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claaky23
08-17-2009, 07:31 PM
Hey everyone,

I'm new to the forum, as well as semi new to hiking.
I've done a few big hikes, Including Washington via Great gulf ow (jogged down the Auto road with brother after his road race)

I'm planning the Franconia Ridge in two weeks and want to know the feasibility of starting up the Bridle path, following the ridge all the way to Flume, then head back towards Falling Waters and down.

Just interested in thoughts from a more experienced crowd than myself.

Thanks!!

John

JimS
08-18-2009, 04:34 PM
I've not done that hike...but it is one of the standard routes for a franconia dayhike. Lots of folks do it...depending on your experience, it's doable.

If you don't have it, pick up a copy of the AMC's white mountain guide from the MWOBS shop. It'll have book times and what to look for. Make sure you have a pack with the 10 essentials and then some...and go for it.

Lastly, best advise for any trip...
...don't be afraid to turn back.

mtruman
08-18-2009, 07:34 PM
I had to re-read the description but I think John is talking about an extension to the standard route. Normally you'd go across the ridge to Little Haystack and down Falling Waters. I think he's suggesting continuing on over Liberty to Flume and then retracing back to Little Haystack and down. Without the extension it is 8.9 miles and about 4000' of elevation gain (about the same as Mt Washington over the typical routes). It's 3.2mi and about 1000' of elevation from Little Haystack to Flume and another 3.2mi and 1350' coming back so overall you're looking at 15.1mi with about 6300' - which is quite a bit for a day hike (at least in my book). Don't know what your normal pace is like but you'll certainly need an early start to get down at a reasonable time. Falling Waters is not a particularly fun descent either - particularly if it's at all wet and muddy (which has probably been most of the time this year with the weather we've had). For my money I'd rather spend more time doing a leisurely traverse of the ridge and skip Flume and Liberty - particularly on a beautiful day. Would hate to be hurrying up there - it's just too beautiful. That's me though. Your mileage may vary...

claaky23
08-18-2009, 07:45 PM
Thanks for responding so quick, I know I'm going to like this forum.

I was(am) thinking about extending it to Flume, and my "early" start would be around 7:30. I am a little worried about the falling waters descent, of course i could take liberty spring and hitch back; as well as change my mind and just turn around. Has anyone done this that can compare it to book time, especially the descent?


Thanks,

John

Brad
08-18-2009, 07:50 PM
John, Corey McEntyre is out there now doing those trails with his son. But, not doing the extension over to Flume. And doing it over 2 days. They went up to the hut this morning - unloaded packs - did the summit and are staying at the hut tonight. Then tomorrow they will do the ridge and down Falling Waters back to the car. Corey will be able to have fresh knowledge of the trails and times.

mtruman
08-18-2009, 07:56 PM
If you've got more than a day you could certainly do the whole ridge including Flume and Liberty by using either the hut (need a reservation most likely) or by staying at the Liberty Spring tent site (just below the summit of Liberty). The tent site would be a better location to break up the hike but you'd have to carry a lot more gear...

claaky23
08-18-2009, 08:06 PM
It's the day of the fiance's bridal shower so I've got one day all to myself. Of course I could make the decision while I'm up there...My tentative plan was to really move during the initial ascent to make up most of the time and then enjoy being above treeline. I'm just hoping for nice weather to enjoy the views. The 15 day forcast is looking good!

KD Talbot
08-18-2009, 10:32 PM
Forget the 15 day forecast the, mountains, and especially Franconia Ridge have their own weather, be prepared for anything.

The way to do what you suggest is up to Lafayette then south along the ridge to Flume then descend by the Osseo Trail out to Lincoln Woods. There are 3 choices from there. Carspot, shuttle or hook up with other hikers to drive you back to your car. You'll find that if you talk with others on the trail you will usually find someone willing to help you out. Just mention your plans and that you'll need a ride back. I think you'll be OK.

KDT

FisherCat
08-18-2009, 11:10 PM
Forget the 15 day forecast the, mountains, and especially Franconia Ridge have their own weather, be prepared for anything.

The way to do what you suggest is up to Lafayette then south along the ridge to Flume then descend by the Osseo Trail out to Lincoln Woods. There are 3 choices from there. Carspot, shuttle or hook up with other hikers to drive you back to your car. You'll find that if you talk with others on the trail you will usually find someone willing to help you out. Just mention your plans and that you'll need a ride back. I think you'll be OK.

KDT

Kevin's right. Keep an eye on the forecast here at the Obs. They are your best bet. Notice they never go more than 2-3 days out, and even then it can change. NOAA isn't too bad either, but again, don't trust more than 2 - 3 days.
Going down FWT isn't too bad. The usual precautions apply. Watch your footing and where you reach with the hands. Especially near water. If you choose Osseo (my own personal favorite) once you get there you have pretty much smooth sailing including a nice "cool-down" for your feet and body, minus the 1.5m stretch of Lincoln Woods.

billysinc
08-19-2009, 06:31 AM
All great suggestions so I'll throw in one myself if you do decide to go for the full ridge hike. That would be to go up Falling waters and head towards Flume first then head to Lafayette and down. This is for a couple of reasons. Number one descending FW really isn't all that fun especially if it's wet and you're tired. Second by that point in your hike you're probably gonna be out of water or close to it and the Greenleaf hut will be a good place to re-fuel.

Plus if you decide to not do the southern end of the hike once you get to Haystack then you'll get to spend more time on top of Lafayette knowing you only have to descend from there as opposed to finishing on Haystack which isn't as nice IMO.

claaky23
08-19-2009, 01:21 PM
Thanks for all the replies and suggestions. I've got a week to decide, but I think if I am going to do the whole hike I might go up falling waters as suggested; since descending that trail was my main concern. I still may start up Lafayette and just putter along and enjoy myself doing the classic loop. It's a tough call.

Brad
08-19-2009, 06:30 PM
We did up Flume Slide trail - along the ridge to Lafayette and down the Old Bridal Path in one day many many moons ago. That was back when I was in great shape as a kid. I was figuring today that it has to be 48 years ago. Sounds like a nice 2-day hike to me now.

Anna LeBlanc
08-20-2009, 03:43 PM
Just do yourself a big favor no matter what route you decide to take.DO NOT descend by way of the Flume Slide Trail it's treacherous when wet and seeing there are many seeping streams on that trail for a good part of the year it's hardly ever dry:eek:

corey.mcentyre
08-21-2009, 02:28 PM
My son and I recently did a 2 day hike up Old Bridle Path to Greenleaf hut where we spent the night. We did the Lafayette summit that afternoon and then again the next morning so we could walk down the ridge to Little Haystack. If you would like to see the trail as it was on the 18th and 19th, I have a nice set of pictures (http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2032367&id=1379500386&l=b27f123c06) and some video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KKliRJXQ4qA).

The hike up OBP is enjoyable and once you've made it about half way up the ridge, you have several areas where you can walk out on rock ledges for views of Lafayette and Lincoln. There are a couple of spots where you can look west to Cannon and its cliffs as well. The hut was a great stop and both Mike and I really enjoyed the food, sleeping bunks and staff. A very entertaining bunch. Oh, did I mention the food was awesome? :D

The walk along the ridge provides some stunning views both east and west and we stopped often just to look around.

Descending Falling Waters was hard, so if you decide to loop in the other direction, it may be more enjoyable. Or, it could just be I'm out of shape. ;)

Hope you have a great trip!

mtruman
08-21-2009, 03:21 PM
Glad to here that you guys had such a good trip and enjoyed the hut. Our best memories of the White Mountains are from our hut hikes the last two summers. Really missed not going to any of them this year. Then again, Fall isn't a bad time to be up there either...

claaky23
08-21-2009, 06:31 PM
Thanks for the info and the visual aids. I think I'm going to try up falling waters down to flume then back to Lafayette; as just recently I decided I don't like difficult downhill trails. I'd rather enjoy a "leisurely" (relative term) descent than ascent. I'll let everyone know how it goes and try to take pictures if i'm allowed to bring the new digital camera; i broke the old one last year descending Boott Spur :(

Thanks again Everyone!

Snow Miser
08-21-2009, 07:47 PM
Great photos and video Corey. Looks like you guys had two great days. Thanks for sharing.

Good luck on your hike claaky23. Hope you have a great time. And you have to convince your fiance to let you take the new camera. How are you going to write a TR here without any photos.:D

claaky23
08-28-2009, 06:33 PM
Weather looks good for Sunday so I'm a go.
Again, I'll be going up Falling Waters, down to Mt. Flume, back over to Lafayette, down old bridle.

I am being allowed to take the Camera so I should have some good pics and my first ever TR!

-John

Snow Miser
08-28-2009, 08:33 PM
Have a great hike. Be looking forward to your first TR and photos.