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  1. #61

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    Quote Originally Posted by tdoczi View Post
    i see theres a trail from the AT to the dry river campground? whats that trail like? 2.5 miles versus 1.6 miles might seem like not a big difference but ethan pond is a lot higher than the notch so that extra mile is all steep downhill.
    I was afraid there was going to be a steep decent, but it was pretty gradual. I did the 2.5 miles in about an hour. But we were in a rush to get to the road before dark.

    I had meet a thru hiker at Zealand who needed to get to the Gorham PO for new shoes and was trying to figure out how to get there. (The shoes he had on were in rough shape and would never make it through the next few days) I told him I had a car at Crawford and would pass through Gorham on my way home, so I'd give him a ride. We got to Ethan Pond with some daylight left and a forecast of rain moving in overnight and all the next day, so we decided to book it to the parking lot.
    The AT - It has it's ups and downs...

  2. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slo-go'en View Post
    I was afraid there was going to be a steep decent, but it was pretty gradual. I did the 2.5 miles in about an hour. But we were in a rush to get to the road before dark.

    I had meet a thru hiker at Zealand who needed to get to the Gorham PO for new shoes and was trying to figure out how to get there. (The shoes he had on were in rough shape and would never make it through the next few days) I told him I had a car at Crawford and would pass through Gorham on my way home, so I'd give him a ride. We got to Ethan Pond with some daylight left and a forecast of rain moving in overnight and all the next day, so we decided to book it to the parking lot.
    i dont remember it being steep either but the elevation profile begs to differ. its been over 10 years but my recollection is that it was more or less flat all the way from zealand falls hut but the profile i'm looking at shows a drop of about 1800 feet in roughly 2 miles. i really dont recall that section of trail at all i guess.

  3. #63

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    Quote Originally Posted by tdoczi View Post
    i dont remember it being steep either but the elevation profile begs to differ. its been over 10 years but my recollection is that it was more or less flat all the way from zealand falls hut but the profile i'm looking at shows a drop of about 1800 feet in roughly 2 miles. i really dont recall that section of trail at all i guess.
    I did that trail about 10 months ago, so my memory is pretty fresh. The last bit down to the Willey road was a bit rocky and eroded (what trail in NH isn't?), but it wasn't exceptionally steep. I was afraid we'd have to climb down another cliff like we did several times that day and was pleasantly surprised they didn't try to kill us.
    The AT - It has it's ups and downs...

  4. #64

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dogwood View Post
    One can organize their days to not always take that big a elev hit by camping at the routes low elev profile pts or where legally, camp high.
    Good tip you received organizing your trip using a hang as shelter. +1 Makes it much easier with some forethought to find camping spots. You will not continually be above treeline. When I first saw a hanger carrying a hammock I knee jerk thought he was crazy until I spent some poor nights with rocks in my back, more $$, and being among the other smelly tin packed sardines.
    You can camp high by staying at the AMC campsites, some of which are pretty high. Other then that, no. We are not going to discus illegal "stealth" sites, of which there are only less than a handful along there anyway.

    If you hang, you still have to stay at the designated campsites, but that could get you off a tent platform with 2 other tents on it, but maybe not at all sites. Once your above about 3500 feet your into the dense pine/spruce/balsam forest and hanging in short pine trees that are all 2 feet apart is not practical. To hang you need to be down in the hardwood forest.

    The tough section is Mizpah to Osgood since that is all above tree line. The only options are Lakes, Madison hut or one of the RMC camps and Valley way tent site. The last two options require dropping 1000 feet off the ridge line.
    The AT - It has it's ups and downs...

  5. #65
    ME => GA 19AT3 rickb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by peakbagger View Post
    I don't see any state specific regulations listed for Crawford Notch State Park with respect to camping. My experience several years ago with undeveloped state park lands in other parts of the state was that dispersed camping was allowed unless specific noticed. Camp fires on the other hand were not. Given that Crawford Notch State Park is entirely within the declaration boundary of the WMNF. It would be interesting to see if the WMNF 1/4 mile from roads rule would apply as the land is actually owned byt . I am unsure if I have seen the typical WMNF RUA sign on trails in Crawford Notch State Park although its not something I actively look for. I have see RUA signs on Old Bridal Path at the boundary between Franconia State Park and WMNF. I expect the state has rule somewhere they can use if it becomes and issue.
    Signs in the WMNF sometimes better reflect the spirit of the regulations, than the regulations themselves :-)

    As for NH State Park camping restrictions, here is what my Google Fu turned up:

    http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/rule...s/res7300.html

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    Last edited by rickb; 03-12-2019 at 11:57.

  6. #66
    ME => GA 19AT3 rickb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tdoczi View Post
    i see theres a trail from the AT to the dry river campground? whats that trail like? 2.5 miles versus 1.6 miles might seem like not a big difference but ethan pond is a lot higher than the notch so that extra mile is all steep downhill.
    A bit steep going up with a heavy pack, not so steep going down (no hands or hyper focused mind needed).

  7. #67
    ME => GA 19AT3 rickb's Avatar
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    Or hike directly into the AMC’s Higland Center, and back to the AT on a relatively gentle blue blaze.

    You would miss the fun of the Webster Cliff, but there ar pros and cons to everything.

    Shapleigh Bunk house has showers and you can enjoy the amenities of the big building (real meals but not included in price, I think) and an amazing Brad Washburn (SP) photo exhibit in the building next to it. Still there, right? You would want reservations even for the bunkhouse.

    If raining and you time things well, shower up and hitch to the Mount Washington Hotel for an expensive brunch — and show them the kind of damage a real hiker can do to thier bottom line. Not sure if mimosas are included...
    Last edited by rickb; 03-12-2019 at 12:33.

  8. #68

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    great plan
    "It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is most adaptable to change". Charles Darwin

  9. #69
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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?

    These huts have got my gears really grinding. I do not want to reserve a spot at the lakes and then be subject to having to keep that schedule. I am sure it is, but if I had my wish, I would walk all of the whites without using a single hut, and without having to climb 1000 ft down just in order to sleep. The rocks in PA, and the mud in VT have taught me that hikers amplify the actual severity of things for most situations. I understand that some times the mud may be terrible in VT, but I proved that it is not always that way as I had no issues with mud. 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?
    Quote Originally Posted by Gambit McCrae View Post
    tdoczi let me clarify the only willing to tent. I will not pay to hop from hut to hut every night. I will stay at shelters, or tentsites. I would prefer to sleep in my tent every night, but if logistically a shelter space is the only space, I am not above it, I just really prefer my tent. I am open to spending 1 night in a hut and figured from others comments that Lake of the clouds hut is the hut you wanna pick logistically.
    As others have stated the weather in the Whites is all over the place due to the location and how the air masses react with each other in that area. One big thing I noticed is that on most of the AT clouds are not an issue as they are usually up in the sky, but in the Whites a lot of the peaks are in clouds and it gets cold up there. You can literally be walking in a valley with it mild and sunny only to ascend into a cloud where it's in the 40s with a stiff wind. Mt Washington in particular can be very fickle if you hit it when it's in the clouds, which I think is most of the time.

    As for the huts, I'm not sure what your opposition is but to each his own. I was very averse to the huts until I stayed in one (I also like my privacy in my tent), and it's just a much easier way to go through the whites in my opinion...but again to each his own. I think your plan of staying at Lake of the Clouds if you are only going to do 1 hut is a good one. It's about 15 miles between the tentsites (Nauman an Osgood) on either end of that ridge, and that hike is tough. Add in the X-factor of potential bad weather and it might be really tough.

    In regards to rolling into a hut without a reservation, you will most definitely get the boot unless you get one of the work for stays or pay for an open bunk if there even is one. I saw it happen at multiple huts, and talked to several unhappy thrus that had gotten the boot. Lake of the Clouds has the most capacity of all the huts, and has the "Dungeon" underneath it, which looks similar to a typical AT shelter on the inside. So there is a little more room, but it's also the only place to stay legally up in that area so it fills up quick.
    AT: 2007-2019 (45 sections)
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  10. #70

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    IMHO the Dungeon is a major step down from the worst shelter. It smells like an outhouse and apparently is used as one in the winter. Yes its out of the weather but anyone starting at Mitzpah is going to get to Lakes way too early unless the weather is nasty. Far better to shoot for the Jewell trail option and suck up a mile and 1000 feet downhill.

  11. #71

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    Quote Originally Posted by peakbagger View Post
    IMHO the Dungeon is a major step down from the worst shelter. It smells like an outhouse and apparently is used as one in the winter. Yes its out of the weather but anyone starting at Mitzpah is going to get to Lakes way too early unless the weather is nasty. Far better to shoot for the Jewell trail option and suck up a mile and 1000 feet downhill.
    But what's the capacity of the Jewell trail option? 1 tent, 2 tents... Hate got get there and find there's no room. That's the problem with these "stealth" sites, not much space and if someone gets there before you do...
    The AT - It has it's ups and downs...

  12. #72

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    Quote Originally Posted by Slo-go'en View Post
    But what's the capacity of the Jewell trail option? 1 tent, 2 tents... Hate got get there and find there's no room. That's the problem with these "stealth" sites, not much space and if someone gets there before you do...
    Excellent point but, in a sense, that's the problem w/ most of the backcountry sites along the AT in the Whites - especially summer and fall weekends. I was up at Liberty Springs last summer - got in pretty early (just after lunch) and by 3:00 every spot was filled to overflowing (caretaker asked if I wouldn't mind doubling up on the platform my partner and I were sharing - we said fine) and they ended up turning away dozens of folks. This was on a July Wednesday. I asked the caretaker if this happened very often and he told me that it gets noticeably worse every year. The only campsites we had that wasn't full or nearly so between Glencliff and Pinkham were Eliza Brook and Osgood.
    Quod gratis asseritur, gratis negatur.

  13. #73

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    Actually the Jewell trail option is bigger than many folks think. The woods are just open enough and tall enough to the south side of the trail that a small tent will fit under trees. The folks using it usually are there only dusk to dawn so the average day hiker doesn't even see the use. That is assuming there has not been a blowdown in recent years as I haven't been up there for about 4 years.

  14. #74

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    Quote Originally Posted by peakbagger View Post
    Actually the Jewell trail option is bigger than many folks think. The woods are just open enough and tall enough to the south side of the trail that a small tent will fit under trees. The folks using it usually are there only dusk to dawn so the average day hiker doesn't even see the use. That is assuming there has not been a blowdown in recent years as I haven't been up there for about 4 years.
    When I was at Neuman last June and along the Franconia ridge, I was amazed at the tangle of down trees from the big October storm. Neuman was hit hard. Countless trees down. The Gray Knob trail between the Knob and Crag was impassable from down trees, so that whole side of the range took a big hit. There have been several big winds this winter too, so finding a tangle of down trees is a good possibility. The Jewel trail where it would be possible to camp is at the general elevation of where the most damage was done.
    The AT - It has it's ups and downs...

  15. #75

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    Sounds like an excuse to visit the Jewel trail once things melt and dry off.

  16. #76

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    Quote Originally Posted by peakbagger View Post
    Sounds like an excuse to visit the Jewel trail once things melt and dry off.
    Yep, I haven't been up that way in many years.
    The AT - It has it's ups and downs...

  17. #77

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    Quote Originally Posted by Slo-go'en View Post
    Grafton notch to Rangeley isn't too bad. Excpet for the climb up Baldpate, and the little bump called Moody mountain and the climb up Mt Blue. But other then that, yea easy pezzy. I really like the Bemis range once you get up on to it. ME17 the rest of the way to Rangeley is the easy bit....
    Quote Originally Posted by tdoczi View Post
    ....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.
    I hiked these areas last September and got a great (and unexpected) comparison between southern Maine and near Hanover.
    I visited southern Maine and did a bunch of day hikes, including Old Speck, Baldpate, Bemis, and Sugarloaf (headed north a bit). Wonderful places and the above treeline on Baldpate was one highlight. (And, I hiked Mt. Blue previously. Short fun hike that's just all up.)

    On the way home heading south from Maine, I spent a day in Hanover. In the afternoon, I hiked a loop on the AT heading out north from Hanover.
    Instead of turning with the trail, I was heading straight up--or trying to. Rocks? I wanted to climb them. The trail would skirt a wet or steep area and I would naturally walk right into it. Because in southern Maine, the trail always does these ridiculous things. You get used to it. Crazy ups and then downs. Major scrambline. I couldn't believe how tame the trail was near Hanover! It didn't even seem like hiking that day--no real energy expended.

  18. #78

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    I knwo as good as anybody that on day 2 the plan is out the window. But i have spent some considerable time trying to write out a plan. Most here know i am aggressive for miles so i have tried to plan according but when the mileage teetered between super short or a little long i chose long. I am thinking that i may need to add a zero after the slack pack out of lincoln.
    Also please keep in mind that my end result I am trying to be mindful of a 2020 compeltion given 2 weeks to hike in 2020. I know that not finishing in 2020 is realistic and that 1 more week may be needed in 2021 if i dont do that week in 2020.

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    AT Map 1 Completion: 1818.9 Springer, GA - Franconia Notch, NH
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  19. #79

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    Sorry picture posted sideways im on my cellphone
    AT Shuttle List
    Trail Miles: 3,715.9
    AT Trips: 67
    AT Map 1 Completion: 1818.9 Springer, GA - Franconia Notch, NH
    AT Map 2 Completion: 263.8 Gaps From GA - PA

  20. #80

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    Well, rough out the schedule as best you can. In the end, weather and terrain will dictate what you end up doing. The first two weeks of September can be really nice so hopefully weather won't be a factor. The tropical storms usually don't show up until later in the month. But like a friend of mine likes to say "hard tell'en, not know'en".

    The tough one is going to be Neuman to Osgood. You need ideal weather for that. That's 15 rough miles where it's hard to do more then 1 MPH for much of it. With breaks you can be looking at a nearly 15 hour day.

    Just make sure you have enough food to break it into two days if it comes to that. You can get a meal at the summit of Washington, but loosing an hour there can be a problem. Taking a break at Lakes slows you down too. Remember, it starts to get dark fairly early around here in early September and once you start down from Madison your in the shadow of the mountain. Once down into the ravine and in the dense pine forest, it gets real dark real fast.

    Smarts mountain has a fire tower you can climb and is great for seeing the sunset. Shame not to stay there.

    Bring plenty of water to Velvet rocks. The water there is a long ways off and hard to find. I didn't find it until the next day and it was a detour to get to. The blue blaze trail from the shelter seemed to dead end at the top of a cliff. Apparently, the water is somewhere at the bottom of it. And since the collage is nearby and just starting up for the year, it will be busy there on a Friday night. Tenting there is pretty marginal. You could end up on a pretty good slope.
    The AT - It has it's ups and downs...

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