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Two Hikes in July: combined report.

July was a bit dry for gardens, but offered perfect weather for our two adventurous outings.

July 21: Mount Washington summit via Huntington Ravine Trail
Click on links in the text for photos!

On Saturday, July 21, Ed Loewenton, Nick Newton, Paul Deluca, and Cynthia Takos arrived at the Pinkham Notch Visitor Center at the foot of Mount Washington at 8:30 AM, and started up the Tuckerman Ravine trail, with surprisingly little company on such a perfect morning. Turning off onto the Huntington trail, we emerged from the treeline and climbed over the boulder gateway to the steep open boulder field on the lower half of the headwall. Halfway up, at the base of the "fan", where the real climbing begins, we stopped to catch our breath. The day was hot, and we could scarcely drink water fast enough. Nick and Paul ascended like mountain goats; Nick especially enjoyed showing off the traction of his sticky new Five-Tens. Cynthia was doing rocks for the first time, and as we reached areas that were nearly vertical and seriously exposed, she conquered her natural anxieties and met each new challenge without difficulty. The utterly unobstructed view was grander and more vast every time we stopped to look. We reached the top of the Huntington Trail about 2:30, and paused for lunch at the junction with the Alpine Garden trail, walked to the Lion's Head trail, and then straight up to the summit. That seemed like the hardest part of the day; or maybe we were getting tired. At the top, we refilled water bottles and watched the coal-burners crawl up and down the cog railway. We descended via the Tuckerman Ravine trail, a relatively easy stroll. At the bottom of the ravine, we marveled at the extensive six-foot-thick snow pack remaining from the winter. We got back to the visitor center much too late for our dinner reservation, but satisfied and happy for a perfect day and a mission accomplished.
Here is a link to a site with photos and trip reports from other people's previous Huntington Ravine trips. We'll have the photos from our trip in a few days.

Old trip reports/photos from other groups:

July 28: Mount Mansfield Summit Circuit
This is the fifth year for this trip, with the best attendance yet: Ed Loewenton, Paul Deluca, and Clare Buckley were repeat customers, and Nick Newton and Cathy Ruley were meeting the challenge for the first time. We had a mercifully cool day, compared to the previous week, for this hike which is frequently above tree line. The route led us up the Hellbrook Trail to the Summit via the Chin; then down and back up the Cliff Trail on the Stowe side to the Visitor Center, where we stopped for lunch. Crossing the ridge to the Underhill side, we scrambled over boulders along the Canyon trail back to the Chin, and then back down Hellbrook to food, rest, and loose shoes or none at all. We maintained a "civilized" pace throughout, and were on the mountain for about ten hours.

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