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Scared But Eager
01-29-2008, 05:13 PM
Wanna do a mid- to late-June traverse, and have been trying to educate myself. Is there a choice between Valley Way and Tuckerman's Ravine on Washington, or is Tuckerman's off the route? Also, what is the best source for route-finding?

Thanks, and good luck to all.

Bill O
01-29-2008, 08:25 PM
If you were doing a traditional traverse than Tuckerman Ravine would be out of the way. In addition, the Tuckerman Ravine Trail is often closed (just in the ravine) well into the month of June due to dangerous snow and ice conditions.

Valley Way is at the north end of the route and this is usually the start or end of the trip, depending where you start.

I'm not sure what you mean about route finding. The best guidebook and maps are in the White Mountain Guide. As for actual route finding just follow the trail. They are well marked and generally easy to follow with blazes below tree line and rock cairns above tree line. You only run into route finding problems in the densest of summer fog or winter white outs.

Brad
01-30-2008, 06:22 AM
If you were doing a traditional traverse than Tuckerman Ravine would be out of the way.
Bill, what is the traditional traverse route?

Bill O
01-30-2008, 06:58 AM
Something connecting Crawfrod Notch to Appalachia, in either direction.

You could certainly put together a traverse that includes Tuckerman Ravine but it would be hard to hit all the Presidentials if that was his goal.

mtruman
01-30-2008, 01:38 PM
From our research before our 4-day version last summer (hut to hut rather than the death march) the most common route seems to be Valley Way, Gulfside, Crawford Path (from North to South). Airline is the common alternative to Valley Way. We went back to Crawford via Webster Cliff and Webster-Jackson (rather than straight down the Crawford path) since we spent the last night at Mizpah and hit Webster and Jackson on the way down. You probably wouldn't want to add the extra distance if you are doing it in a day. This is the best site that we found with details of a Presidential Traverse: http://home.earthlink.net/~ellozy/presidential-traverse.html (http://home.earthlink.net/%7Eellozy/presidential-traverse.html)

You can check out my photos here if you want one set of views of the route. Note that these are not the typical views as we somehow managed to get 4 straight perfect weather days which is pretty much unheard of for the Whites in July. The good news about a one day traverse is that you only need one day of good weather :D http://picasaweb.google.com/mtruman42/HutToHutPresidentialTraverse?authkey=9WiVzzeNIqg

No matter which route you take or how you do it this is an awesome trip. Good luck!

Brad
01-30-2008, 07:15 PM
Something connecting Crawfrod Notch to Appalachia, in either direction.

You could certainly put together a traverse that includes Tuckerman Ravine but it would be hard to hit all the Presidentials if that was his goal.
I guess I came pretty close doing this south to north when I was in my teens. I do not recall the trails but we started at Crawford and did all the peaks going north. On a different trip we went from the Kanc just outside of Lincoln to Crawford as a Pemi traverse. All of that area is beautiful.

Scared But Eager
02-04-2008, 12:44 PM
Thank you, gentlemen. I kind of suspected Tuckerman's Ravine was not part of the traverse, and that the trail would be well marked. One concern I am hoping to address is forehand knowledge of "escape routes" in the event of mishap - e.g., sprain, break, pull or worse, knock on wood.

Scared But Eager
02-04-2008, 12:45 PM
Thanks a lot, Mark. Looks great.

KD Talbot
02-04-2008, 08:26 PM
As far as escape routes go, and as far as your route goes for that matter, pick up one of these maps:

http://www.mountwashington.org/store/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=15&zenid=69c618da13ad4c11d1dcf9b16f406078

If you buy it here it will help out the Obs.

While Tuckerman and Amonoosuc Ravines can be considered escape routes, keep in mind that Huntington Ravine IS NOT!

KDT

Scared But Eager
02-12-2008, 09:14 PM
Elevation gain seems like a wash so why north to south? Is it b/c Crawford's an easier way down than Valley Way? And how does Airline compare to Valley Way?

Bill O
02-12-2008, 09:22 PM
Elevation gain seems like a wash so why north to south? Is it b/c Crawford's an easier way down than Valley Way? And how does Airline compare to Valley Way?

I was thinking of a winter traverse where north to south is more common. In summer it doesn't matter.

I've never done Airline, just Valley Way. One route is on a ridge, one is in the valley. Next time I'm in that area I want to do Airline. If the weather is poor Valley Way might be the better route with less exposure.

mtruman
02-13-2008, 09:43 AM
Elevation gain seems like a wash so why north to south? Is it b/c Crawford's an easier way down than Valley Way? And how does Airline compare to Valley Way?

Either way is fine. For a multi-day the length of hike first/last day is probably the deciding factor. Crawford Path and Valley Way are both pretty straight forward either up or down. Airline is not much different in difficulty from Valley Way. It is less protected in spots (and accordingly has better views). Weather is probably the deciding factor in that choice.

teledancer
02-18-2008, 01:01 PM
It's been my experiance and personal preferance to get the tough stuff
over early... thus North to South. Do carefull recon of maps (mark those escape routes) before starting, do your home work, it's a good idea to have folks down below incase support is needed, use common sense! the mountains will be there, thay are not going anywhere.
and keep an eye on the weather!... it changes so quick up there...
that being said Enjoy!

Scared But Eager
03-06-2008, 01:49 PM
Plans going well - have a hiker buddy who's committed to join me, and another considering. As I have told my friends in seeking recruits, if the weather is threatening, we are not going. (Well, maybe Valley Way up to Madison Hut like the Boy Scout troop, but I have no desire or intention to be above tree line in anything remotely approaching bad weather.) Also have friends prepared to be support down below.

Here's a dumb question about escape routes. I remember the comment about Huntingdon's Ravine NOT being an escape route. And I have the Washburn map as well as the maps that came with the White Mountains trail guide. I also remember reading about a plastic map, I think. My question is, what is the actual physical technique or method for marking these things, especially given that if you need an escape route you might be in a white-out? What do people recommend, and what do the smart people do?

And what NOT to do?

Thanks, fellas.

Eric

forestgnome
03-08-2008, 07:12 AM
mtruman, I really enjoyed that album of wonderful images of a hike summer hike.

The northern slopes of Northern Presidentials are more likely to have ice than the western slopes of the Southern Presidentials. Other than that consideration, I'd go either way.

happy trails :)

Bill O
03-08-2008, 09:22 AM
Here's a dumb question about escape routes. I remember the comment about Huntingdon's Ravine NOT being an escape route. And I have the Washburn map as well as the maps that came with the White Mountains trail guide. I also remember reading about a plastic map, I think. My question is, what is the actual physical technique or method for marking these things, especially given that if you need an escape route you might be in a white-out? What do people recommend, and what do the smart people do?

And what NOT to do?

Thanks, fellas.

Eric

Experience comes into play here. You sound well prepared, but it would be wise to spend quite a bit of time studying the maps and escape routes and committing as much as possible to memory. Photos would help too. You're right, I can't imagine pulling out a map in a white out with 80mph winds. I think somebody mentioned cheat sheets with escape routes and major landmarks. Its much easier to pull that out of your pocket than an entire map. Something laminated, maybe one for each team member.

When you fly an airplane, pilots and their computers, spend quite a bit of their time constantly analyzing different emergency scenarios. What do I do if I lose an engine on takeoff, where is the nearest airport, how far can I glide? This allows them to immediately react if an emergency occurred.

It would be wise in a traverse to be doing the same things. You've reached Madison Hut and the weather turns bad...easy choice to head back down. You're an hour south of Madison and the weather turns...now what do you do? Constantly be making mental notes of where you are on the mountain and what the best options are.

forestgnome
03-10-2008, 06:31 AM
You've reached Madison Hut and the weather turns bad...easy choice to head back down. You're an hour south of Madison and the weather turns...now what do you do? Constantly be making mental notes of where you are on the mountain and what the best options are.

Sage advice! This way of thought keeps you in better mental control of your situation, so if the weather starts to get ugly you've already been thinking about your best present options. It will also help you enjoy your hike even if the weather is beautiful because you'll be more at ease, and you'll become more familiar with the different areas that you hike through.

happy trails :)