View Full Version : Presi Traverse for end of October...thoughts, ideas, advice??
09-13-2010, 01:21 PM
I'm planning to do the Presi Traverse the weekend of Oct 22. I have a number of questions.
from start to finish how many hours will it take?
is there enough light in late oct to have full daylight if we go in one day?
If we do a 2-dayer, where is a good place to camp?
ANy misc info I'll need to make this an amazingly successful hike?
Thanks in advance!! Lou K
09-16-2010, 10:56 AM
I did the traverse back in 1997. I do not recall all the details. Here is what I do recall. I took a Friday off to make it a 2-3 day trip. I was not looking to do a one day marathon, I am sure you could. We started from the North. We camped off of a trail that started at Route 2 on Thursday night. We got up and hiked most of Friday and when it was time to camp we got below the tree line by taking the sphinx trail down and out. We camped saturday night in the great gulf wilderness. On Saturday morning we took the Great Gulf trail to the top of mt washington and went south along the ridges and peaks to mizpah campsite, where we stayed on a platform. We then had a quick hike out on Sunday morning. We could have easily hiked out Saturday given our time table. I think the trip was in the neighborhood of 25 miles give or take. We choose to stay in the woods off the trail from route 2 the first night because we were unsure of how much time it would take us given the weight of our packs and our conditionng. One caution on this trip plan is that the Sphinx trail is pretty steep and tough with a full pack, but I recall it being fairly short, maybe a mile? This plan also got us what we wanted which was 2 nights out . Sorry I don't recall all the trail names, I do remember not peaking on Jefferson because of weather so we took a trail that goes around the peak. All my pictures were of day 2 due to bad weather on day one. Have fun how ever you do it!
09-16-2010, 02:24 PM
You can do some searches here and on vftt.com for other traverse reports. The short answer is no, you can't do it in daylight, unless you are going to be close to the fastest known time (FKT) http://fastestknowntime.proboards.com/index.cgi?board=northeast&action=display&thread=33
Daylight lasts a little over 11 hours on the 22nd and the above FKT's were done in august/early sep. when the temp on the summit was likely to be above freezing. The summit of MW (and all the other summits) got significant snow on the 15th of October last year. Last October 22nd the high was 35 degrees and the low was 27 and the wind was blowing 40mph in the morning...oh and there was 2" of slush and ice on the ground. While possible a 1 day traverse is not a sure plan.
Camping (unless there is in excess of 2 feet of snow) is plentiful if you are not afraid to climb down and back up over 1000 feet for the night, aside from the shelters and tentsites listed on the AMC and RMC websites there are a few sites along the Davis Path off Boott Spur (a ways off the traverse path) and there are some down in the Great Gulf (aslo off the traverse path). The RMC Perch shelter and tentsite are probably the easiest sites to go down to and then climb back up from and Perch is more in the middle of the traverse.
The whole traverse is covered here: http://home.earthlink.net/~ellozy/presidential-traverse.html
Good luck with your trip
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