Monday, March 16, 2015

One Day Winter Presidential Traverse

Here are some cool images from a one-day Presidential Traverse I did this weekend. My partners for the outing were Jesse and Jon, both outstanding endurance athletes (one of them is a sub 2:40 marathon runner and the other has twice gone under 10 hrs at the Ironman distance triathlon).

We left the car at the Appalachia trailhead on the north end of the range at 5 a.m. Saturday morning. The weather was good - calm wind and good visibility with high clouds. Our hope was to beat the weather arriving Saturday afternoon. The wind arrived as we summitted Mt. Washington, but remained mellow by winter standards there - gusts to 50 mph with steady winds in the 20-30 mph range.

With very little snow on the ridge we were able to make great time and avoid using snowshoes. We had one short sit-down break after 6 hours and did most of our eating and drinking on the go. Overall, the outing took us just under 12 hours with no running. That's an average of 1.4 miles an hour for 17 miles. It would be pretty easy to shave significant amounts of time off by bringing less and moving just a little faster. We wore mountain boots (a safe bet if you need to stop at all), brought full shell clothing and puffy jackets, and had a stove, snowshoes, and extra heavy gloves. Were I to do it again, I might wear heavy trail shoes, bring lighter shell gear, and ditch the stove and snowshoes. I would also bring a bit less food; I had a lot of food left over.

Mt. Madison, 7:50 am

Mt. Adams, 9:00 am

Looking toward Mt. Washington with ominous skies 

Summit, wind and snow have arrived

Mt. Eisenhower, 1:45?

Total time just under 12 hours

A lot of walking for a single day

My Polar Flow app showing approximate amount of activity