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View Full Version : Memorial Weekend Presi Traverse - Sleeping Question



Eric
05-20-2009, 08:03 AM
Hiya,

With 3 friends, I'm planning on following the AT from Crawford Notch, through the Presidentials, to Pinkham Notch. We'd sleep the first night at or near Nauman tent site near Mitzpah hut.

My problem is where to stay the second night. Lakes hut isn't open yet and the park service said that Hermit Lake shelter is usually full and if it is you can't sleep anywhere in that area. Are there any good low-impact sites below treeline (but a reasonable hike down before hiking back up the next morning) between Washington and Jefferson?

I'd love to stay at Hermit Lake and it's the most logical location, but if it's full then we'd be totally screwed. Thoughts or suggestions?

KD Talbot
05-21-2009, 07:36 AM
You can probably make this with one night, but if you want to do two nights then I suggest planning on making it to Adams the second day and camping at an RMC shelter or cabin. They also have limited tent sites nearby.

http://www.randolphmountainclub.org/

KDT

Eric
05-21-2009, 08:16 AM
KD,

That makes sense as a goal to shoot for. It's 9 miles with several thousand feet of elevation gain. By the rule of thumb of a mile an hour plus time for elevation, it nets out being a ~13 hour hike and needs time for lunch and to appreciate being in the mountains. If the trail still has snowpack, I don't think it's a safe assumption that we can make that full distance. Am I being conservative on the speed we'll be able to move up on the ridge?

Is there a good backup plan in case night falls?

billysinc
05-21-2009, 08:53 AM
The Perch is another good option.

Bill O
05-21-2009, 03:34 PM
KD,

That makes sense as a goal to shoot for. It's 9 miles with several thousand feet of elevation gain. By the rule of thumb of a mile an hour plus time for elevation, it nets out being a ~13 hour hike and needs time for lunch and to appreciate being in the mountains. If the trail still has snowpack, I don't think it's a safe assumption that we can make that full distance. Am I being conservative on the speed we'll be able to move up on the ridge?

Is there a good backup plan in case night falls?

You might be being a little conservative. One mile per hour including elevation is a safe bet. Afterall, 1 mph is really slow.

Snow is a toss up, if it's covering rough terrain walking on the snow would be easier than the dry trail. But if it is steep you are going to have to slow down.

mtruman
05-21-2009, 05:30 PM
Bill's right about the pace/time. Book time is 30 minutes per mile plus 30 minutes per 1000 feet of elevation gain (downhill is considered the same timing as flat). The terrain in parts of this hike might slow things down a bit but not so much if you're doing Crawford to Pinkham (norther Presidentials are definitely tougher). There's another thread here (http://www.mountwashington.org/forums/showthread.php?t=4802) that I posted times on for the segments of a 4 day traverse that my wife and I did 2 summers ago. Everybody hikes at a different pace so take the times with a grain of salt. We took our time for the most part. Good luck and have fun!

Eric
05-21-2009, 05:39 PM
Thanks for the feedback everyone.

Mark, your time log will be fantastic to sanity check against. I recall Mitzpah to Lakes being draining but have never been north of Mt Washington and was planning fairly conservatively. It definitely looks doable with several backup options if the weather turns bad. Thanks again,

Eric

mtruman
05-21-2009, 05:46 PM
Thanks for the feedback everyone.

Mark, your time log will be fantastic to sanity check against. I recall Mitzpah to Lakes being draining but have never been north of Mt Washington and was planning fairly conservatively. It definitely looks doable with several backup options if the weather turns bad. Thanks again,

Eric

We did this north to south so the times will be a bit out of whack for you since you'll be going up in places we went down but hopefully it still helps. Lakes to Mizpah was our day 3 and except for the final descent down the steep, wet, slippery approach to Mizpah it was my favorite day.

KD Talbot
05-22-2009, 08:36 PM
Book time is for hiking, not backpacking. It will be a little slower, but probably faster than 1mph.

Most of the problem snow, the rotting snow, is below treeline. Above treeline most of it is gone except where the monorail, the packed snow from the winter is still packed on the trail.

KDT

Eric
05-25-2009, 09:07 AM
Everyone, thanks for the information. We're back from our trip (a day early). We ended up swapping and going north to south and probably could have made it but the mist-windstorm turned to rain near the top of Washington and hurt morale as well as getting just enough gear just wet enough to be worrisome. There was supposed to be a thunderstorm in a few hours so we decided the ridge wasn't wise and just descended and came home. It was a great 2-night trip.

In terms of the times, I think we could have just barely made Madison if we hadn't sheltered so long at the Washington summit. It's also pretty clear that we're slower than most; one of our party is slow on uphills and a different one is slow descending ... adds up to a lot of extra time.

I'll probably try to organize doing this route again towards the end of the season when I'm in better backpacking shape.

We saw effectively no snow on the AT between Pinkham and Washington with the exception of one 100 yard traverse on the ascent up Adams. Just FYI.

Thanks again, all.