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Trip 20 Mount Jefferson 5716’, Mount Adams 5799’,
and Mount Madison 5366’

8.8 Miles 3850’ Total Elevation gain

Dan, Joan and Judy take Lowe’s Path
Steve, Jenny, Joey, Kevin and Emma take Caps Ridge Trail

We meet at Appalachia on Route 2 in Randolph, where we leave our car. We all pile in the van for the short trip up the road to the Lowe’ s Path. Having been to the summit of Jefferson before, Dan, Joan and Judy opted not to make the three peak traverse, their only goal being to meet us on Mount Adams. Being me, I didn’t mind at all a repeat visit to Jefferson, and Madison too, if I could get it. We take the van down Route 2 and get on Valley road and then onto the Jefferson Notch Road, which takes us to the Caps Ridge Trail trailhead. Although everyone in our group had been to the summit of Jefferson before, the idea of crossing the three Presidentials appealed to me, and Emma didn’t have any of these peaks, so the choice for me was obvious, plus I was hoping for some views from Jefferson this time. The sun was out and shining for us as we started out, but we soon were looking down on clouds around us, and as we gained elevation we lost the sun and disappeared into the clouds ourselves. When we did summit Jefferson it was completely socked in, again. Oh well, there was a lot of hiking to do, so we moved on. The mist was getting really thick now and the Ripleys fashioned rain gear out of trash bags, which kept them dry. Luckily it was warm and the weather was not a real factor, except fifty foot visibility. Didn’t see many people on the trail, but there were some through hikers on the AT. What a lousy place to run into poor visibility. In my opinion, the Northern Presidentials offer the most rugged beauty in the Whites. At least I can go back anytime I want, probably not so for the AT hiker. After what semed like a very long time we came to a sign that said Thunderstorm Junction was to our left. Here we turned right to head to the summit of Adams. As I was climbing along this trail I became aware of other voices in the fog and soon realized it was Joan. Though we expected to meet up near the summit of Adams, it was still strange to hear a familiar voice of someone who was not with us, on the top of a mountain in heavy fog. We soon reached the summit where Jude was waiting for us, wondering if she was on the right summit, or even on the right planet at the point, having been waiting for us for some time, and beginning to get cold. After some quick food and water we all climbed down together to the col between Adams and Madison, where the AMC Madison Hut is nestled. Joan, Jenny and Dan took in the hospitality of the hut while Judy, Emma, me and Steve and Joey made the short climb from the hut to the summit of Madison, Judy finally making it on her second attempt. After regrouping back at the hut, we all took the Airline Trail back down to our cars. We still had to drive back over to Jefferson Notch to get the van, but it made for a great hike, even without any views. We must return in good weather.

Mistakes on this trip.) The one thing we should have been more cautious about was the weather, as we were exposed on ridges all day, and could have gotten into real trouble if it had rained hard or there had been high winds or lower temperatures. We lucked out, but we were definitely tempting the mountain gods to be unforgiving.
K(34) J(26) E(11)
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Next Mountain
Jefferson and Adams 7/4/08
Previous Trip to Jefferson 9/21/98
Previous Trip to Madison 7/20/99