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evans1010
10-08-2008, 09:29 AM
My new wife and I will be in the White Mountains on our honeymoon late in October. We will be staying in Twin Mountain and would like to do a couple of day hikes.

We will be packed for cold weather, but is there anyway to know what to expect? We would like to keep alot of the hike above the treeline as we are from Kansas and we see plenty of trees.

We are in fairly good shape and have done a few hikes in the past, though I would not call us experienced.

Any suggestions are welcome.

Thanks in advance.

Nick Evans

KD Talbot
10-08-2008, 04:16 PM
If your intention is to be above tree-line in late October then you need to be prepared for winter conditions. This is not to say that is what you will find. You may be blessed with some Indian Summer days with temps in the 50's, but the norm would be colder with windchills possibly down in the 20's or lower. There could be 2 feet of snow, or none. When you say good shape and you've done hikes in the past, do you mean hikes of several miles and 4000' of elevation gain to areas above tree-line where there may be snow, fog and little to no visibility, rock-hopping on what may be wet, slippery or icy terrain? The more info you can give us, the more we can help you. You made the right first step by asking for advice. We will help all we can.

KDT

Bill O
10-08-2008, 04:38 PM
I got the impression that if weather conditions allow you will be heading above treeline to enjoy the mountains, otherwise you'll find some different hikes.

By late October its very likely there will be snow on the higher summits. But you never know. Either way, plan on it being cold. Average daily temperature by then is below freezing.

evans1010
10-08-2008, 07:50 PM
Well I know what I am looking at for weather now, all of the researching I have done has turned this up, so thank you to you both.

Perhaps the lower elevations is where we should be, but good views are a must if possible.

Hiking experiences in the past have been long but not technical. Perhaps I bit off a bit more than I could chew by thinking that there would be any doable hikes above treeline this time of year.

So what else do you have for a dayhike that is a little more attainable to a couple of Kansas folks.

Nick

KD Talbot
10-08-2008, 08:19 PM
Perhaps I bit off a bit more than I could chew by thinking that there would be any doable hikes above treeline this time of year.

Many of us think the best time of year is just starting! There is no reason to not head to the Southern Presidentials to get a taste of above tree-line travel without the danger of long treks above tree-line and exposure to the elements. Again, you may encounter Indian Summer-like conditions, but more likely cold wintery winds and possibly snow. If conditions are favorable then I would suggest hiking the Ammonoosuc Trail to the Lakes of the Clouds Hut. The hut will be closed, but the trail is sheltered until the last 100 yds. From the hut you can take stock of the weather, the time, fatigue and have a good look around. From there you can decide to continue on to the summit of Washington, or aim a little lower and climb to Mount Monroe, a half mile and 1/2 hour from the hut.

If conditions are less favorable consider the Crawford Path to Mount Pierce or the Edmands Path to Mount Eisenhower or a loop over both.

Do you have maps of the trails?

These hikes can all be accessed from Crawford Notch. I suggest you head east on Rte 302 from Twin Mountain and check in at the AMC's Highland Center where you can get a weather report for the summits, maps and great advice.

There are also many other hikes in the area. The Willey Range is a good alternative, and if you're looking for something smaller say for the day after a big hike the Sugarloafs off of Zealand Road are an excellent short hike with great views of the Presidentials.

KDT

PS: There isn't much in the way of restaurants or night-life in Twin Mountain. You may want to head east to North Conway for at least one night for a larger choice of bars and restaurants. Just be careful driving through the notch at night. Moose are almost invisible in the dark until you're right on them.

evans1010
10-08-2008, 08:55 PM
That sounds perfect, thanks for the help. Is there a way that I can get the maps before we leave with out joining AMC. I would like to look them over before we are there.

Thanks again,
Nick

mtruman
10-09-2008, 06:58 AM
That sounds perfect, thanks for the help. Is there a way that I can get the maps before we leave with out joining AMC. I would like to look them over before we are there.

Thanks again,
Nick

Sure. You can buy the White Mountain Guide (highly recommended) which comes with all the maps as well as complete trail descriptions. http://www.mountwashington.org/store/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=6&products_id=28 (http://www.mountwashington.org/forums/../store/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=6&products_id=28) You can also buy the weatherproof versions of the maps separately but you probably don't need them if you're not going to be spending a lot of time here in the future. If you really just want a map this one is a really good one: http://www.mountwashington.org/store/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=15&products_id=17 (http://www.mountwashington.org/forums/../store/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=15&products_id=17)

When you are there and doing your last minute planning a good idea is to stop by the AMC Highland Center in Crawford Notch (just a few miles from Twin Mountain on 302) and ask the folks at the desk about conditions and suggested hikes for the day or the next couple of days. They keep very close tabs on the weather and conditions (and will have the latest forecast from the Observatory posted). They also lead group hikes every day including in the Southern Presidentials so they will have good firsthand knowledge of what it is like up there. There are many good hikes to do from Crawford Notch with various levels of difficulty and exposure to the weather that lead to spectacular views without getting above treeline. A few of the best are Mt Avalon, Mt Willard (both quite easy) and Webster/Jackson. Good luck - we'll keep our fingers crossed for good weather for you!