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Garniggle
11-13-2007, 10:04 PM
My friend and I are planning a winter trip to tackle the Presi's via basecamping at Hermit Lake between Christmas and New Years. Over the years, we've been blown down from an attempted traverse, done the ADK High Peaks, the Pemi, etc.. (all in the Christmas - New Year's window) Thought this year we would try many different routes over the week - letting the weather dictate what we do and not worry that we planned a point to point.

Where I am looking for advice is on the idea of a run across the northern side out to Madison and back. Thought we would take everything we needed (sans tent) to hold up at Grey Knob if needed. We are both relatively fit. If weather is with us, is this a reasonable day trip?

Thanks.

mk10
11-14-2007, 01:25 AM
We are both relatively fit. If weather is with us, is this a reasonable day trip?
Assuming you take the gulfside trail, this hike will be about 14 miles roundtrip, 6500 ft total ascent, 6500 ft total descent and you will be exposed to the wind almost the entire way. Is this a reasonable day trip? Yes for some, but not for others. You make the call. If you do decide to do it, make sure you start out extremely early so you have enough time to get back before it gets dark.


Over the years, we've been blown down from an attempted traverse...
You might get blown down from this attempt too...but then again you might not.

Good luck,
Mark

Bill O
11-14-2007, 07:35 AM
Hermit Lake to Madison and back? Seems possible. Definitely a challenge, but that's probably what you are looking for.

The biggest thing is going to be weather. It needs to be good, and that time of year it might only be one out of five days. Or you could get a week straight of great weather. Make sure you have a good forecast for the day of the traverse as you're going to be a long way from home once you get to Madison.

I agree about leaving early. Since the weather is going to be good if you go I'd leave several hours before sunrise. Knock off a significant portion of the outbound in the dark. You are dealing with the minimum amount of daylight that time of year.

Another problem might be trail conditions. More snow would make it easier and faster. Less snow would mean more rocks and ice. You never know what you are going to get in December.

Also, this isn't a sightseeing trip. I'd keep the pace fast but safe. Keep moving and constantly be evaluating your speed and how far you have to go.

Garniggle
11-14-2007, 07:56 AM
Appreciate the insight fellas! Maybe the Madison leg needs a night at Gray Knob no matter.