Saturday, July 25, 2020
Start: Valley Way tentsite
End: tentsite at Isolation Trail and Broad Brook Trail intersection
Elevation gain/loss: 8061’/8392′
I was awake at 4:40am and started out from the tentsite at 5:30am. I made it to the Madison hut by 6am, where I dropped my pack before heading to the summit of Mt Madison. I filled up my water bottles and headed towards Adams and then Jefferson. I went around Clay and then headed across the Lawn and then ascended Mt Washington, summiting by 10am.
I made quick work of the summit because there were dozens and dozens of people, refilling one of my water bottles. I then descended to Lake of the Clouds, where I refilled again and grabbed a cookie bar. I summited Monroe, Little Monroe, and then took the side trail for Franklin, where I took my first break of the day around 11:15am. I put out my tent to dry in the sun and ate the cookie bar and had a number of other snacks. From there, I headed to Eisenhower and then Pierce.
I quickly descended to Mizpah hut, where I took maybe a 30-40 minute break around 2-2:30, enjoying a delicious bean and cheese burrito and delightful conversation with the hut caretakers, Bailey and a fellow that I didn’t catch his name. They were both somewhat awestruck at the route, miles, and pace I was setting and we had great conversations about the White Mountains, hiking, racism, and native sovereignty.
After that lovely break (and filling up my water bottles again), I headed down the less-maintained Mt Clinton Trail to the Dry River Cut-off to Dry River Trail, then over to Isolation Trail. When I crossed the Dry River, I pulled over and took a quick splash; I had initially planned a swim but the water was icy! Before the trail climbed past the last water, I filled up 3 liters of water, since the campsite is dry. I made the Isolation ridge and descended along the Davis Path to the trail intersection, where I went and found a nice campsite by 5:45pm.
I set up my tent, set out things to dry, and had dinner. After dinner, I chatted with my neighbors for a bit and then hiked to Isolation for sunset at 8:20. I had a lovely time sitting on the summit, watching the sun go down, before I headed back to my camp.