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24 Hour White Mountain Hut Traverse
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Jonathan Ryan
(Jkrew81) - F - M

Locale: White Mtns
24 Hour White Mountain Hut Traverse on 04/13/2007 10:23:04 MDT Print View

So I am working out the logistics of a one day White Mountain Hut Traverse. I have been working on some serious training since last October and it is all starting to pay off. While I am still trying to figure out if my body is ready or not, I am also going over a possible gear list. For those not familiar with the route here is a little background.

24 Hour Hut Traverse. Start at the Carter Notch Hut and go to Lonesome Lake Hut passing all the huts along the way (Madison, Lakes, Mizpah, Zealand, Galehead, Greenleaf). It is around 50 miles and over 15,000 feet of elevation gain, the objective is to do it in 24 hours (usually as one calendar day, starting at midnight and finishing before midnight). It is not required to do the summits, some people do them.

As of right now I am still going back and fourth on the possibility of bringing sleeping gear to catch a few winks. For mental sanity I will require a stove for warm food as 24 hours is a long time to chew on Gu’s and Clif bars. To have the best chance I am going to wait for best possible weather as any sustained rain could quickly lead to disaster on the higher elevations. Current plan is to attempt in July. Here is what I have so far.

Clothing Worn
Icebreaker 140 Superfine Lite T: 4.00
North Face Running shorts: 4.00
OR Sunrunner hat: 1.50
Smartwool endurance socks: 1.30
Montrail Vitesse + Sole Inserts: 34.00
Simblissity gaiters: 2.00
Life Link poles: 14.00
Polar watch: 3.00
Native Hardtop XP Sunglasses: 0.80

Clothing Carried
Smartwool endurance socks (spares) 1.50
Patagonia Houdini jacket + pants 7.50
Defeet Wool ArmSkins + Kneekers (arm + knee warmers) 7.30
Icebreaker Wool Balaclava Lite 1.60
Icebreaker wool liner glove 1.00
Patagonia Micropuff vest + BMW Cocoon Hood (on order) 8.10

Golite Ion 9.8
3L platypus + tube 2.00
MSR Titan kettle 4.20
BPL Ti Esbit Stove 0.75
Olympus Stylus 500 Camera 6.00
10 essentials kit 7.2
Fenix LOD-CE w/ Photon Clip + Arc AAA for hat (included in 10 essentials)

In the event that rain is in the forecast I will add a Patagonia Specter + Manzella N2S Silkweight liner glove

3.63 lbs total base gear

Edited by Jkrew81 on 04/14/2007 08:42:52 MDT.

Antonio Abad
(tonyabad) - F
Re: 24 Hour White Mountain Hut Traverse on 04/13/2007 12:55:11 MDT Print View

I would recommend ditching the stove. You can eat whatever you like at the huts, sometimes free (this kind of "trail magic" has been known to happen to hikers doing the hut traverse, though you shouldn't bank on it).

Have fun!

Ryan Faulkner
(ryanf) - F

Locale: Mid atlantic, No. Cal
Re: 24 Hour White Mountain Hut Traverse on 04/13/2007 17:36:11 MDT Print View

Hey jonathan.

can you tell me what kind of temperatures you will be dealing with, it seems to me that if you are going to need a hood and a balaclava while moving, the rest of your clothing is going to be too light, or if the clothing is appropriate then the headwear may be overkill.

also, could you give a more detailed description of your 10 essentials kit.


Tim W
(watters) - F
Re: Re: 24 Hour White Mountain Hut Traverse on 04/14/2007 06:09:56 MDT Print View

Hut to hut in one day... have fun.

I'd consider a proper headlamp rather than the Arc clipped to your hat. If (when) it gets real windy you might be grateful for being able to put the headlamp straps over all your headgear. The L0D is a great backup.

Also, you should seriously consider a lightweight bivy sack. As you know, the weather in the Whites or injury might force you to hunker down.

Edited by watters on 04/14/2007 06:10:40 MDT.

Jonathan Ryan
(Jkrew81) - F - M

Locale: White Mtns
24 Hours of Pain on 04/14/2007 07:03:23 MDT Print View

Hey Ryan,
The temps in the Whites can be anywhere from 0-90 degrees in the course of a day. For a day in the 30's I can wear the arm/knee warmer/Balaclava combo under my windshirt and pants and be very comfortable as long as I am moving. The vest with hood is only used when I stop. Like Tim said below, I am thinking of a bivy option and I having this core insulation would allow me to pair up with some kind of bivy sack and leave the sleeping bag behind.
As far as the headlamp goes, the Arc AAA/Fenix LOD CE combo is just amazing. Their weight to burn time ratio is far greater than anything I have seen on the market. Currently I have the Fenix configured with a Photon clip which I attach to my sternum strap. The Arc AAA is just used for proximity lighting on my hat. Considering the amount of night hiking I will be doing, carrying backup batteries just comes down to 1 AAA each. I agree though Tim, I am going to do some test runs over the Prezzies once the snow is gone and I am going to test different light configuration b/c the extra weight may be worth the convenience.

Doug Johnson
(djohnson) - MLife

Locale: Washington State
Re: 24 Hour White Mountain Hut Traverse on 04/14/2007 08:19:43 MDT Print View


Cool trip! That's a hefty day- I've had similar trips myself (78 miles and 14,000 ft in 48 hours was one). I've also been planning a 3x50 trip for awhile now- just got sidelined by life. But I've spent a lot of time planning and considering my hallucinations at mile 47 on a mega day.

With a day like this, you'll likely have very short stops. You probably have a schedule and I'd highly recommend that- I usually do 3 hours- 30 min break, etc. and I plan for my pace (I budget 3.5 while walking, knowing that I'm often faster, for example).

Also, you'll want to be prepared for exhaustion and the resulting mental breakdown because when it hits, you stop being reasonable. I even schedule my food along the way on a piece of paper to keep me honest. I'd also definitely consider something warmer in case you break down (mentally or physically). The bivy is a great idea, as is your vest and balaclava.

Also, my experience is that when hiking all day at this pace, you want the same foods that ultra runners use. I've settled in on Hammer Perpetuem which I mix in the field. With a day as long as yours, GU will give you spikes but you need a solid base of protein and fats as well. Accel Gel is much better for endurance because of the protein- highly recommended.

If you really want bag food, you could get one of the new no-cook Mountain House meals. They're good and it's only one night anyway. That way you could trade the cooking gear for that bivy and still be sub-4 (I go sub 4 on trips like this too).

Last, you want to be effecient and 14 oz poles are not effecient. I'd seriously consider a set of Gossamer Gear Lightreks or BMW Stix. If you have the cash, the STIX are the Ferrari of trekking poles. I honestly believe that they are a major part of my 40-50 mile days. In a hike this long, you want to have light poles in your hands. I believe that this is the greatest change you can make.

BTW- the weight on you Vitesse must be per shoe, right?

Man, this trip is awesome! I'd love to hear how it goes!!!


Jonathan Ryan
(Jkrew81) - F - M

Locale: White Mtns
Vitesse Weight on 04/14/2007 08:34:33 MDT Print View

good call on the shoes, I was way off on that one. It is always tricky getting this stuff together at work when the phone keeps ringing. I will also check out those poles but $200 bucks is alot of money considering I could get 2 pairs of the Life-Links.

As for diet, this is somthing I am still working on. Normally for a long day like this I take alot of GU's, pecans, wheat bagels smeared with Teddy's peanut butter, dried cranberries and the topper a small container of either Nutella or Peanut Butter as they both ward off any cravings I get. As for the stove with the hot meal, I think it will go a long way toward mental sanity to have some hot food. Good call though, I will def check into those mountain house meals. I will be sure to file a trip report when I do/attempt it.

Any suggestions on a SUL bivy that does not cost an arm and a leg? I was looking at the offerings from Titanium Goat.

Jonathan Ryan
(Jkrew81) - F - M

Locale: White Mtns
10 Essentials on 04/14/2007 08:42:12 MDT Print View

While not exactly 10 items, here is what I have.

Suunto compass .9
weatherproof matches .5
repackaged Aqua Mira .5
Moded Swiss Army Classic .8
Fenix LOD CE w/ Photon clip 1.0
Arc AAA .9
2 extra AAA Batteries .5
Medical supplies 1.3
BPL ti spoon .5
5 zip ties (so light my scale is not even registering it)
small role duct tape .3

7.2 all together. I will update my original post
Granite Gear stuff sack .8

Mark Larson
(mlarson) - MLife

Locale: Southeast USA
Re: Re: 24 Hour White Mountain Hut Traverse on 04/14/2007 08:58:58 MDT Print View

Sounds like an awesome challenge. It looks well thought out, but I'd have to second Doug's recommendation for lighter poles. I love my Lightreks. You might also want to consider the Equinox bivy, which is not waterproof but priced comparably to the Ti Goat models.


Doug Johnson
(djohnson) - MLife

Locale: Washington State
Re: Re: Re: 24 Hour White Mountain Hut Traverse on 04/14/2007 20:12:03 MDT Print View

Yes- Lightreks are 90% as good as Stix and a new version coming out is sure to close the gap. That would be the best bang for the buck of anything you could choose.

Not sure on the bivy, but I think the Equinox and Ti Goat are the best choices that are cheap and light.

I hear you on the hot food. I enjoyed that too...but I did find on mega days that I'm too tired to hassle with it. I missed the coffee but use cold Java Juice and found it was okay. I only skip the stove on crazy trips like this.

Your food choices sound good- a good mix of carbs, fats, and protein.

Can't wait to see how this progresses!


Jonathan Ryan
(Jkrew81) - F - M

Locale: White Mtns
Re: Re: Re: Re: 24 Hour White Mountain Hut Traverse on 10/01/2007 06:22:48 MDT Print View

So I wanted to come back and update you guys on how this worked out. Simply said, it did not. After 2 tries I think I conceded that at the level of fitness I have right now anything beyond 30 miles a day is just not within striking range for me. I def saw where I could improve for the future, but I am not sure I want to put myself through that kind of pain again. I think to do the kind of training that would be necessary for something like that would require a less demanding work schedule. After hitting mile 36 I had no appetite which made forcing down any food very difficult. Bummer, but at least I gave it a try. So in two weekends I will be back up the Whites for a 2 day 30-40 miler with a good buddy of mine. This time I will be sleeping under my cozy sleeping quilt, firing up some kielbasa over the Bushbuddy and actually sleeping when it gets dark out. That sounds like a better time to me 

Christopher Plesko
(Pivvay) - F

Locale: Rocky Mountains
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: 24 Hour White Mountain Hut Traverse on 10/02/2007 10:30:03 MDT Print View

Just a quick solidarity post. Great job attempting something really big and giving it your best shot. Crazy trips are not something you do all the time but they do help you learn a lot about yourself. If you never really push yourself, you'll rarely learn what you can do.

P.S. I take 90-100% liquid calories for crazy adventures because at least you can force them down and keep calories getting into your system. Just make sure you are also getting enough electrolytes or you body seems to stop processing everything as well.

Frank Deland

Locale: On the AT in VA
Presidential Traverse in NH on 10/16/2007 17:46:11 MDT Print View

A shorter more popular version of your hike is the 'Presidential traverse", crossing over the summits of the moutains named for presidents, like Madison Jefferson, Washington... and a few others along the way, in a one day hike.

and here is another nice site with more info on the White Mts. of NH.

Edited by rambler on 10/16/2007 17:50:34 MDT.