“It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.” Henry David Thoreau
Mt. Monroe (5382)
Trail: Ammonoosuc Ravine Trail
Date: Monday 8/2/99
Attending: Gabe, Simone, John Chicoine
Miles: 6.8 Time: 5 hours round trip with 30 minutes
(warming up) in the Lakes of the Clouds hut
AMC huts, / shelters / camping site: Lakes in the Clouds
Weather: Cloudy, 70 to 75, at the base, 20 on the summit.
Lakes Of the Clouds hut from Monroe summit
This was #22 of the 48 in our goal of having hiked ½ the 48 in our first year. This was also the second time we hiked the Ammonoosuc. Check out Gem pool There may be no more popular pool in the Whites that invites you to jump in and refresh yourself. What a tease… it’s got to be one of the coldest bodies of water I’ve ever tried to get into. I watched several people boast of how they were “going in for a swim” only to barely get their knees wet. One of these days I’ll have a picture of Gem pool with me swimming in it.
Our first time up this trail was our very first White Mountain hike ever 8/20/98. We never even tried to bag Mt. Monroe on that hike; we were headed to Mt. Washington. At that time, we thought that the bump next to the Lakes of the Clouds hut was just a shoulder of Mt. Washington. Our first time up this trail we chose not to descend this trail, but now as a bit more seasoned hikers we see that it was just a typical hike. We made it to the hut in just over 2hrs, even though the book says 2hrs, 40min. Monroe is just an easy 15 minutes from the Lakes of the Clouds hut, but on the day we chose to hike it, there were 40mph winds and the wind chill was down to 20 degrees. I didn’t have an extra jacket and I was just dressed in a shirt and shorts (Who would think we’d be below freezing on the second of August.). We only stayed on the summit long enough to snap 1 picture and back to the hut we ran; I think we learned to never hike the Presidentials without the packable jackets again.
We were glad the Lakes of the Clouds hut was there for some shelter, and some hot drinks to warm us up. Monroe was clear most of the day, except when we were on it, but the summit of Washington stayed in the clouds all day. The Ammonoosuc River was a good place for the traditional foot washing, (at the bottom, we were hot and muggy) the water was cold. All in all, it was nice to have another short hike given the 175-mile ride it takes to get to the base where the Cog Railroad starts. This was our second attempt to bag this guy. We tried it once on a day that we hiked Edmonds path to Mt. Eisenhower. We almost made it, but just 1/4-mile from the summit, we ran out of steam, and time. That was the day that we learned that even if a summit looks “just over there” it really is a couple of miles away and a 3-mile round trip.