times in the future.
"There have been joys too great to be described in words, and there have been griefs upon which I have dared not to dwell, and with these in mind I must say, climb if you will, but remember that courage and strength are naught without prudence, and that a momentary negligence may destroy the happiness of a lifetime. Do nothing in haste, look well to each step, and from the beginning think what may be the end."