Following Atticus: Forty-Eight High Peaks, One Little Dog, and an Extraordinary Friendship by Tom Ryan is published by William Morrow. It tells the story of my adventures with Atticus M. Finch, a little dog of some distinction. You can also find our column in the NorthCountry News.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Tomorrow's Plans (Weather Allowing): The Northern Presidentials

What’s this, tomorrow’s plans include hiking? Finally. And what a day we might have according to the Mount Washington Observatory Higher Summits Forecast. It is supposed to be a gentle day leading into Friday night’s storms so we’re headed for the Northern Presidentials of Madison, Adams and Jefferson. The forecast is as follows:

In the clear under mostly cloudy skies. Wind chills
will range from 5-15 above zero.
Highs: mid 20s°F
Wind: W shifting S at 15-30 mph

We’ll head up Valley Way and hit Madison. That was done today. Then we’ll see what we can do above treeline, heading first for Adams and then ultimately to the difficult to reach Jefferson. Once there, if we make it, we’ll return the way we came. I hope to get an early start on the trail with boots on Valley Way by 7:00 if possible. It will be a long day with lots of elevation but it has the potential to be a great day.

Friday night’s and Saturday’s forecast calls for rain, rain and more rain. Not sure yet whether this will simply pack down the trail or create the difficult to deal with bulletproof ice we tend to avoid. If the weather is mild and the winds gentle we will head to Crawford Notch where we will meet up with an increasingly growing group who will leave some cars in the Notch and then drive to Marshfield Station (Cog Railroad) for a climb up the Ammonousac Ravine Trail. The group then will head to Monroe then continue on to Eisenhower, Pierce and Jackson. If all is right, we’ll head the other way, Atticus and I will head the other way, up to Washington, then double back and follow the group out to our waiting car near the Highland Center.

If we get the breaks we need for weather both tomorrow and Sunday, which will mean we’ve hit all the great mountains of the Presidential Range, which includes the five highest mountains in New England. Tomorrow’s hike up Valley Way would bring us to Madison (5th highest), Adams (2nd), and Jefferson (3rd). On the other hike, if it happens (it’s too soon to know what the weather will yield), we’ll reach Washington (1st) and Monroe (4th) then follow up with the three smaller peaks of the range.

I’ll get up early in the morning and check the higher summits forecast. If it looks good we’ll head towards the Northern Pressies. Gosh, it seems so long ago since we have last hiked! A week ago Monday. It will be tiring but good to get back on the trail.