Mount Washington New Hampshire Question

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Shepen

 
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Mount Washington New Hampshire Question

by Shepen » Wed Feb 03, 2016 5:23 pm

My reason for registering is to confirm my recollection of a trip to Mount Washington in 1975. I believe we (a group of about eight young people - early twenties at that time) took the cog railway to the summit and then decided to walk down. We weren't mountaineers and I recall that the hike down was not difficult at that time. Almost at the bottom we had a choice of going across the cog railway bridge or fording what appeared to be a small rushing creek. My wife was not fond of heights and looking through the railway ties down to the stream did not appeal to her. We climbed down a bank and entered into the frigid stream which was not as easy to traverse as I thought it would be. We managed to get across, but it was probably not the best decision. Does this recollection make sense? Was there a bridge almost at the bottom of the trail that had fairly steep bank on either side? I believe this was in the spring of the year April - May.
Sincerely,
Shep

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nartreb

 
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Re: Mount Washington New Hampshire Question

by nartreb » Wed Feb 03, 2016 10:08 pm

So, a few questions -

Was there snow on the ground? I'm guessing not, since you say the descent was easy and you decided to ford a stream. So I'm guessing it was at least mid-May.

Are you sure you followed the cog railway and not a trail? The cog isn't particularly hard to follow, but it gets steep in spots. Also you'd vividly remember walking through the soot left behind by the coal-burning steam locomotives. And you'd remember being passed by a train or three.

If you took a trail, you took either the Jewell trail (starting out north along the edge of the Great Gulf before turning west) or the Ammonoosuc Ravine trail (starting out southerly to the Lakes of the Clouds hut beside Mt Monroe before turning west).

The lower ends of the trails have moved slightly since 1975, including a couple of bridges near the trailhead, though I don't think the cog has moved at all. I mention this because the cog follows a ridge the whole way - it doesn't go near any streams except for the one crossing that's right at the base station - I mean spitting distance from the buildings, though the track actually continues below that point (to some repair sheds and whatnot). There's also a solid pedestrian bridge right there,though I think that one is relatively new.

So when you said "almost at the bottom" rather than simply "at the bottom", I wondered if you were maybe on one of the trails instead. The trails have bridges too, though they're less intimidating than the railroad bridge. Do you remember whether you were out in the open (railroad cut) or in the woods (trail) when you came to the bridge?

Placing the photo link last so as not to bias your answers to the questions. See post #8 in this thread for a recent photo taken a few feet from the buildings at the bottom of the cog:
http://www.vftt.org/forums/showthread.p ... dge-Status

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Shepen

 
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Re: Mount Washington New Hampshire Question

by Shepen » Fri Feb 05, 2016 10:01 pm

There was no snow at the bottom where we crossed the stream. My wife is not tall and her recollection is that in places the water was well above her waist.
I am quite sure we followed a trail to the bottom, basically to the trail head where we had the option to ford the river or use the railway bridge to get across to our starting point as there was no alternate pedestrian bridge at that time. There was no other way back to where our cars were parked. We must have been basically back at the base station when we crossed the stream. The area where we were at the bottom was quite open. The open areas between the railway ties on the bridge were discomforting to my wife.
Post #8 appears to be accurate minus the bridge to the right.
Thank you for helping to clarify the past for me.
Shep


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