We stopped at a lookout that features quite possibly the most beautiful views of Tuckerman Ravine. Opposite of this, we also scored a gorgeous view of Wildcat mountain! After our mini stop, we continued to climb up to a point where we were officially above the tree line -- what an incredible experience! As the elevation (and us) climbed, we eventually reached the top of Boott Spur, which led us to the Lawns around Mount Washington. This somewhat flatter terrain was much appreciated as we continued on our route!
The size of some of these cairns was unreal!
All in all, it took us around five hours to hike it up to the summit, including breaks and lunch. It was extremely clear at the top and offered miles of views. Surprisingly, it wasn't too chilly, however we did throw on some extra layers. We explored the museum and the tip-top house, and then found ourselves noshing on some delicious pizza in the cafeteria. As much as I really, really wanted to take a picture with the summit sign where is states the vertical square feet, there was a line to Jupiter of people waiting (busy weekend!), and we had to start our hike back down to get in as much day hiking as possible. So this pretty picture in front of the Cog Railway will have to do (:
Descending the mountain, as expected, was quite a bit more difficult. All of the trails are completely rock, and VERY steep! We originally planned to take Lion's Head down, but decided last minute that Tuckerman Ravine (4.1 miles) would be a better option due to lack of daylight. Hiking down the bowl was tricky, however once we hit the tree line, it flattened out a little making it much less rigorous.
We did eventually run out of sunlight and hiked the last hour and a half (2.4 miles) in the dark back to Pinkham's notch. All in all it took us 3.5 hours to descend.