View Full Version : A Franconia Ridge Christmas Completion 12/26/11

12-29-2011, 01:40 PM
What an incredible trip my brother and I embarked on the day after Christmas. With only one hike in the way of my brother's completion of the 48, we set off for the Flume Slide Trail to go across the ridge to take on Flume, Liberty, Lincoln, and Lafayette, where we would celebrate his completion atop one of my favorite peaks, and one that got the best of me a couple of weeks ago.

It is so hard to describe this experience, but this VFTT trip report is a prelude to my full report, which will be ready before the weekend.

Since we've been hiking a lot, we haven't felt the need for snowshoes just yet, but for sure, it is time to bring them now. We enjoyed the nice stroll into the valley to the base of the slide, where the ascent began. Microspikes were pushed to max and beyond, but we managed just fine to the top without any plinko action :D

Along the way, the sky showed patches of blue, but we expected snow and clouds all day. The final ascent to Flume was intense. We ended up in a huge hiker jam just after the summit with another pair of hikers and a large group, which included J&J. It was nice to meet you! We talked for a few minutes in the traffic jam and proceeded.
Once we hit Liberty, the skies opened up and a result, the clouds and everything turned this hike into something magical, straight out the heavens, and just like that it felt like we were on top of the world.
As we approached Lafayette, my brother's final peak, we had seconds before the sun disappeared below the western horizon. I can't imagine what Bill felt as he reached his last peak. Once there, we let out our excitement and stood in amazed at the beauty around us. Under an Earthshine Crescent Moon and Venus with a sunset backdrop to dream of, two brothers put the AMC White Mountain 4000-footers in the books within one year.https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-fU30nPAH1kA/TvwMuQbz4nI/AAAAAAAAJqY/n_7AJLAJ1UY/s640/PC260270.JPGhttps://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-OhraW5yv81Q/TvwMy045LCI/AAAAAAAAJro/7ddifOU3bHw/s640/PC260309.JPG

For the full story of this incredible hike, please be on the lookout for my blog post. We broke trail in knee deep drifts from Liberty Springs on, we were blown across patches of ice above treeline, even with our spikes, and more. I am dying to share the whole album from this hike with you all, but until I post to my blog, this is a teaser. :D My brother and I will remember this trip forever.

12-29-2011, 06:18 PM
Love the pictures so far, I'm looking forward to the rest of the story..

KD Talbot
12-29-2011, 08:04 PM
Congratulations! A beautiful way to end one chapter and start another!


12-29-2011, 09:06 PM

Wow! Congrats to your brother!

This hike sounds epic! To start the Ridge from the Flume Slide in this weather is an awesome feat in itself! That approach to the Flume summit does look really intense. I can only imagine how beautiful the landscape was when the clouds cleared. Finishing on Lafayette at sunset must have been breathtaking.

Congrats to you both getting them in, in 2011! Can't wait for the blog post!


12-30-2011, 05:54 AM
Just awesome Dan! I had fun following your progress on SPOT as you did this hike. Was looking forward to the TR. You guys had a fantastic year and I can't think of a better place (particularly since it's my favorite in the Whites) to end it off. Congrats to you and your brother on knocking off this list this year - but even more for having such a great time doing it together! Hope 2012 is equally great.

Snow Miser
12-30-2011, 09:09 AM
Congratulations to you both!!! What an accomplishment! Love the teaser photos and TR, and look forward to your upcoming full blog report

12-30-2011, 11:36 AM
Hi Everyone, thank you so much for the congrats, it truly is an awesome accomplishment, and we're just enjoying it and reflecting now as the year comes to a close.

I said the report would be coming, and here it is! Enjoy!

A Franconia Ridge Christmas Completion - Trip Report (http://dmoutdoors.blogspot.com/2011/12/franconia-ridge-christmas-completion.html)

The Full Album (https://picasaweb.google.com/dmnorthshore6/HikingFranconiaRidgeTraverse122611?authuser=0&authkey=Gv1sRgCIDhxYWWhJPXkQE&feat=directlink)

12-30-2011, 02:45 PM
very nice trip

12-31-2011, 05:52 PM
great post + pics and THANKS 4 taking the time to post / share

The flume slide trail is always a fun one.. and in reference to "Microspikes were pushed to max and beyond" yes that's an understatement!!! Very impressive that you did in just spikes; that trail has a few spots of ice that clearly need a good pair of crampons if not also a ice tool to get a good hold in for the hands.

01-01-2012, 02:21 PM
Thank you very much Tim. I knew it was going to be fun. I had my strap-on crampons in my bag, but I decided not pull them out since my brother hasn't picked any up yet. I would have been going up really fast, lol. We used some teamwork and ten-fingers in some places. I definitely want to come back and go right up with the crampons and tools. I'm going to have to get technical axes now. Many sections of the ice on the ridge were worthy of crampons, but it was not completely covered in some places, but it will be soon. I carried along some rope for this trip too, just in case anything got hairy.