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Presidential Traverse - Plan B and Other Questions
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M Folch
(mfolch) - M
Presidential Traverse - Plan B and Other Questions on 06/28/2014 20:13:23 MDT Print View

Hello Everyone;

This is a first post for me on this forum.

My father and I are planning to hike the Presidential Traverse in mid July. He has just retired, we have not hiked together in twenty years, and neither of us intends to break a world record, so our plan is to take it slow and spread the hike over two or three nights, avoiding huts and camping below the ridge line at night. My questions are:

What are the best locations to set up a tent, i.e, near enough to the main trails (Air Line and Gulf Side), not terribly overcrowded, still beautiful, etc.

Does anyone have suggestions for a Plan B hike - an alternative hike (preferably in the White Mountains, and ideally a loop) should the weather make the traverse too treacherous? I like in New York and am unfamiliar with the White Mountains area.

Finally, I have always hiked in backpacking boots, but after joining this forum and reading up on ultralight hiking, I am tempted to try trail running shoes for this hike. Any thoughts on the wisdom of experimenting with a new style of footwear on this particular hike?

Thanks in advance for the advice.

Jake D
(JakeDatc) - F

Locale: Bristol,RI
Re: Presidential Traverse - Plan B and Other Questions on 06/28/2014 21:29:16 MDT Print View

Trail runners in the White Mountains is no problem at all. I do all of my hiking in Solomon Comp5's

Honestly, the Presi in less than a day without using the Huts is very difficult, made even more difficult by bringing overnight gear. It is also about the last trip i'd want to take for my first white mountains experience. I think after some experience and familiarity you could do the Presi in a day on a good weather day with a lot of light is best.

Plan B. look up the Pemi loop. It goes from Lincoln woods trailhead, 3-4mi railbed warm up, up the Bonds, across the Twin/garfield peaks then down the Franconia ridge. it is 30mi with similar elevation as the Presidental traverse but with FAR more camping options. All of the ridges have great views. I've done this trip as a 4-5 day as my first Whites hike, I did the eastern half as an overnight and last summer I did it as a 1 day. Campsites are $8/person if there is a caretaker present.. which there usually is, so be prepared.

Day 1 Lincoln woods to Guyot Shelter/campsite (side trip to W. bond well worth it)

Day 2 Guyot to Garfield Ridge campsite (side trip to N. Twin depending on time, drop packs and snag Galehead if you are even thinking of doing all the 4k's because it is not worth going back to on it's own)

Day 3 Garfield to Liberty Springs campsite

Day 4 hike out to Lincoln woods

pemi loop
Pemi ridge

Edited by JakeDatc on 06/28/2014 21:41:59 MDT.

alan genser
(alan) - F

Locale: NE
presi trip on 06/29/2014 07:13:57 MDT Print View

i stayed at The Perch campsite and found it very nice. not too far from the main trail.

our plan was to do a 3 day/2 night trip, stay at the perch the first night, and hermit lake the second. (hiking out of hermit lake via the Boot Spur Trail)

the day we went up the mt washington forecast was 60deg highs and 40 deg lows.

on our second day the wind was 60mph on the ridge, with the highest recorded gust that morning at 88mph. It was 15deg with wind chill. This was about 8/9 days ago.

we ended up taking the train down and booking in early to our room. (last train down is at ~3:15pm or so)

Did the hike in a new pair of new balance MT1010v2. They were mostly pretty much great, and light. but i did find myself missing the sticky rubber of my fiveTen guide tennies. (still another pair of low top shoes)

I'm looking at La Sportiva Trail Runners now for a combination of low weight, quick drying uppers, rock plates, and sticky rubber.