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View Full Version : Comparing Jewell to Boott Spur



psalisbury
04-19-2013, 08:03 AM
Hi - I'm new to this forum and joined in hopes of getting an answer to a very sepcific question (and possibly other advice). I tried on Facebook, and received many, many wonderful responses in comparing trails, but still not an answer to my question - so here goes: I need a simple answer as to how Jewell compares to Boott Spur in regards only to spots where you have to pull yourself up.

A little history and why I really, really need an answer to this:

I have hiked to the summit of Mt Washington twice, both times taking Boott Spur trail, which I found sufficiently challenging for me (I don't like completely vertical trails!) I again plan to hike this year, and my STP group wants to take Jewell Trail assuring me that it is just as easy, if not easier than Boott Spur. Now, it's not that I don't believe them, but no one can seem to answer this one simple question: How does Jewell compare to Boot Spur in regards only to spots on the trail where you have to pull yourself up with your arms? I really need an answer to this, as I had major shoulder reconstructive surgery in January and believe it or not even by July I will not be physically capable of puling up my own body weight.

I hope someone can honestly answer this question for me - thanks in adavance!

Snow Miser
04-22-2013, 03:00 PM
Hello psalisbury! Welcome to these forums.

I have never hiked Boott Spur, so I cannot actually give a comparison of the two. But, I have done Jewell quite a few times and cannot recall any sections where you would have to pull yourself up with your arms. The only arm power you would need is if you use hiking poles. Other than that, it's a fairly easy accent. Hope this helps. Looking forward to seeing everyone at STP this year! :)

CHRIS
04-23-2013, 05:24 AM
I agree with Bob. I also have never done Boot Spur but have done Jewell many times. There really isn't any spot on the Jewell where you would need to pull yourself up. There are a few rocky areas that you may have to use your arms or trekking poles but only to balance. It is really a great trail to do.

psalisbury
04-23-2013, 12:46 PM
And how would you rate the steepness of the trail? I know I'm being kind of neurotic about this, but I'm trying to make a group of very different people happy! One is a first time hiker, one is, like me, in her 50s and doesn't want super difficult, the other is my son who is in the military and could climb anything! Now everyone is fully aware of the fact that "there is no easy way up Mt Washington" but the 3 of us who have hiked Boott Spur really liked the trail so it's a tough decision!

SO, any further details in regards to steepness, rocky aeras, etc would be very much appreaciated! Thanks!

bikehikeskifish
04-25-2013, 12:08 PM
I have done both trails and the Jewell is an easier trail. It is the easiest (not shortest) route up IMO.

Tim

Snow Miser
04-26-2013, 09:34 AM
And how would you rate the steepness of the trail? I know I'm being kind of neurotic about this, but I'm trying to make a group of very different people happy! One is a first time hiker, one is, like me, in her 50s and doesn't want super difficult, the other is my son who is in the military and could climb anything! Now everyone is fully aware of the fact that "there is no easy way up Mt Washington" but the 3 of us who have hiked Boott Spur really liked the trail so it's a tough decision!

SO, any further details in regards to steepness, rocky aeras, etc would be very much appreaciated! Thanks!


As you know, there isn't really any easy way up to the summit. But the Jewell would be the trail most folks would advise beginners and those a little slower to take. One piece of advice would be to just allowed enough time for brief rest periods. Hope this helps.

Trailsend
04-26-2013, 08:01 PM
I also have done both trails and in my opinion the Jewell is easier both on the ascend and descend.

psalisbury
04-29-2013, 02:39 PM
Thanks so much for the replies! I think I finally have my answer and can now make an informed decision!

climbabout
05-07-2013, 01:27 PM
I have done both Boott Spur and Jewell multiple times. Jewell is the easier of the 2 by a good margin. In fact I would rate Jewell as the easiest, most evenly graded route to the summit. Over the years I have hiked virtually every trail to the summit with the exception of the great gulf headwall. My then 7 year old summited for his first time on the Jewell and I led a group of boyscouts up and down the Jewell last fall - they ranged in age from 10 or 11 thru 17 and of varying abilities. All made it without difficulty. I can't imagine you can make a better choice if you are looking for the most gentle grade up the rockpile.
Good Luck,
Tim

psalisbury
05-08-2013, 10:19 AM
Thanks Tim! That's very helpful - Wewill definitely be taking Jewell this year!

dlapine
07-28-2013, 04:25 PM
I'm not sure if you've already hiked the Jewell at this point, but I agree with the others. It's a great trail! No spots where you have to pull yourself up. Now I have the opposite question though, since I've done the Jewell a couple of times, we were considering Boott Spurr. I haven't hiked at all on the other side of the mountain. Are there spots on that trail that I would have to pull myself up? Is it much harder than Amanoosuc up and Jewell down? One of the posts stated that the decent is rougher, is that going up and down Tuckerman's just before the summit or is it because of spots on Boott Spurr? We were considering taking the longer route around the other side of Washington instead of the steeper, Tuckerman's route. Thanks all!

sdways01
07-29-2013, 11:55 AM
I just came down the Boott Spur Trail a week ago for STP. I don't think there would be any places where you need to pull yourself up. There were a few short steep spots, but I imagine going up them wouldn't be bad. There was nothing that I needed to come down backwards on due to steepness or difficulty. There was one spot above treeline that was larger rocks/boulders, but with a little planning ahead of your route shouldn't be hard by any means. The ladder down low is steep and a bit awkward to come down, but you would be going up it. I will say though, there won't be much for breaks on this trail until the summit of Boott Spur. It is a pretty steady descent/ascent for much of it's length. Coming down at the end of the hike, the trail to me seemed to go on for a long time at the end, but I imagine going up at the start would be different.