#5 Madison (5,367 ft.)

My favorite summit portrait was taken on Madison by my friend Clem, which is fitting given my nom de plume (or nom de trail?). Madison is also one of my favorite huts in the AMC system. On that day we hiked up the Airline under bright, warm skies. We dropped our packs at the hut and then hoofed the final few hundred feet to the summit just before dinner. The next morning, in classic White Mountains fashion, the weather changed dramatically for the worse: fog, tropical storm-force wind, rain, cold, even snow the following night and day. We had to abandon our summit attempt on Adams halfway up because the wind gusts kept knocking us down. Prone to a little summit fever, I wanted to press on, but Clem, ever sensible and cautious, urged us correctly to turn back, and we did. The mountain is still there, and so are we.


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