This is either Nick Briere or Wiliam Henriques the names of two new hut croo. For the first time in several years the hut system experienced a low turnover rate as veteran croo members opted not to return this summer probably due to the economy. Emmet Pruss, one of this years "rookies" (meaning first year croo members), said that somewhere around 28 croo did not return this summer creating vacancies (which have been filled) and an odd balance between new and old. The norm is to have a half dozen, or so, new positions open up in the system each summer as older croo move on to other occupations as they leave college, etc.
This, too, is either Nick Briere or William Henriques, or for that matter it might be neither. I'm guessing, obviously, and will, at some point get the names correct. Emmet, mentioned above, like his three hut mates was also packing out an awkward load of flattened card board boxes, the last vestiges of "opening" when the summer stock of staples ( a lot of canned goods and "dries" as in sugar, flour, etc), are both flown in by helicopter and packed in by croo members.
My first glimpse of the new Madison Springs Hut. It was officially opened last June just in time for the summer season. It has the profile and details of the old hut but with a lot of up-dated amenities like the composting toilets, a lot more windows, and reconfigured bunk rooms which make it more sustainable on several levels.
Madison Hut's sexy new dinning room with a wrap-around view west and north (perfect for watching sunsets while finish your dessert).
At 10 am the weather was still a bit brisk with a raking wind. The clouds were still clustered around the summit of Adams. We hooved-to in the hut, taking a leisurely tour of the spangling new features like the spiffy new croo room and talking briefly with Corliss Gross, also experiencing her rookie year, who was cook for the day. Madison, compared to the other huts, has the distinctive "feel" of an alpine hut, a mountain refuge. I think I've said this a number of times in the blog, but even with a newly designed, up-dated hut it still has that charm which is fortified by the sharp, high peaks that tower around it.
By 11 am the clouds had lifted and the temperature inched up a few degrees. To stay out of the wind we chose the Star Lake Trail (SLT) to reach the summit. It's steeper than the alternate route from the hut; a combination of the Gulf Side and Adam Slide Trails.
Across this col, part of which is called the Parapet, just south of the hut, the wind really wails and on Saturday the wind made it difficult to stay balanced. Liz had to lean back into it. Mt. Adams is in the background to the left with the summit roughly 1000 feet above where Liz is standing.
Mt. Washington in the center rear of the photo just visible in the small notch.
The east face of Mt. John Quincy Adams (JQ Adams) which is steep and littered with some astonishingly large boulders that make it a great playground for "bouldering".
|Also, Ledum groenlancia, or Labrador Tea, is already blossoming and is a little earlier than more exposed areas and closer to the hut.|
Bunchberry, Cornus canadensis, is already blooming here.
Looking back down at the summits of J.Q. Adams and Madsion and you can still see Star Lake.
|This is another view of what could be described as a rock climb, although an easy one, because there are opportunities for jam cracks, fist holds and lay backs, etc. It's like Yoga!|
|Liz enjoying the scramble up the rocks.|
Mt. Sam Adams.
|Mt. Abigail Adams.|
|Madison Spring Hut tucked into the flank of Mt. Madison.|
The view north from the front door of the hut.
|This small, idyllic "pasture" is, perhaps, my favorite place in the White Mountains: a great place to read, daydream, or take a nap.|
|Near the bottom of the Valley Way and next to Snyder Brook.|