Participants: Tika, Ujwal, Bijay, Thakur, Dipesh, Pawan S., Mausami, Ishwar, Eyasha, Purush.
Duration 7:00 AM – midnight
Report By: Purush
Creative Support: Pawan S
The D2Hiking program has been started on June, 2007 with Mt. Monadnock as the first hiking destination. At the time of doing research of probable hiking places in New England region of USA, we knew about Mt. Adams, second highest mountain in the presidential range, New Hampshire (NH). The toughness, height and beautiful range encouraged us to do it. We couldn’t plan Mt. Adams in the first hiking due to various reasons. However, each hiker who participated in the first hiking suggested me to make this plan. Especially, Bijay encouraged me to do this so many times. Therefore we decided to hike Mt. Adams on July 14, 2007. All D2 members were emailed about the approx-15 hours/day plan. Total ten participants (seven from D2 and three non-D2) were ready for this hiking.
We left Boston at 7:00 AM and after a brief rest on the half way we reached Lowe’s Store, trailhead at Rt. 16, NH at 10:30 AM. There was no any “lunch type” food in the store except junk foods, so we drove few miles to Gorahm (NH) to buy lunch.
After taking some information at trailhead, we started hiking at 11:20 AM. The Mt. Adams was 4.7 miles far from this point. The path was really tough. We reached the peak at around 3:30PM-4.00PM. After taking rest for about half an hour, we started descending. It took around 3.5-4.0 hours to reach the bottom and the Misson was completed for the day, thanks to the good weather. However, we had to drive 170-175 miles to reach Boston. We started driving at 8:30PM and reached home safely, right before midnight.
It got me curious and enthusiastic to hike Mt. Adams when I found that this is among toughest hike in New England, tougher than Mt. Washington. Difficulty level assigned to this hike is ‘5′ on difficulty scale of 1 to 5. It is warned that some of the worst weather ever recorded anywhere on earth has occurred here, including triple-digit wind speeds. It can snow or sleet any time of the year. We started with good planning than ever before, we were prepared with emergency survival things including high calorie bar, compass, whistle, first aid kit, emergency lights, bug repellent spray, pain killer medicine etc.
We were almost one and half hour late than planned time because of long drive and unexpected logistic delay in lunch arrangements. There are several different hiking routes but we had two options to choose from: Loweis vs. Air Line trail. We picked Air Line trail because the review said this is scenic route. Parking lot was full so we have to park in RT2, we were little hesitant while doing this. We started ascend at about 11 am. We walked up to the trailhead and were greeted by a big red sign warning hikers of the possible dangers they might face in the White Mountains. A list of questions to ask yourself before ascending included: Are you properly equipped? Physically fit enough? Do we familiar with outdoors techniques? Etc. Trail started with dense jungle with light ascends. Because of the rain on the night before, the trail was slippery but it did not bother us while ascending. It was kind of nice in the jungle as we had good shade and good protection from direct sunlight. It was like walking in green tunnel for about 3 hours.
As this mountain was new for all 10 of us, nobody knew how the upcoming trail is. All were very anxiously waiting for scenic views. All of were commenting about the review which said that this is very scenic route. We did not see anything except dense jungle and trail full of dangerous stones and tree roots. We were expecting some scenic point for lunch but we gave off the idea because all of were very tired and hungry, upcoming scenic point did not lure us. We took lunch and quick break in middle of the jungle. We brought up lunch (wrap, coleslaw, fries) with us from nearby KFC (Kentucky Fried Chicken).
As we hiked half hours after lunch, dense jungle part was over and we were in open rocky part of the mountain. This was the scenic point we have been anxiously waiting for. The view was worth walking three hours. We waited about 15/20 minutes enjoying the view. Vegetation was limited to a few types grass, moss and lichens along with precious alpine vegetation, which is very unique of the White Mountain area. There are several warnings posted to take care of the alpine vegetation and stay in trail but some of us did not exactly follow it.
Because of excellent weather and breathtaking views, rocky and tough hiking trail did not bother us. All seemed smiley and happy and taking countless photos. We went through several round of photo session in all ‘Vista Points’. When one if posing for photo, at least 4 cameras capture photos from different angles, just like celebrity! We had lots of fun there.
Other funny part, Tika brought up one state of art instrumentation device, giving direction, temperature, humidity, altitude, latitude, longitude, distance to destination, whistle, mirror, magnifying lens, torch light and many more… huh…ALL-IN-ONE device. It was interesting to hear various questions coming to Tika during the excursion.
Finally we were able to see the top of Mt. Adams which motivated us to hike quickly and conquer it, but the trail was not easy, it looked like pile of big rocks. Trail was not clear either, which is evident from the photos. Because of oldest igneous rock, no foot trails could prevail so we had to follow the stone marks and some posted directions. We saw direction for Madison Hut which is managed rest area for hikers. This was about 0.2 miles left from our hiking trail. We were expecting soup and plenty of drinking water there but we decided not to go there, instead we headed directly to the peak.
Top of the mountain was all rocky without any artificial construction. Most of us were expecting something extra. Probably all, definitely I, was expecting at least drinking water in the way to the peak but we did not find any so we all were very thirsty. We saw peak of Mount Washington and many other mountains of the White Mountain range from the peak. Motor road going to Mount Washington peak was very clearly visible which reminded us the Kathmandu-Naubise road. Breeze of cold wind helped us to dry out all of our sweat accumulated from ascending. We spent about half hours to 45 minutes enjoying the panoramic view. We shared some dry fruits as fuel for descend. As it was already 4 in the peak, we were rushing for descend. We wanted to stay more in the top and enjoy the 360 degree view of presidential range.
We again picked Air Line trail for descend. Descending was tougher but was not tiring as ascending. Because of slippery rocky trail we had to be very careful while descending. Eyasha got some scratches in her ankle because of slippery trail, first aid kit helped her to get quick relieve.
It took almost the same time for descending as it did take for ascending. ‘YAHOO!!’.. We made it!! .. just before dusk, what a perfect timing.
This was first weekend of my US trip in 2007. Saturday morning started with lots of excitements and imaginations about Mt. Adams hiking. Driving 3 hrs to reach to hiking-base was not that fast. After we reach the base and had to manage few calories to climb, it was combination of almost everything: heating and cooling, running and slouching, exciting and exhausting, jumping and stumbling and many more… Comparing to Mt Washington that I hiked 3 yrs back, it defeated my imaginations. I thought it would be simple, it turned out to be very tough; I thought hiking trail is widely open, but we could merely see 100 ft far because of dense forest for about 3 miles from the base. I imagined we will enjoy hot coffee in the mountain peak; there was not a single grass for about a mile from the peak. Everything was very different from imagination.
“Wow… I ultimately made it”, a black dog was taking long breath after reaching the peak. I nodded too. Coming down to base was another challenge to save from curly grass-roots and sharp edged stones over the trail. Each of us had to focus on the trail almost every second to save from injury. I looked and said bye to Mt Adams with more respect from the base when I was returning back. It looked easy to me before climbing. I enjoyed every seconds of the hike except the 3 hrs drive while coming back to Boston. I don’t know if I will climb it again, but I still have the whole picture to salute in my mind. When it was about to disappear from my sights, I asked to Mt Adams “Can you please teach me how to stand and be adamant like you?”
Hiking planning and preparation was very well organized. No one in our group had anticipated Mt. Adams would be extremely tough for climbers. Many of us had climbed Mt. Washington, the tallest mountain in the American Northeast, few times and the group thought Mt. Adams would be relatively easy to ascend. The Mt. Adams is only 5,774 feet tall compared to 6,288 feet tall Mt. Washington. For those of us who had conquered Mt. Washington several times, we thought that Mt. Adams would be an easy climb. To our dismay, Mt. Adams turned out to be one of the toughest hikes so far for many of us. The trail was extremely steep, rugged, and dry towards its peak. Climbers were sweating and breathing heavily with some fatigue. However, jokes, personal stories, temporary rest, and constant pose for photographs on this beautiful trail reprieved us for ascend. The team drank all the water while ascending with anticipation that drinking water would be available at the peak of the mountain. Mt. Adams turned put to be dry with no drinking water. While descending the mountain, the team was very thirsty and to get drinking water, the team had to descend for 3 hours to the base. The team talked about importance of ubiquitous water at the time of need.
A few important business lessons can be drawn from the team’s Mt. Adams expedition. First, do not underestimate task ahead of you. Some tasks are not relative. Second, do not use up all the resources anticipating more will come on the way. Third, do not take anything for granted. Every component of business settings has its own importance. Fourth, lighthearted spirit at the work place motivates employees, help sail through rough times, and help attain desired goals.