After one of the most uncomfortable, sleepless nights I have ever experienced (long story) we set off early the next morning to hike the traverse to the Mizpah hut. Please see my previous post for Day One. As you can see in the above photo, it was foggy, but the mist lifted after a couple of hours.
This is what the trail, the “Crawford Path,” looked like for a good part of the hike. Big gnarly boulders. No room for error. We pressed on.
When it cleared, we could see Mount Eisenhower looming on the horizon. We elected to take the bypass trail instead of going up and over it. Big mistake. The bypass was as annoying as they get and we both swore like sailors during most of it.
Then it was up and over Mount Pierce. By this time, I was getting pretty tired, but we had no choice but to keep going.
Finally, we began our descent to the Mizpah hut, but the last mile or so of the trail was as tough or tougher than anything we had done that day: steep, rocky and very tricky footing. People who hike the White Mountains regularly are used to these conditions and scamper down like goats. It took me a lot longer. The above photo looks back up the trail, which doesn’t look nearly as challenging (for me, anyway) as it was. Notice we are back below the tree line.
At last, after seven hours, we arrived at Mizpah hut. It was an amazing day on so many levels, and I will admit that there were a couple of times when I wished I were somewhere else. But it was so worth it in the end.
In my final post: the plants of the alpine zone.