10-18-07. Ethan Pond shelter (2850'). SOBO mile:347.9. 14.1 miles hiked today.
More downhill than uphill today. Just ask my knees. From Lake of the Clouds to Grafton Notch 3,760 feet were lost. From Grafton Notch to Ethan Pond shelter 1,570 feet were gained.
The temperatures warmed late last night and melted all the snow below 5000'. This made for some slick rocks but the trail was dryer at lower elevations. Fog loomed until I got below 4000'. A heavy fog, like this morning at Lake of the Clouds, makes navigating by cairns challenging. However, the trail for the most part was good and left nothing to question. It just took me watching for cairns in addition to watching my steps.
My ankle did well today and is close to being 100%. Coming down Mt Webster and then Webster Cliffs sure provided solid tests. Some parts were so steep that I dropped my poles down the incline so I could climb down. I am thankful these were not icy, snowy or too wet!
I moved better and quicker today. While there were plenty of rocks and difficult trail, it was much less dramatic than the North Presidentials. Also, I could trust my ankle a little more and there was no snow. All in all, don't count my breaks, I averaged 2mph. Not bad.
The batteries in my headlamp are nearly exhausted.
Today was tough. I hope to do 14 again tommorow, another tough day leaving 10 to US93/Rt3 to N. Woodstock or Lincoln, NH. The weather forecast from Mt Washington Observatory called for rain and thunderstorms tomorrow. The next shelter-Guyot Campsite is 9 miles from here and at 4520'.
"Does anyone know what time it is? Does anyone care?" GANDALF, the grey.
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