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Return trip to Mounts Webster 3910’ 7/30/02
and Jackson 4052’

6.5 miles 2500’ Elevation gain

Kevin, Judy and Emma

Eight months into the year and Jude still needs the same eight mountains to finish her forty eight that she needed when the year started. This climb will catch Emma up to Jude, but Jude still hasn’t climbed one for herself yet this year. We have a gorgeous day, a little on the hot side. A nice mix of sun and clouds. We are grateful for the clouds as they keep the sun from beating down on us constantly. Later they begin to look like they may produce a thunderstorm, so we keep a close eye on them, but nothing materializes. Taking our time in the heat we made all the obligatory side trips along the beginning of the Webster Jackson Trail. The first side trip is to the top of Elephant Head, which offers some great views of Crawford Notch and back west toward the new AMC Highland Center, under construction. The next side path along the trail leads to Bugle Cliff. Here there are awesome views east into and through Crawford Notch. Further along the trail has a nice waterfall or two at the brook crossings. Within earshot of the second crossing the trail splits. We have not climbed the trail to the left which goes directly to Mount Jackson. Instead we cross the Silver Cascade and continue on to the summit of Mount Webster. Having gone this way before we know it is a steep climb down from Jackson and on this trip we prefer to take the easier route. This time we stop and spend some time on Webster. The views from here are outstanding. Mounts Tom, Field and Willey fill the view across the notch. There are awesome views down the cliffs to the floor of the notch. A view southeast to Mount Carrigain and the Hancocks and the view northeast to Mount Jackson and the southern Presidentials. On this day Mounts Washington, Clay and Jefferson keep their heads in the clouds. Mount Monroe pops in and out of the clouds, playing peek a boo with us. The stroll along the Webster Cliff Trail over to Mount Jackson is breath taking. Crepuscular rays reach down into the notch below us and seem to be sucking water up into the gathering clouds. From this vantage one can imagine the clouds as foam on a river, collecting around the Presidentials like foam collects around an obstacle in the river. They seemed to build out from Mount Washington. To our south the sky kept its beautiful summer day appearance, but the darkening clouds to our north encouraged us to leave Mount Jackson a little sooner than we might otherwise have. We definitely did not want to experience a thunderstorm on the side of the Presidentials, even though we were on the lowest one. The trip down was as steep as we remembered. There was no rain or thunder and lightning so it was another excellent hike. Next time we will have to climb the other way, to Jackson first. Another way would be to climb the Webster Cliff Trail, but I’m not sure I can talk Jude into that one. At any rate I still have more climbing I’d like to do on these mountains.

K(70) J(40) E(40)

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Previous Trip 10/4 /98
Return Trip 9/4-5/05