For many thru hikers, the Whites becomes their favorite section. The views are spectacular, and the feeling of accomplishment is great when you succeed getting through each tough climb. We had awesome weather for this entire section, which is almost unheard of. I can't imaging doing some of those climbs in inclement weather. I loved the views, but this was definitely not a favorite section for me. Some of the days were confidence builders, but some were true confidence breakers. I knew it was going to be tough, but I had no idea just how dangerous it would be. Our mileage was cut in half and our exhaustion doubled.
All four of us stayed at the Lake of the clouds hut, as there weren't other camping options, other than hiking out of our way off trail to get to. This hut is the highest in elevation, and just over a mile before the summit of Mt. Washington. Longstride and Silvergirl got the last two work-for-stay slots, and Sparky and I payed $10 to stay in the "dungeon". This is an emergency shelter that is always open due to dangerous weather conditions at any given time. People who get stuck on the mountain can go there for shelter. It is a rock building with an iron door, connected to the huts basement. It was musty down there and smelled bad. I got permission to just sleep inside the hut on the floor. I was afraid whatever the smell was in there would be bad for my asthma. All other hikers followed suit, except for Sparky. He stayed in the dungeon alone, by choice, and the hut floor was littered by hikers by 9:30pm.
The next morning, we made it to the summit of Mt. Washington by 8 am. It was a little windy, and 40°. Pretty much the best weather this peak ever gets.
We had another great night at Zig Zag and Wing Wings home! I am so lucky to have made such great friends! We had good food, laughs, and enjoyed watching Squatch's film he made on the AT last year. It gave us the boost in morale we all needed at this time.
We felt much better the next day and climbed the wildcats and finished the Presidential range.
We only had 8 miles to hike to Gorham yesterday, so we took our time. It was nice to have the anxiety of the Whites off our shoulders, and just enjoy the last day through them. On the peak of Mt Moriah, we could actually see Maine! We had lunch at the last shelter in the whites, the Rattle River Shelter. There was a nice swimming hole where we all soaked our feet and knees in the cold water. This will always be a great memory.
Miles hiked: 1885.9
Miles to go: 298.3