Presidential Range – White Mountains, New Hampshire
Presidential Range, Random History – The Presidential Range in the New Hampshire White Mountains is known worldwide for having some of the worst weather in the world. And the main attraction of the range is the mighty Mount Washington. At 6,288 feet, Mount Washington is the highest peak in the Northeastern United States. And with the famed Appalachian Trail traveling through this scenic mountain range, it is a busy area.
The first recorded ascent, Darby Field in 1642, and fatality, Frederick Strickland in 1849, on Mount Washington has been well-publicized and is known among outdoor enthusiasts who play in the White Mountains. And because of the significance of these events, some of the history surrounding the Presidential Range is overlooked. So included here are a few tidbits of history about this fascinating mountain range.
Mount Washington – White Mountains, New Hampshire
Forgotten White Mountains – When most think about the New Hampshire White Mountains, the beauty of the region first comes to mind. The mighty Mount Washington rules the Presidential Range and keeps visitors of the area busy for hours. And during the winter months, ski areas offer an unforgettable view of the mountains blanketed in snow. The White Mountains are an outdoor lover’s paradise.
What I just described is tourism (camping, fishing, hiking, skiing, etc.) and it has been a big part of the White Mountains since the early days. And it has been said the historic August 1826 Willey landslide tragedy in Crawford Notch had a connection to the rise of tourism in America. Now in the 21st century, historical sites are of great interest to many, so today I am going to share a few photos of the forgotten White Mountains.
Mount Washington Cog Railway – General Area of the Skyline Switch
Cog Railway Hotel Proposal, Mt Washington – As you look at the above image can you imagine a 35 room hotel along the Cog Railway in the area you see? I know, it seems far-fetched. But the reality is the Mount Washington Cog Railway is in the early stages of “possibly” building a lodge and restaurant in the area of the Skyline switch along the railway. I am not joking, a hotel in the fragile alpine zone environment.
Public information suggests the proposed hotel will be along the railroad about a mile below the summit, near the Skyline switch. I believe the Skyline switch is in the above section of the railroad (behind the rock cairn). The included images help visualize the general area of the proposed hotel building site on Mount Washington.
Hellgate Ravine – Pemigewasset Wilderness, New Hampshire
Black and White, White Mountains – During my film days, I shot roll after roll of AGFA Scala, but now in the digital era all my black and white images start off in color and with the use of various image editing programs I covert them to black and white. Admittedly, I don’t work much with black and white anymore, but I have always enjoyed viewing black and white scenes of the White Mountains.
Here in the New Hampshire White Mountains, during the winter months, the weather can be less than ideal for creating the picture perfect mountain landscape scene. And when sunrise and sunset is less than spectacular, and the sky is overcast gray, I still turn to black and white. A colorless landscape scene can come to life when presented in black and white. Today I want to share a few black and white scenes with you, and I included a few history notes to make it a little more interesting.
Crawford Path – Mt Washington, New Hampshire
Mountain Landscapes, Presidential Range – Today, I am going to share with you landscape scenes from along the Appalachian Trail (AT) corridor in the Presidential Range of the New Hampshire White Mountains. I think its safe to say there is no other place in New England like the Presidential Range.
All of the images included in this blog article are from my medium format days (film), a time when photography was a much slower process. During the film days, I only had 15 shots to create a pleasing photo, and I wouldn’t know if I was successful at it until weeks later after the film was developed. I can’t help but reminisce about how different the photography industry is now than it was fifteen plus years ago.
Crawford Path Sign – White Mountains, New Hampshire
Crawford Path, White Mountains – Crawford Path, located in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, is the oldest continuously-used mountain trail in America. And for a period of time, it was used as a horse trail to Mt Washington. This eight and half mile historic path came to be in 1819 when Abel Crawford and his son, Ethan Allen, began building a trail to the summit of Mt Pierce, formerly Mt Clinton. Once north of Mt Pierce, the Crawford Path follows the famed Appalachian Trail corridor to the summit of Mt Washington.
The entire eight and a half miles of Crawford Path is a photographer's delight. Landscape photographers will love the bold mountain scenes, while macro photographers will enjoy the variety of alpine flowers along the trail. If a photographer plans accordingly, he or she can spend a full day shooting along this historic path.
Tuckerman Ravine – Boott Spur Trail, New Hampshire
Boott Spur Trail, White Mountains – Boott Spur Trail begins off the Tuckerman Ravine Trail and ends at Davis Path, near the summit of Boott Spur Mountain. At 5500 feet, Boott Spur is named for Francis Boott, a botanist who took part in scientific expeditions to the Presidential Range during the early 1800s. The original route of the trail was opened by the Appalachian Mountain Club in 1900.
If I had to pick my top ten favorite trails in the White Mountains, Boott Spur Trail would be on the list. Much of trail is above treeline, and the views are breathtaking! First-timers hiking this trail could suffer from view overload and will be taking many more breaks than expected to enjoy the mountain landscape.