July 22, 1998

7/22/98 Lakes of the Clouds Hut

11.1 miles (1828.5 total)

Got a good early start this morning. Took a Clariton last night and it seemed to help reduce the snoring because Billy Goat said he didn’t hear me once. One of the other guests ended up giving us a ride back to the trailhead.

We expected a long climb up Mount Webster and we got one. The higher we went, the stronger the wind became. Walking along the cliff edges wasn’t dangerous because the wind kept pushing us into the mountain. Lots of clumbing that required hands. The climb over Mount Jackson (4052’) was easier. We could even see Mizpah Hut from the summit. Got to the hut by noon but absolutely no leftovers. We were bummin’. Met a few more southbounders before heading on. We still thought it might rain late this afternoon.

Crossed that road at the bottom of Crawfard Notch this morning
It was a long windy climb

Had another one of those large boulder steep stair-climbs up Mount Clinton (4310’) but it was worth it. We could see the path above treeline as it wound up-over Mount Eisenhower (4761’) and Mount Franklin. The wind now was incredible. Most of our energy was used to stay upright. Later we found out the winds were 50-70 mph with even higher gusts. You could just make out the towers on top of Mount Washington. One guy said it reminded him of the "Land of Oz".

Billy Goat negotiates the steep climbing

Even with the wind and terrain, we made it to Lake of the "Crowds" by 2:30pm. Met Adreane of the crew, who hopefully will fix us up with AYCE dinner leftovers. The dungeon is just that, a damp dark basement room with a broken door, drafty window and six grungy bunks. But, hey, we’re thru-hikers, we can sleep anywhere.

The trail meanders along the ridgeline crossing
Mt Webster, Mt Jackson, Mt Pierce and Mt Eisenhower