After my tent was all set up and my sleeping
pad and bag arranged neatly inside, I was ready to make my hike to Mt
Jackson and back. Mt Pierce would have actually been a lot shorter trip,
but I'd never been on top of Jackson outside of the winter and was
anxious to give it a try when it wasn't covered with snow. I'd also
never been on the Webster Cliff Trail south of Mizpah Springs Hut, and
was ready to explore it.
The Webster Cliff Trail leaves the hut along
with the Mizpah Cutoff, but soon veers south toward Mt Jackson, winding
over a series of small humps interspersed with numerous boggy areas
which are traversed by long stretches of bog bridges (timber puncheons).
Many of these bog bridges needed fixing or replacement. Then, just north
of the large open bog below the north face of Mt Jackson, I came across
piles of boards that had been left by the AMC helicopter, waiting
patiently for the summer trail crew to come and install them.
Further along the trail, I came to the bog
itself, which was quite interesting and different from most other boggy
or marshy areas I've seen in the mountains. I think it may be a peat
bog. Its surface was spongy and soft, and my hiking pole sank in deeply
just off the narrow lifeline of the timbered path. The views of Mt
Washington and Mt Eisenhower across the flat treeless ground were
The final climb to the summit was fairly
steep and ledgy, but the rocks were dry and the climbing was easy. I
breathed a sigh of relief when I finally made the top without a hitch.
The two times I had summited in the winter from the Webster-Jackson Loop
had been grueling trudges through deep drifts along an obscurely-defined
I spent a few peaceful minutes alone on top,
enjoying the views and the solitude, and then headed back the way I
came, ready to return to my tent and cook supper. I didn't want to be up
late as I had an early and busy day ahead to look forward to.
from the Webster Cliff Trail. From Mizpah Springs Hut, the
Webster Cliff Trail winds over a series of small humps and boggy