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FisherCat
06-04-2008, 09:47 AM
Though this hiking "week" was cut short due to a variety of reasons, it was still an enjoyable time. Day 1 consisted of hiking up Osseo Trail for our first installment of trailwork. Driving up Saturday (7hours) we then hit trail by 5PM, we hiked in to the switchbacks, then went off trail well over 200ft to set up camp. It was a bit gloomy out and had rained while packing up at Lincoln Woods, though it ceased by the time we left LW Lot and set-up time, later it was on and off again. Breakfast was on trail as we had the goal of completing all blazing. Osseo is an easy trail to follow during the 3-season time, however, the concern was for winter hikers who we noticed have mentioned the lack of it in their trip reports. Happy to report that all blazing is now complete. When one blazes you move pretty slow and notice more than normal. We finally found with certainty the old Osseo Trail entrance on the new trail. Once you go in several yards a trail corridor is readily seen and it has received a bare minimal amount of maintenance. There was also evidence it had been snowshoed this winter. Someday (if we have the time) it would be fun to follow. Spruce and birch are definitely the hardest to blaze, hence we try not to use them, balsalm is definitely the best. There was still an embankment of snow at the top of Flume Slide along with an ever-present mist released from melting snow into humid air. Good breeze at top of Flume, N-NW, temps in high 40's. Did an Alpine Flower Watch survey but there is really nothing out yet.Bilberry is budding and some diapensai looked like it wanted too. Dwarf birch buds were also swelling. Woodland flowers are abundant, trillium, lady slippers, the bluebead lily are budding. Pleased to report a little less trailside trash this year. But no thanks( and I know it was no one from these forums) to whoever left their "Lady J" portable urinal and its "contents" in a bag. Yes, we hauled it out, along with one water bottle, and several candy wrappers. Removed 10 blowdowns. Not much animal life, a few warblers, white-throated sparrows, set of moose tracks and scat, but no bears along our famed stratch of bear alley. On Day 2 after our work was done we returned to the Lot, repacked and headed for OBP. We hiked in about 1.5 m and again, following legal camping guidelines, set up camp. We saw about 15-20 people descending, the last a couple heading down at about 730PM. This night was much cooler, rainier, and windier then the night before. I didn't sleep worth a darn. The terrain dictated a night that was similar to sleeping on a water slide. It was cold, wet, and in the end you always ended up at the bottom, in this case the bottom was the bivy. Though I wasn't sore the next day, I was tired. My gear was soaked. We decided to get up to Greenleaf and see what to do from there. This was Day 3, June 2, and I was surprised the last weather update had been from May 30. We changed gear at the hut, where we found that inside our packs, thanks to rain, moisture, condensation, humidity, and the car-wash effect, all our clothing was soaked. The weather showed no signs of drying out so we could get a shot at drying out our gear. We put on our "driest" clothes, then our layers and went for Lafayette. Wind was steady, varying N, but mostly W, temps low-mid 40's, with little ice crystals on gloves and hat, visibilty 25-30ft. We made it to the top and I was able to get a boot picture with the USGS marker and then my batteries died. We had hoped to continue to Garfield and descend to 13 Falls Campsite via Franconia Brook and do Owl's Head the next day, but considering the weather and my clothes and gear being soaked, I decided I would call it quits. I wanted to do more summiting this week, but I was glad to get the trailwork done and get one peak. After all, I'm coming back in 25 days, well, 24 now. Bugs were out at low elevations and biting. I'm pleased that 2 products I used for the first time worked great for me, and both are organic. One is a citronella soap you bathe with a couple of nights before you leave, the other is also a citronella blend bar that you rub on your skin. (If anyone is interested, PM me and I can get you a link). On the way down we met an AMC Trail Crew heading up to clear blowdowns the length of Franconia Ridge and then down Osseo. We were pleased (and I think they were too) to inform them Osseo had just been taken care of the day before. Not too many pics, combined with cruddy weather and dead batteries didn't give too many opps, but what are ya gonna do? Happy hiking everyone and see ya on the trail again soon!
Some pics:
http://fishercat.smugmug.com/galler...307108869_W68Zo

Acrophobe
06-04-2008, 02:49 PM
You drive seven hours to hike here? Wow. I knew the Whites were good; I didn't think they were THAT good.

And to think, I was complaining about MY drive to the mountains... :)

KD Talbot
06-04-2008, 03:40 PM
Great Tr and pics. Some of my favorite hikes were in the fog. No one around, the feeling of solitude. Just you and the wind and dampness crossing the heath.

Thanks foe the maintenance on Osseo, it will always be our way of choice to Mount Flume!

KDT

FisherCat
06-04-2008, 05:36 PM
You drive seven hours to hike here? Wow. I knew the Whites were good; I didn't think they were THAT good.

And to think, I was complaining about MY drive to the mountains... :)
Actually, its usually 8-9 because my folks and brother and his family live in Gorham, so I not only drive that far to hike there, I drive that far because NH is my real home!

JimS
06-04-2008, 05:46 PM
You drive seven hours to hike here? Wow. I knew the Whites were good; I didn't think they were THAT good.

And to think, I was complaining about MY drive to the mountains... :)


If I had a week, I would drive that far to hike here.

If you love the outdoors, and live away, there are only a few options on the east coast that provide the seemingly mountain vast landscapes of the Whites. A long list would be:

Baxter
Acadia
Northern Greens
Adks
Blue Ridges
Smokies

I think that's it...

So yes...IMO...well worth the drive!

FisherCat
06-04-2008, 06:03 PM
One other note: found NO TICKS the whole time, and we were off trail quite a bit. Good news for now!

JimS
06-04-2008, 06:49 PM
Finally got the chance to read your full report and check out the pictures.

First off, thanks for the work that you do. It's so important as a hiker to take the steps to give back to the community. Great to hear about hte lack of trash this year too.

Second, the flower pics are very good, and helpful to me, as I'm trying to piece together a seasonal chronolgy of flowers in the whites.

Third, and most importantly...sounds like you really connected to the forest, and the experience, and had some nice hikes. Glad you got out!

Brad
06-04-2008, 07:00 PM
You drive seven hours to hike here? Wow. I knew the Whites were good; I didn't think they were THAT good.

And to think, I was complaining about MY drive to the mountains... :)
I work in NC and will probably do the summit of MW 2-3 times this summer. It is well worth a 16 hour drive.

FisherCat
06-04-2008, 09:29 PM
Second, the flower pics are very good, and helpful to me, as I'm trying to piece together a seasonal chronolgy of flowers in the whites.



Now that sounds like a very useful project! The AMC provides us with nice phenology sheets so we can determine what stage they are at. I laminated them and they make an effective mini field guide.

Steve M
06-05-2008, 08:20 AM
Thanks for the TR. If everything I had was wet I think I would have called it quits too. I drive from Florida to hike in the Whites. Nothing on the east coast compares.

Acrophobe
06-05-2008, 04:05 PM
New York and even Florida? Man, you guys are dedicated. :)

My aunt lives in North Carolina, though, and she tells of Mount Mitchell, a mountain even taller then Washington. That's closer to Florida then NH - ever done it?

KD Talbot
06-05-2008, 04:21 PM
I've done it, no comparison. Full grown trees on the summit.

KDT

Acrophobe
06-05-2008, 04:43 PM
Yeah, I just looked it up. Almost a disgrace to it's title, eh? :)

How was the hike up? How long was it? My aunt's invited me to stay with her for a week or so, and naturally if I'm down there anyway, I'd like to check it off.

How did you have occasion to be climbing down there, though? And have you ever climbed any of the 10K or bigger mountains out west? That's something I really want to do. Another aunt lives almost literally in the shadow of Mount Hood, and believe it or not has never summited. :)

Brad
06-05-2008, 06:24 PM
Depends on where you start from for Mt Mitchell. We did an office hike with 5-6 year old kids. No big deal. The pictures of that hike are at http://public.fotki.com/bradbradstreet/hikes/2006_hikes/07_mt_mitchell/

Doing the Blue Ridge Parkway over 3 peaks to Grandfather Mt was a lot longer and harder. We did that as an office hike the year before and those pictures are at http://public.fotki.com/bradbradstreet/hikes/2005_hikes/09_grandfather/

Acrophobe
06-05-2008, 07:11 PM
Neat pictures. I like that bridge on the way to Grandfather Mountain - quite a bit of work to build it up there.

T'would be fun to do, but I think I like the more barren and desolate (relatively speaking) feeling of the Presidentials and Franconia. :) With that fog, the park bench, and the full size trees, it looked like it coulda been a lazy Sunday morning in the park. Think you'll do it again, Brad?

KD Talbot
06-05-2008, 07:16 PM
Just comparing the mountains, not the hikes, though the way we climbed, from Blackwoods CG, was easier than any climb I've ever done on Washington, though it was a lot warmer in May. There are definitely longer, more challenging routes as Brad says, and it is definitely worth climbing if you're in the area. I have cousins in Asheville and if I return I may try to climb Grandfather Mountain. From Brad's pictures it looks a lot more like home in the Whites.

Mitchell is undoubtedly the furthest west I have climbed, though I have friends who just failed a Denali attempt this week. One of the guys who failed hiked the White Mountain Diretissima in 11 days last fall.

http://www.matsroing.com/

Check the trip report section.

This means that not only did he hike all 48 4K's, he hiked all the distance between them. He also did it with no support. Denali (McKinley) is 20,320' above sea level. I think the elevation gain in the climb is greater than Everest. Bill could probably shed some light.

KDT

Acrophobe
06-05-2008, 07:40 PM
Wow, that musta been an absolutely nightmarish 11 days. :) It's funny, my brother and I were just now talking about doing a trip this summer over all 48. I was just about to post a thread asking how long it would be (I was guessing 300 miles). Guess you took care of that, KD. :) Although, he wouldn't by any chance have posted his exact route anywhere, would he?

And what happened on Denali? I was just looking at that online, looks like a truly epic climb. How far did they get?

Steve M
06-06-2008, 12:10 AM
One thing about Denali National Park is that it is so beautiful and breathtaking it really doesn't matter where you hike. You'll have memories to last a lifetime. Especially if you get a clear view of Denali while your there.

Brad
06-06-2008, 05:55 AM
Neat pictures. I like that bridge on the way to Grandfather Mountain - quite a bit of work to build it up there.

T'would be fun to do, but I think I like the more barren and desolate (relatively speaking) feeling of the Presidentials and Franconia. :) With that fog, the park bench, and the full size trees, it looked like it coulda been a lazy Sunday morning in the park. Think you'll do it again, Brad?
I doubt I will do it again. Hiking in hot NC can be no fun just due to the heat. I might look for a different, longer trail for Mt Mitchell - but they either are very short or very long. Once they get too long it is hard to find a hiking partner down here. The Whites have so much more view to offer.

What I have done in the past is Pilot Mt, just north of Winston-Salem, as a training hike. I load up my pack and head out as soon as the southern park parking lot gate opens at 8AM. There is a nice wooded trail for 2.5 miles - then a 2 miles loop around and across the summit and back to the 2.5 mile trail back down. The Loop trail has stone steps to get you going and working. If you go fast enough you can outrun the bugs.