On Sunday, March 19, I skinned up the Cog to Clay Col, inspected Airplane (bulletproof), looked around the Great Gulf & Northern Peaks, then hiked the Westside Trail in crampons to Ammonoosuc Ravine, transitioned back to skis and linked nice smooth turns on hard-slab snowfields, down into South Ammonoosuc Ravine, then skied out the AR Trail. Weather and snow conditions exceeded all my expectations. It was a rare moment on Mount Washington when the MWObs recorded no wind, “[time EDT] 14:54 [direction] Vrbl [speed mph] 1 [visibility miles] 100.00 [sky conditions] A Few Clouds FEW060 FEW160 [air temp F] 18 [dewpoint F] 16 [humidity] 93% [windchill] NA“, a far cry from the frostbite danger on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday’s ski tours.
I started skinning up the Cog Railway at 10AM.
Cog Railway engineers believe it’s good luck to toss a coin on this landmark – I emptied my pocket of all loose change!
I reached Jacobs Ladder at Noon, time to enjoy leftover slices of Linguica & Onion pizza, from Mark catalanospizzeria.com in Twin Mountain, for lunch.
Skinning up the ridge above Jacobs Ladder, we literally walk in the footsteps of giants. After building the Crawford Path with his father, Ethan Allen Crawford built his own bridal path from Fabyans up Mount Washington. This route was later followed by Sylvester Marsh, when he built the Cog Railway, as far as Jacobs Ladder, where the tracks veer North. The original treadway of Ethan Allen Crawford’s bridal path can still be seen by a discerning eye above Jacobs Ladder. In honor of a great day on the Westside, I stopped to pay my respects to the man whom I followed this afternoon.
“He built here the first Hotel at the White Mountains, of which he was for many years the owner and Landlord. He was of great native talent & sagacity, of noble, kind, and benevolent disposition, a beloved husband and father, and an honest & good man.”