View Full Version : Doing the Traverse... Need some help

09-27-2007, 03:49 AM
I am doing the Pres Traverse in January. If anyone has done the traverse before I have a few questions. 1)Where is the trail head? 2)I am staying in Pinkham Notch, what's the easiest way to get there? 3)Is NH a hitchhiking friendly state? Thanks all and stay safe

Bill O
09-27-2007, 06:47 AM
Typically people start at the Appalachia Trailhead at the north end or Crawford Notch at the South End. There are, of course, many variations. Most people do start at the north end.

The easiest way to get there is to drive or hitch. If you only have one car you obviously need to figure out some solution.

On another note, your question raises some concerns. Its a bit like showing up at Mount Everest Base Camp and asking where's the trail to the summit? A winter traverse of the Presidentials is a serious undertaking. Something that involves excellent winter camping and route finding skills, and extremely detailed planning.

ps: If you get a lot of junk mail I know the reason.

09-27-2007, 08:43 AM
Here's the best source of info for all aspects of a presi traverse I have ever found.

Steve M
09-27-2007, 09:07 AM
Bill has a good point. The trail above tree line can be tough to follow at times in the summer, in the winter it can be far worse. High winds, drifting snow, fog and rime, and white out conditions can give even advanced winter hikers a challenge.

Bill O
09-27-2007, 10:31 AM
Chauvin Guides primer on the traverse is the gold standard.

A winter traverse is a significant undertaking. Especially when you don't have the luxury of waiting for ideal weather. Its right up there with climbing Mount Rainier (without a guide).

10-09-2007, 10:00 PM
I would have to agree with some of the other posts, and also ask how many times you've (a) been to the Presidentials in NH, and (b) how many multi-day winter traverses have you done? Of course, you probably know your own abilites better than anyone can infer from your brave post, but you're talking to a community of people here who one way or another live, eat, and breathe these mountains...lots of people and lots of passion within this community, and it's not hard to see that everyone here cares deeply about the safety of all the hikers/photographers/etc here.

The Presis are a beautiful, stunning hike, though!



10-11-2007, 12:46 PM
How well are the trails marked above treeline, especially when the trail is snow covered? I'm particularly thinking of Gulfside trail.


10-11-2007, 12:49 PM
If snow covered once above treeline you're talking going from cairn to cairn. They tend to be about 50yds apart and stand average 2-5ft tall. At the trail intersections there are signs.

10-11-2007, 01:50 PM
As the previous poster alluded to - cairns are quite easy to follow in winter with the exception being poor visibility conditions which can roll in at a moments notice. You might refer to the whiteout navigation plan from the chauvin website - the link is referenced a few posts earlier - coordinates of all critical junctions are listed there. Good luck.
p.s. - here it is for your convenience: http://www.chauvinguides.com/PresiTraverse/presirouteplanguide.htm

10-12-2007, 08:40 AM
Many thanks Tom and Billy. I have read the whiteout plan, and the entire guide (highly recommended for anyone planning a traverse). The escape routes and waypoints are invaluable piecies of information to have. Got'em plotted into the GPS! :D

10-29-2007, 09:34 PM
You've got to be prepared! Remember - there is no shame in turning back...you'll live to try the traverse on another day!;)

12-09-2007, 11:34 AM
Thank you all for your advice and concern. I just have one more question. I have read all the rules and do's and do not's for winter camping on the Traverse. Would anyone have GPS cordinates to a campsite or two that they have stayed at while on the Traverse? Just thought it would make my life just that much more easier!!!

Thanks again and stay safe,

12-17-2007, 02:02 AM
Just a quick point...On a recent ascent of Mt Adams, my GPS froze up from the cold. Eventually I was able to turn it on, but it said that it could not load the maps. I had it inside my fleece pocket under my shell. Just saying...you can't always rely on it.