National Geographic : 1937 Jul
FROM NOTCH TO NOTCH IN THE WHITE MOUNTAINS Photograph courtesy U. S. Forest Service DOWNWARD BOUND AFTER CLIMBING MOUNT WASHINGTON The hiker's line of least resistance is the "Carriage Road," which loops up the mountain in eighty-odd curves (page 99). This automobile route to the summit is about twice as long as the hiking trails on the eastern slopes, but many climbers prefer the road, as the grades are less precipi tous and there is no danger of losing the way in case of a sudden storm. Mount Adams and Mount Madison lift their heads in the left background. century and now about four-fifths of the high mountain area, or 1,100 square miles, is national forest-the White Mountain National Forest-while the remainder is carefully protected by the State of New Hampshire. In some portions of the National Forest lumbering is permitted, under supervision of the United States Forest Service. "We are taking about 20,000,000 board feet a year," the forest supervisor told me in his office at Laconia. Twenty million board feet! I was not familiar with meas urements of lumber; the figure amazed me. I could see the White Mountains again nearly denuded in another decade and the trees bound for lumber yards and paper mills. It was explained to me, however, that twenty million board feet is not nearly so much as it sounds, and that the cutting of this quantity in no way disturbs the beauty of the mountains; in fact it benefits the forests to thin them out scientifically. As in the case of the "White Mountains," historians are still debating just when and by whom Mount Washington was named in the early 1780's. It probably seemed only logical that New England's highest peak should honor the ranking hero of the Revo lutionary era-General George Washington. The Reverend Manasseh Cutler called it "Mount Washington" in 1784 in his report on a scientific expedition of which he was a member. PEAKS MEMORIALIZE PRESIDENTS Five years later Washington was inau gurated, and the fact that one peak bore the name of a President perhaps influenced the naming, in 1820, of Mount Adams, Mount Jefferson, Mount Madison, and Mount Monroe, also in what was later designated the Presidential Range. Barnum is only one of the hundreds of thousands who have stood on Mount Wash ington and looked north far into the wooded north country, east to the swells of the Atlantic Ocean, south into industrial New Hampshire with the lake country shimmer ing between, and west into the Green Mountains of Vermont.