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smithtim
03-27-2009, 11:53 AM
Ok so I recently got the sumit on Washington for my first time and now I'm addicted...

I'll be up for a conference in late April and I'm hoping to get in a one day hike so I've been looking at Lafayette OR Liberty / Flume loop ( because of proximity to I-93)....

So my question is which would you recommend for a day hike ( I've done neither before).. From the websites it looks like they are saying Lafayette has more above time treeline??? so that is making lean towards Lafayette


Also, I am assuming for these hikes all the equipment needed would be crampons + ice axe


Thanks, Tim

Brad
03-27-2009, 11:56 AM
Lafayette has some fantastic views. I have not been up it in years and have been thinking this next summer would be the time for me.

N Kearsarge just north of N Conway is a nice easy hike.

krummholz
03-27-2009, 04:04 PM
Lafayette has the advantage that if you get up to the top via the Old Bridle Path, you can then decide depending on weather and how energetic you're feeling, whether you want to continue down along Franconia Ridge and do the whole loop with the Falling Waters trail or just retrace your steps. The only disadvantage is that, from Conway (if that's where your conference is), Franconia Notch takes a while to get to. From N. Conway, if you want to get above treeline, maybe consider Valley Way up to Madison. But if your conference is in Lincoln, go for the Franconia Ridge area.

Probably it'll be more icy than snowy (meaning crampons more helpful than snowshoes), but then you get into spring snow conditions where you break through the top crust, and believe me, that can be really strenuous---I strongly recommend bringing snowshoes and deciding based on trailhead conditions what you need to carry.

mtruman
03-27-2009, 06:12 PM
Definitely Lafayette if the weather and conditions cooperate. We did Franconia ridge from the opposite direction last summer (up Falling Waters) but if you aren't sure about the conditions and whether you want to traverse the ridge then Old Bridle Path to Lafayette is definitely the better choice. We can't wait to repeat this hike and I'd really like to do it in winter someday. Look forward to seeing pictures from yours...

Brad
03-29-2009, 07:53 AM
Or you could go with Mel and do Everest in one day. :cool:

KD Talbot
03-29-2009, 09:55 AM
Just want to clarify some things. A Lafayette/Lincoln loop using the Old Bridle Path/Falling Waters Trails is what most people do. Some find it easier to climb Falling Waters to Little Haystack and cross the ridge from there. In April it is possible you will need snowshoes below treeline and probably need crampons above, depending on how late into April you're talking. It is also possible you could make the whole hike in microspikes or bare-booting. You probably won't know until you get on the trail. If you go clockwise and ascend by the OBP you can stop and assess things at Greenleaf Hut. What's the weather, how's my stamina, etc.

Liberty/Flume is not a loop unless you are a very good hiker in excellent shape who is not afraid of steep, open ledges that will be wet and probably icy. The Flume Slide Trail is just that. A slide. The common method is to ascend this. It is seldom descended. What most hikers do is ascend Liberty Springs to Liberty, then assess things on Liberty. If the weather and stamina are good they do an over and back to Flume.

KDT

smithtim
03-30-2009, 12:25 PM
Just want to clarify some things. A Lafayette/Lincoln loop using the Old Bridle Path/Falling Waters Trails is what most people do. Some find it easier to climb Falling Waters to Little Haystack and cross the ridge from there. In April it is possible you will need snowshoes below treeline and probably need crampons above, depending on how late into April you're talking. It is also possible you could make the whole hike in microspikes or bare-booting. You probably won't know until you get on the trail. If you go clockwise and ascend by the OBP you can stop and assess things at Greenleaf Hut. What's the weather, how's my stamina, etc.

Liberty/Flume is not a loop unless you are a very good hiker in excellent shape who is not afraid of steep, open ledges that will be wet and probably icy. The Flume Slide Trail is just that. A slide. The common method is to ascend this. It is seldom descended. What most hikers do is ascend Liberty Springs to Liberty, then assess things on Liberty. If the weather and stamina are good they do an over and back to Flume.

KDT


Thanks for the info, really good explanation :)

Sounds like I should do the Lafayette / Lincoln... while I am in pretty good shape and probably would be fine I will be doing this solo so it is probably best for me to avoid the Liberty/Flume trail

BTW how would you say the "who is not afraid of steep, open ledges that will be wet and probably icy" from Liberty/Flume compare to the pretty steep section of Lions head winter route on the mount Washington climb where you first get above tree line ( the section of the trail just after where you turn left at the little emergency hut on Huntington fire road)

smithtim
03-30-2009, 12:30 PM
from Conway (if that's where your conference is).

actaully its at a unveirstiy down in MA, my hotel is off the I-495 belt near Loweell so I will have to drive a couple hours or so up I-93, but I fully plan on leavign the hotel around 5 so hopefully I can get on the trail by 8ish??




Probably it'll be more icy than snowy (meaning crampons more helpful than snowshoes), but then you get into spring snow conditions where you break through the top crust, and believe me, that can be really strenuous---I strongly recommend bringing snowshoes and deciding based on trailhead conditions what you need to carry.

good advice, I was thinking of just brining my crampons, but better to be overprepared!!

KD Talbot
03-30-2009, 04:14 PM
You will definitely see icy conditions along the ridge, best to have crampons. Below treeline it is possible you will need snowshoes but may get by with traction like microspikes. We are heading into what we call "monorail" season where all the snow and ice has melted except where it has been packed hard, right on the trail. So, to follow the trail you have to walk on the snow and ice. Not sure what you will find when you get there so be prepared.

The Flume Slide Trail is 2450' vertical gain over 3.3 miles. Steep and relentless for about 9/10ths of a mile. There are several brook crossings which could be a problem depending on the snowmelt. I would say it's as steep and maybe even a little more tricky than Lion Head. I wouldn't use it as a way down. I'm not trying to dissuade you from Liberty/Flume, just saying it's not really a loop at this time of year. An out and back up Liberty Springs and over Liberty then to Flume and then back the same way is the safer more enjoyable way at this time of year. Also less elevation and less taxing than Lincoln/Lafayette.

You can be in Franconia in 2 hours from Lowell.

KDT

Brad
03-30-2009, 06:11 PM
KD,

Your calling this monorail season is so true. Last year on the Inferno day we were walking on the monorail after HoJos and the folks behind us would yell - runner. And we had to step off the rail and hope to not go in up to our waist. It was an interesting stretch.

krummholz
03-30-2009, 09:11 PM
I agree with the words of wisdom from KDT about the Flume Slide trail. It's not as steep as that section of the Lion's Head trail you're talking about, but it's still plenty steep and actually rockier and icier. As far as your timing is concerned, sounds good--with your early start time you shouldn't have any problems, especially now that we're getting more hours of daylight...

smithtim
04-03-2009, 01:08 PM
You will definitely see icy conditions along the ridge, best to have crampons. Below treeline it is possible you will need snowshoes but may get by with traction like microspikes. We are heading into what we call "monorail" season where all the snow and ice has melted except where it has been packed hard, right on the trail. So, to follow the trail you have to walk on the snow and ice. Not sure what you will find when you get there so be prepared.

The Flume Slide Trail is 2450' vertical gain over 3.3 miles. Steep and relentless for about 9/10ths of a mile. There are several brook crossings which could be a problem depending on the snowmelt. I would say it's as steep and maybe even a little more tricky than Lion Head. I wouldn't use it as a way down. I'm not trying to dissuade you from Liberty/Flume, just saying it's not really a loop at this time of year. An out and back up Liberty Springs and over Liberty then to Flume and then back the same way is the safer more enjoyable way at this time of year. Also less elevation and less taxing than Lincoln/Lafayette.

You can be in Franconia in 2 hours from Lowell.

KDT

Thanks for the good info :) its apprecahited

Best, Tim