Select Page

One Photo, One Story: Dayhiking the Presidential Range

One Photo, One Story: Dayhiking the Presidential Range

By Michael Lanza

We scramble up the blocky talus of 5,799-foot Mt. Adams, reaching the second-highest point in New Hampshire’s White Mountains at 6:45 a.m. Pausing just long enough for a few quick photos, we drop a knee-crunching, ankle-wrenching 700 vertical feet in a mile to Edmands Col, then regain that elevation in a half-mile climb to the top of Jefferson, at 5,716 feet.

My friend Mark Fenton and I are attempting what is arguably the archetypal huge dayhike, the “Death March” of New Hampshire’s Presidential Range. Walking north to south, we’ll cover 20 miles and about 8,500 feet of uphill, tagging all nine summits along the way, from Mt. Madison to Mt. Pierce, including the Northeast’s highest, 6,288-foot Mt. Washington.

In the eyes of a hiker, the Presidential Range embodies aesthetic perfection. And the distance and difficulty hit a sweet spot: reasonable enough to be within reach for fit people, hard enough to fire aspirations. There’s simply no other hike east of the Rockies that compares to it, and few in the West with so much history and resonance.

But the Pressies Death March has a way of wearing you down physically and mentally in a sort of death by 50,000 steps. “No way we’re going to make it,” Mark mutters. I think he’s joking, but I’m not sure.

Read my full story about that adventure, with more photos and a video.

About The Author

Michael Lanza

A former field editor and primary gear reviewer for Backpacker Magazine, Michael Lanza created The Big Outside to share stories and images from his many backpacking, hiking, and other outdoor adventures, as well as expert tips and gear reviews to help readers plan and pull off their own great adventures.

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Welcome to the Big Outside

photo of Michael Lanza

Hi, I’m Michael Lanza, creator of The Big Outside and former Northwest Editor at Backpacker magazine. Click my photo to learn more about me and my blog. Click here to sign up for my FREE email newsletter. Join The Big Outside now to get full access to all of my blog’s stories. And click here to learn how I can help you plan your next trip.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This