On Saturday we decided to hike Mount Eisenhower (4780 ft), located along New Hampshire’s southern Presidential Range. It was perfect fall weather (in the parking lot) and the snow capped peaks of Mt. Washington and the southern Presidential Range looked pristine against the blue sky. While we knew the summit would pretty much be covered in snow, I completely forgot to pack crampons. So with just ski poles and hiking boots (and the right wind and warm layers), we made our way along the snow lined path. While we had to maneuver around some (well, quite a few) icy patches, the people we passed coming down did say the summit was ice free. Once above tree line and two hundred feet from the summit, the winds gusted between 35 – 40 MPH.
As I watched a couple descend the final rocky pitch the led to the summit, I asked them if the summit was a rocky cliff or ledge (or had huge cravases pitching off the boulders, ran through my mind). They assured me it was a flat open space (so my paralyzing fear of heights were laid to rest just a wee bit), but the wind was blowing close to 40 MPH. Got it. As I looked at the last 100 yards or so, I wondered if I would make it. The actual summit always seemed to be out of view. But there was no turning back now. Bagging any peak above tree line, I know will always be a huge challenge for me, so to come this far, I had to make it. And I did.
I highly recommend this hike and rate it as being fairly easy that affords you amazing 360* views. Just do it in the summer, if you’re not a windy-snowy-icy-better-wear-crampons kind of person.