Friday, August 13, 2010

Above all New England

  MOUNT WASHINGTON, N.H. - Here at the top of the Northeast's biggest peak, it gets a little crowded, even on a Wednesday.
  But what a view.
  You can see many of the state's 48 4,000-foot peaks, as well as a few of Maine's 4,000-footers. Somewhere out there, we think we see it, is Old Speck Mountain, Maine's fourth-highest peak, which I climbed just four days ago. Katahdin, which I climbed two days ago, is too far north to see.
  There's a road to the top of Mount Washington, which at 6,288 feet is home to the highest recorded wind speed ever in the world, over 200 mph. So the road brings many people, as does the cog railway. That's me at the top in the photo.
  Former Durangoan Jeff Novotny and I took the trail, the Tuckerman Ravine route, a famous backcountry skiing hangout used heavily each spring. We gained more than 4,000 feet in just over four miles. It's tempting to hitch a ride back, but the sign says not to.

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