Thursday, August 4, 2022

Boott Spur Loop: 8/3/22

On a fine summer day I headed over to Pinkham Notch for one of the most scenic loops in the Whites, climbing to the summit of Boott Spur, the great SE shoulder of Mt. Washington, and descending through Tuckerman Ravine. It was a magnificent day, with a couple of miles above treeline and a late day visit to the 2011 slide on Hillman's Highway in Tuckerman.

Boott Spur Trail: those are mountain miles.


Boott Spur is an interesting and less-traveled route on Mt. Washington. It mixes rugged steep pitches with easier stretches and offers a wide variety of views. This ladder spanning a rock chimney is encountered on the lower part of the trail.

An early view of Huntington Ravine (R) and the Ravine of Raymond Cataract (L). Lion Head juts up on the far left.

Well, this is the White Mountains, after all.

This spot, 2.1 miles and 2000 ft. up from the Pinkham trailhead, is known as Ravine Outlook or Harvard Rock (the boulder on the left). It offers perhaps the best of all views of Tuckerman Ravine.

It also offers a look at the Carter Range and the distant Mahoosucs.

In this view are the next shoulder of the ridge, the crags of Boott Spur, and the upper part of the slide that Tropical Storm Irene sent crashing down the gully known to skiers as Hillman's Highway.

Huntington Ravine.

Important messages as the trail breaks above the trees.


Split Rock.


Heading for the next shoulder.

Along here there are excellent views of the Gulf of Slides.


Atop the shoulder, heading for the junction with Boott Spur Link.


Mt. Washington rises above Tuckerman Ravine and the Lion Head shoulder.

This terrace is a welcome break in the climbing on Boott Spur Trail.


The Sandwich Range in silhouette above the crest of Slide Peak.

After a steep climb, another terrace leading towards the top of Boott Spur.

The top of the Hillman's Highway slide.

Looking back down the ridge.


The summit ledges of Boott Spur (5500 ft.), reached by an easy scramble on bare rock from the Boott Spur Trail just before it meets Davis Path.


Mt. Washington looms close by to the NW.

I hadn't been up here in quite a while, and had forgotten how amazing the views are on this quiet side of Washington. This vista is SE towards Kearsarge North.

The Southern Presidentials, with the western Whites beyond.

Mountain layers, from Pierce and Eisenhower out to Lincoln and Lafayette.

Mt. Monroe. Camel's Hump in Vermont can be sen in the distance to the left.

Looking NE to the Carters and distant peaks in Maine, including several 4000-footers in the Rangeley region.


Wavy ridges in the southern Whites. All told, the summits of 36 NH 4000-footers can be spotted from this vantage.

The summit of Washington looked busy, but I had these ledges to myself for nearly an hour.


An enticing afternoon stroll along the Davis Path.

Endless vistas today.

Large cairn along the Davis Path.

Weather-beaten signs, with Bigelow Lawn stretching beyond.

Lawn Cutoff, with rough and rocky footing, heads straight towards the summit.


The view from Tuckerman Junction, above the headwall.

Descending into the ravine.


Peering down from atop the headwall cascade.

Hikers head for the steep switchback, with Lion Head behind.


The beautiful flower Arnica flourishes in the Presidential ravines.

Side view of the headwall cliffs.

Cliff and cascade above the trail, lined with Arnica.

The descent of the headwall is well-designed, but still steep and rough.

Looking up, you can see how the trail clings to the edge of the headwall.

Headwall cliffs.

The AMC trail crew did major construction on the headwall section about 10 years ago. Impressive work!

The long, thin headwall cascade.

After descending down the floor of the ravine, I had a look at the wide, partly revegetated lower swath of the Hillman's Highway slide.

From "Hojo's" near Hermit Lake I made my way up onto the big jumbled rocks of the slide.

Looking down over the lower part of the slide. A dense growth of alder is taking over.


Moon and Boott Spur crags.

View of Lion Head from the slide.

Boott Spur crags and the track of the slide (angling up to the right) from the viewpoint at Hermit Lake.

A quick look at Hermit Lake and the headwall, then it was time for the rocky 2.4 mile descent to Pinkham.


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