July 24, 1998

7/24/98 Zeta Pass campsite

7.4 miles (1850.5 total)

After eating a big breakfast, Bruce took us back to the trail. The sun was shining but it was a lot cooler. Upper 40’s on Mount Washington, they said. After walking a mile along its base, we started the long climb up Wildcat Mountain. Lots of real climbing. The poles really got in the way. Although my legs didn’t hurt, they sure got tired.

Stopped at the gondola for a break, near the Wildcat Ski area. Only saw one family out on the trail today. Cold, windy and always threatening rain. Made it to Carter Notch Hut around 1:30pm. Finally met Obi-Wan, who was slowing down to hike with his older sister, Spinner. We all decided to do a little stealth camping near Zeta Pass. The climb up Carter Dome was relatively easy for a 1800’ ascent. The trail also took us over Mount Height where we got a good view of Washington, Madison and Adams. Found a very nice campsite far from the trail with water nearby.

Hikers prepared for the windy conditions

Billy Goat will probably leave me after tomorrow. He’s decided to slackpack for a lot of the beginning of Maine so he can finish earlier, to be with his family a little bit before he heads off to school in Arkansas.

Billy Goat looks down the steep descent