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  1. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gambit McCrae View Post
    Daily Mileage thru the whites I am expecting 10-12.

    So are the huts similar? IF it is getting close to dark, dinner is over, will they allow hikers to (of a number more then what is doing work for stay) sleep on the floor? Or will they toss ya back out into the grueling storms of the night to survive and fend for yourself?
    Basically, yes. They will throw you out to the wolves if they already have their allotted 4 thru hikers doing work for stay and your not willing to pull out the credit card to pay for a bunk. If there is one available. They are under no obligation to put you up due to your poor planning or inability to do the miles required to avoid the hut. They MIGHT make exceptions if the weather is poor and life threating, but don't count on it.

    The sticky one is Lake of the Clouds. It's a long, tiring hike between the Nauman tent sites and the Osgood tent site and no good options in between except for Lakes. The only options are one of the RMC camps or the tent site down the Valley Way from Madison Hut. Both are a goodly ways down the side of the ridge and another good 4+ hours of hiking from Lakes. The Perch is the best place to head to, but it has limited capacity and fills up quickly on weekends. By the time you get there, you'd probably have to do the extra 1.5 miles to Gray Knob.
    The AT - It has it's ups and downs...

  2. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by Slo-go'en View Post
    The sticky one is Lake of the Clouds. It's a long, tiring hike between the Nauman tent sites and the Osgood tent site and no good options in between except for Lakes. .
    How many of the huts have tenting sites? Just mizpah?
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  3. #23
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    I have done at trip like this years ago. I found the Dartmouth Outing Club has their orientation trips in the area during this time. Fifteen or so freshmen with an older guide under tarps near shelters. Not necessarily a deal breaker, but something to be aware of.

    And once I did a hike thru here during Memorial Day. The motel I stayed at wanted a two-night stay minimum. I'd bet Labor Day brings similar restrictions. You didn't mention if you'd be staying overnight, but just a heads up in case of dreadful weather. I recall Velvet Rocks shelter being not too far out of Hanover, so if weather dictates, you could stay there.

    The trip you describe is a fantastic trip. Enjoy.
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  4. #24

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    Let's not forget the important stuff... Eat at Lou's Restaurant and Bakery before departing Hanover.

  5. #25
    Registered User LittleRock's Avatar
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    This might help with camping options:

    https://backpackinglight.com/forums/topic/86526/
    It's all good in the woods.

  6. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by LittleRock View Post
    This might help with camping options:

    https://backpackinglight.com/forums/topic/86526/
    I see multiple issues with the list. A large number are not "stealth sites" they are illegal sites. Some are just plain real optimistic

    Between South Twin and Mount Guyot Get water at Galehead Hut various sites. Closer to Guyot than S. Twin. THis is very dense territory or above treeline not much that is legal, better off going to Guyot Shelter

    Zeacliff Pond a short descent (steep!) to the Pond from the AT. This was the hiker shelter location in 1936. The pond is not within the Pemi Wilderness so camping is OK. This is about a mile before the trail junction for Zeacliff Trail, about 2-3 miles before Zealand Hut. Yes it is within the Pemi wilderness, if you use this reference https://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE...rdb5363715.pdf you will see that the 200 foot from any trail rules applies (page3)

    As an Alternative to Galehead Hut Pick up water at Galehead Hut. Head up the Frost Trail to Mt. Galehead. At the summit you will see herd paths that lead to some hardened sites. Within the Pemi Wilderness 200 foot from trail rule applies

    Alternative to Liberty Springs Pick up water at Liberty Springs, head up to jct. with Franconia Ridge Trail and Liberty Springs Trail. Go towards Mt. Liberty (head south) you will be outside the FPA. Go towards the west side of the trail and there are some hardened spots. A word of caution is the FS has been marking obvious camping spots in this area on and off as no camping revegetation area. No Camping on the East side of the ridge as that's the Pemi Wilderness boundary where the 200 foot rule will put you into some gnarly stuff

    Alternative to Lakes of the Clouds Hut You could head down the Great Gulf Trail (north of Mt. Washington) and find a spot. Again, you will lose some elevation gain, but it gives you a bad weather option. This one is dangerous and laughable, the GG trail drop straight down the headwall of the Great Gulf on a loose slide. The lake at the bottom is no camping and the woods around it are dense with no spots

    It skips the most popular legal alternative to Lake of the Crowds which is head down Jewell trail to treeline. Tank up on water and head into the woods, in a few minutes you will come to wide spot with fire ring to your right. Look around in the woods and you see the canopy is just high enough and open enough that you can pitch a small tent. Be very careful where you step as this area is also used as toilet spot by dayhikers. Note you can not head down Ammonuscuc Ravine trail unless you want to drop way down off the ridge as it a no camping zone all the way to near the bottom

    Edmands Col between Jefferson and Adams. This historically was an emergency shelter area, lots of flat spots, windy, dry camping above tree line. Not recommended but I've camped here. Another really dumb one unless the weather is perfect, weather and thunderstorms come in from the west and Mt Jefferson blocks the view in that direction so even though its a nice night a storm from the west can blow in and there is zero cover. Mt Jefferson being the farthest west usually get lots of lighting strikes. There is no good route to cover

    Madison Hut area Just to the East is a small lake on side trail descending into Madison Gulf. Flat areas are just past the lake, protected from winds but still above tree line and not recommended. The hut crew will instruct you to descend to the Valley Way tent site about 1 mile down to the North of the hut. Not legal as its above treeline and in Wilderness area. Also potential significant storm potential as Adams blocks the views to the west

    Another area this is legal and quite popular is the woods between Mt Pierce and Eisenhower. Its technically below treeline and there are several flat ledges in the woods.

    Note my standard caveat applies that the FS camping regs for the whites were either intentionally or accidently made confusing. Leave no trace is nice to do but not the law. So there is a list of nice things to do on page 2 but the actual places you can get fined are on the back page.

    My comments on the huts, hut crews have some latitude on visitors as they have a few spare "staff spaces" hidden away. If they are in good mood and some prior thruhiker didn't piss them off they sometimes will find more spots. The key is to approach them politely as they know the regs and are not getting conned. If you pull the "emergency trick" where you claim you are injured and cant go any further, they can offer to call fish and game who may elect to send a rescue crew and bill you for the rescue. The key thing with the huts is they get booked months in advance during popular periods. Folks plans change and bad weather or over optimistic hiking plans means folks will drop out and not show up for their reservations. Generally this happens after they cannot cancel so the space is open and food has been cooked. The hut staff then get to maximize the revenue from the space as it and the food is already cooked. In past year the crews in the huts know if there are slots open in the other huts as they do a daily radio reports between the huts. The hut crews are always looking for entertainment for the guests and thruhikers are source of entertainment to many of the guests. It may remind you of how the bears and other animals feel like in the Harriman Zoo
    Last edited by peakbagger; 02-14-2019 at 06:43.

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gambit McCrae View Post
    Daily Mileage thru the whites I am expecting 10-12. Weather was kinda all over the place first 2 weeks of September in North Mass and Vermont. How will the weather be first 2 weeks thru NH? About the same? I am expecting slightly cooler due to elevation and exposure but geographically speaking will it be cooler on top of that due to being further north?...
    Weather is more "all over the place" in NH and especially the Whites than anywhere else on the AT. The Whites sit at the convergence of three weather patterns. Often the difference from sunny and clear to wind and rain is only a 10 mile shift in a frontal system. For higher summits expect AVERAGE highs in 50's, lows in the 30's in Sept., and about 5 to 10 degrees warmer at increasingly lower elevations. Factor in wind chill at higher elevations/exposed areas. Over two weeks in Sept you could see anything 15 or so from averages. It's almost always windy (30+mph) on the ridges, but some days it's REALLY windy (like 50+mph). Strong winds will slow you down a lot in exposed areas. Even if it's a tail wind it makes the footing difficult. Any rain on top of that can pretty much grind you to a crawl or even a zero if it's real bad. Realistically, I think you need to have some scheduled "give" in the schedule for days where you might not be able (or even willing) to hike. Two full weeks of straight out good weather is pretty much unknown in NH. Typically it's two or three good days followed by a bad one or two. It might be wise to keep options open as to exactly when and where you finish, figure on taking a few zeros due to weather, and go with the flow as the weather allows.

  8. #28
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    you are giving your self two weeks from Hanover, NH. Getting to Grafton Notch Maine is very ambitious and if the weather does not cooporate it could be almost impossible. I strongly recommend you make Gorham, NH your goal. Plus from GOrham you can get a trailways bus south to Boston.

  9. #29

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    The nice thing with the whites is if things really get fouled up you can always drop down to the road on many (but not all side trails) and catch an AMC shuttle twice a day to Gorham if you get behind. This means that when you come back to go farther north you just take the bus to Gorham and catch the AMC shuttle to go back to where you came out. Its a lot more difficult after Gentian Pond in the Mahoosucs, All the trails to the north end up on Success Pond Road which is long dusty logging road that doesnt get lot of traffic. The Wright Trail to the south ends up on dead end logging road with minimal traffic except on hot nights when the locals party at a swimming hole. Otherwise its long walk to the first house and a long shuttle ride to anywhere.

    Another note is the read the shuttle info for the Notch hostel. Especially that they do not run shuttles on weekends. They have a great reputation and worth considering for a slackpack but they are not right off the trail. Its a 3 mile walk or hitch down from Kinsman Notch and very long drive/hitch from AT crossing under the parkway. Note the AT goes under the parkway with no access from the parkway. Tts dangerous area to stop on the side of the road and definitely no parking. There is a short side trail to the AT lot which is in a confusing location to some on RT3 (not the parkway).

  10. #30

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    I started to hijack the other thread so here I am with my quick plan/ trail math. I typically just start the hike with zero planning but NH has got me scatter brained...

    Take Dartmouth Coach to Hanover to begin trip.
    Hanover, NH - Lincoln, NH - 69 miles - 4 days

    Resupply in Lincoln.

    Lincoln, NH - US2 Gorham, NH - 75 Miles - 6 or 7 days (no resupply)

    Resupply in Gorham

    US2Gorham, NH to ME26/Grafton Notch - 31 Miles 3 or 4 days.

    Fly home out of Portland, ME

    Thoughts on this and ideas on how to get from Grafton Notch to Portland airport?
    AT Shuttle List
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    AT Map 1 Completion: 1818.9 Springer, GA - Franconia Notch, NH
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  11. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gambit McCrae View Post
    I started to hijack the other thread so here I am with my quick plan/ trail math. I typically just start the hike with zero planning but NH has got me scatter brained...

    Take Dartmouth Coach to Hanover to begin trip.
    Hanover, NH - Lincoln, NH - 69 miles - 4 days

    Resupply in Lincoln.

    Lincoln, NH - US2 Gorham, NH - 75 Miles - 6 or 7 days (no resupply)

    Resupply in Gorham

    US2Gorham, NH to ME26/Grafton Notch - 31 Miles 3 or 4 days.

    Fly home out of Portland, ME

    Thoughts on this and ideas on how to get from Grafton Notch to Portland airport?
    the mahoosucs won't take you 4 days. probably not 3 full ones. you probably won't do it in 2 days, but you'll be done early on day 3.

  12. #32

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    Quote Originally Posted by tdoczi View Post
    the mahoosucs won't take you 4 days. probably not 3 full ones. you probably won't do it in 2 days, but you'll be done early on day 3.
    So if I leave out of Gorham with 4-5 days left of my trip I should be shooting for Andover (41 miles) and if I am feeling sprite then Oquossoc (65 miles)?
    AT Shuttle List
    Trail Miles: 3,715.9
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    AT Map 1 Completion: 1818.9 Springer, GA - Franconia Notch, NH
    AT Map 2 Completion: 263.8 Gaps From GA - PA

  13. #33

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    For a ride home prearrange a shuttle with Trail Angels in Berlin NH http://www.trailangelshikerservices.com/shuttle.html when in Gorham and call the shuttle from the top of Speck. FOr a none thru hikers to do the Mahoosucs in 3 days is optimistic. My guess is RT2 to Gentian Pond. Gentian Pond to Full Goose and then Full goose to RT 26 (a long day). Its about a 3 hour drive to the Portland airport and its unlikely you will get a flight out that night which means an expensive hotel room at the Portland Airport or slightly less expensive hotels at the Maine mall making sure they have a shuttle to the airport. The alternative is to stay at Speck Pond Shelter, get up in the AM and hike down to the road. You should be down by 11AM. That gets you into Portland in time to catch the evening flights. To do the two and half day hike you need to make it Carlo Col the first day and then to Speck Pond the next night and the make it it down by noon.

    As you can see by the link the Portland drive is expensive, that is why many folks stop in Gorham NH and take the morning bus down to Logan in Boston.

  14. #34

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    Yep, tacking on the Mahoosucs seriously complicates things and makes it much more expensive. The Mahoosucs are not to be underestimated. It's the most difficult stretch on the AT. You'll be beat up by the time you get there. The Whites were just a warm up.

    The trail between RT 2 and Grafton is poorly maintained, to the point where you will start to question whether or not your still on the AT. At least it was earlier this summer. It's just one crazy thing after another with multiple "***?" and "Oh man, really?" moments. It's a memerable section, that's for sure.

    In any event, you definitely want to end up at Full Goose shelter for the night. That sets you up for getting through the famous Mahoosuc notch in the morning and then the equally infamous climb up the south arm. Watch out for the bog bridges at the top, slip off and you'll be sorry.

    Now if you still have some energy left and it's not too late when you get to Speck pond, you might be willing to climb the rest of the way up Old Speck and do the long decent off the north side. With luck you'll get to the parking lot by dark. But Speck pond is another one of those special places and worth staying at.

    As for getting to Full Goose, Gentian to Full Goose is a heck of a day. You really should break it up with a stay at Carlo Col, even if it's 0.3 down a steep, washed out, ankle twisty trail. This is such an interesting and unique area, you should take your time to enjoy it. I usually hike this area a little later in the fall when the colors peak.
    The AT - It has it's ups and downs...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gambit McCrae View Post
    So if I leave out of Gorham with 4-5 days left of my trip I should be shooting for Andover (41 miles) and if I am feeling sprite then Oquossoc (65 miles)?
    i getting fuzzy on the locations of those towns as they are off the trail and they can be reached by more than one road crossing. the best i can say is from rt 2 to rangely took me about 6-7 days, so 4-5 days from rt 2 leaves you a few road crossing short of that

  16. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gambit McCrae View Post
    I started to hijack the other thread so here I am with my quick plan/ trail math. I typically just start the hike with zero planning but NH has got me scatter brained...

    Take Dartmouth Coach to Hanover to begin trip.
    Hanover, NH - Lincoln, NH - 69 miles - 4 days

    Resupply in Lincoln.

    Lincoln, NH - US2 Gorham, NH - 75 Miles - 6 or 7 days (no resupply)

    Resupply in Gorham

    US2Gorham, NH to ME26/Grafton Notch - 31 Miles 3 or 4 days.

    Fly home out of Portland, ME

    Thoughts on this and ideas on how to get from Grafton Notch to Portland airport?
    Noted in a prior post in this other thread https://whiteblaze.net/forum/showthr...Take?p=2205218 you averaged 18 mpd in NJ/NY/CT section, 20mpd in PA. But you plan on averaging only slightly less, 17 mpd, Hanover to Franconia/Lincoln? That just sounds somewhat optimistic based on prior results - even if the weather is perfect. And the weather will potentially affect your schedule all through NH. I've hiked both of those sections, and while the first day out of Hanover may be comparable from a difficulty and footpath standpoint, the rest certainly isn't.
    Last edited by 4eyedbuzzard; 03-09-2019 at 15:27.

  17. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by 4eyedbuzzard View Post
    Noted in a prior post in this other thread https://whiteblaze.net/forum/showthr...Take?p=2205218 you averaged 18 mpd in NJ/NY/CT section, 20mpd in PA. But you plan on averaging only slightly less, 17 mpd, Hanover to Franconia/Lincoln? That just sounds somewhat optimistic based on prior results - even if the weather is perfect. And the weather will potentially affect your schedule all through NH. I've hiked both of those sections, and while the first day out of Hanover may be comparable from a difficulty and footpath standpoint, the rest certainly isn't.
    17 as an average from hanover to lincoln seems fine with me, though the "i'm only willing to tent" angle complicates things (ive forgotten that a couple times when i've chimed in). for reference, kinsman notch to franconia notch is about 17 miles and ive done in a day with no problem.

    franconia to gorham his proposing an average of 12.5 MPD, thats perhaps a little light. some days will be that short, but others can go longer.

    again, the inflexibility on where to camp is a mokey wrench though. but as far as covering the terrain its possible.

  18. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by tdoczi View Post
    17 as an average from hanover to lincoln seems fine with me, though the "i'm only willing to tent" angle complicates things (ive forgotten that a couple times when i've chimed in). for reference, kinsman notch to franconia notch is about 17 miles and ive done in a day with no problem.

    franconia to gorham his proposing an average of 12.5 MPD, thats perhaps a little light. some days will be that short, but others can go longer.

    again, the inflexibility on where to camp is a mokey wrench though. but as far as covering the terrain its possible.
    I agree that it can be done and that many people can do it. But I was basing my comment on his historic average of 18 mpd over some of the easiest AT sections, and assuming that represents his normal hiking pace. The 70 miles from Hanover to Franconia is a far more difficult hike IMO than any 70 mile section in NJ/NY/CT. Lots more elevation change, tougher footpath with steep (and often slippery) ascents/descents, etc. I'm just thinking that 13-14 mpd avg in the Hanover to Franconia section is probably more realistic based on prior results.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 4eyedbuzzard View Post
    The 70 miles from Hanover to Franconia is a far more difficult hike IMO than any 70 mile section in NJ/NY/CT.
    ehh, see thats where i don't know if i agree. i guess it depends on sample size. there are 3 or 4 spots through there (down moosilauke going nobo, up south kinsman going nobo, some of the area on the franconia notch side of kinsman) where the going gets very rough but i'm going to say thats... 10? 8? 12? miles out of 70. I've never really considered short bursts of very difficult being of all that much consequence to the overall pace of a multiday trip. when you're hiking 10 hours a day for several days in a row does it being hard for 3 hours at some point really slow you down?

    hanover to the skiway is a cakewalk. (18 miles or so) from after mt cube to glencliff ditto (10 miles). thats 28 of those 70 miles that are in fact as easy (if not easier) than NY/NJ/CT. smarts mt and mt cube are harder, but not monumentally difficult. the climb up the glencliff side of moosilauke is in the running for my vote for least difficult section of trail people say is hard (i think the other side of moosilauke is to blame for this). after the climb out kinsman notch until the bottom of south kinsman is also very easy hiking.

    i'll also say from my reading of his posts Gambit seems to hike at a pace similar to mine (not sure where 18 miles through NJ/NY/CT comes from, I haven't been following all of that in this much detail) so i'm guessing he could do about what i was able to do. but i wasnt trying to land at legal tenting every night.

  20. #40
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    From the descent off Mooselauke to, probably, the ascent to the Height of the Land in Rangely is some of the toughest hiking on the AT. It has the 4/5 of the steepest one and two mile sections of the trail according to Guthook. The descent down Moose, the ascent up South twin, the ascent up Garfield, the ascent up the Wildcats. From Zealand hut to Crawford Notch is a nice hike. Pretty area.

    The section between Gorham and Gentian pond is pretty nice. After that pray for good weather. I had Hurricane Harvey and it's aftermath to deal with until I got to Rt 26 so that added a day to that section.

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