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View Full Version : Pinkham Notch to Highland Center hike end of June



Be_Prepared
05-10-2007, 07:46 PM
Hi, first post, although I have lurked and learned here for a while.

I'm trying to plan a 3 day two night hike with another dad. We're taking our 14 year olds to the Whites for a couple nights in the huts. We have both done a bunch of hiking, and although we're not really in the same physical condition we were in back in the day of skiing tuck, we're going to live. The boys have both done some long hikes, although not as much elevation change as what they'll see here. They are both in great physical shape.

Here's what our initial thoughts are, but, they are very early. I can tell from reading this forum that you'll all be happy to lend feedback. I want this to be a fun experience, but, challenging too. These boys are both in my Scout troop, but, this is not a Scouting event.

We plan on leaving our vehicle at the Highland Center, and take the hiker shuttle to Pinkham notch. We might even spend a night there so we can hit the ground running as early as possible the first day.

Day 1: Leave Pinkham Notch, hike up Tuckerman's to Washington. Not sure if we should consider cutting over at Lion's Head, or just take Tuck all the way up. After summit, come back down on Crawford Path to Lakes, and spend the night there.

Day 2: Leave Lakes of the Clouds, follow Crawford Path and summit detours to bag Monroe, Eisenhower, and Pierce. End the day at Mizpah Spring hut.

Day 3: Evaluate how ambitious the boys are, and either take direct route back via Mizpah Cutoff to Crawford Path and the Highland Center, or maybe a little more hiking via Webster Cliff trail to pick up Mt Jackson then back to Highland Center.

Both boys have done multi day backpacks before where they had to carry tent and cooking gear. Those were on more level terrain. For this, they'll need a more moderate pack, but, will have a lot more elevation to deal with.

Ok, I've rambled enough for a first post. Be gentle:D

Bill O
05-10-2007, 08:30 PM
Sounds like a great plan. That's pretty much how I'd do that route. Its broken down into three moderate days, nothing too extreme.

My only suggestion, and its just a suggestion as your plan is fine. Maybe go straight to Lakes of the Clouds from Pinkham. Drop off your bags, get your bunks, then go summit Mount Washington. You don't add that much distance doing that. It greatly increases the odds of everyone making it to Lakes. If somebody is really tired they can just rest the remainder of the day and save energy for the next day.

In theory you could be at Lakes from Pinkham within 3 hours. That gives you a long day to explore the area and make it up Mount Washington.

Edit: At the end of June you might have to take Lion's Head or Boot Spur as the headwall could be closed by snow. Its not a big deal.

Brad
05-10-2007, 08:31 PM
Can I come? Sounds like a lot of fun.

Be_Prepared
05-10-2007, 09:56 PM
My only suggestion, and its just a suggestion as your plan is fine. Maybe go straight to Lakes of the Clouds from Pinkham. Drop off your bags, get your bunks, then go summit Mount Washington. You don't add that much distance doing that. It greatly increases the odds of everyone making it to Lakes. If somebody is really tired they can just rest the remainder of the day and save energy for the next day.

That's a good idea, leaves open a bunch of options. If you were going directly to Lakes first, would you go up Boot Spur to Davis and Camel, or just do the same route up Tuckerman's and take the crossover trail from Tuckerman's Junction over to the hut?

I appreciate the comments. I haven't been to Lakes since before my son was born, so probably 15 years or so anyway. It used to get pretty crowded, is that still the case? We would try to make this mid-week the last week of June. I'll make reservations on the AMC site once we nail down the dates for certain.

Steve M
05-11-2007, 12:49 AM
That's a good idea, leaves open a bunch of options. If you were going directly to Lakes first, would you go up Boot Spur to Davis and Camel, or just do the same route up Tuckerman's and take the crossover trail from Tuckerman's Junction over to the hut?

That sounds like a good idea if the weather is good. Keep in mind that Boott Spur is very exposed to the weather for a long time and I think it's a longer trip than Tucks. The views should be fantastic if the weather is right. I would go with ya if I could:)

Bill O
05-11-2007, 06:51 AM
I agree, Boot Spur is longer. Definenately make reservations as soon as possible. The huts do get crowded that's one of the reasons you want to show up early.

As for trail ideas, keep your options open. Boot Spur is longer, but has great views of Tucks and Mount Washington. Tucks has the exciting climb up the ravine headwall, a view of the snow arch...but the headwall could also be closed. Even Lion's Head isn't that far out of the way. Either way, you'd take the appropriate crossover to Lakes.

I think they made some improvements to Lakes in the past few years. They did such a good job though you might not notice them.

rockin rex
05-11-2007, 02:39 PM
You have put together an awesome hike!!!!!!!! I have a 14 year old and he has done the hike you are speaking of. I would suggest as previously mentioned check in first with lakes, grab your bunks and then climb Washington. Going from Pinkham to Washington gives you plenty of time to stop at Lakes first. You seem to have thought everything out and the boys are in for an incredible trip!!!!!! ENJOY.

Be_Prepared
05-11-2007, 11:01 PM
Thanks for the suggestions and feedback. I'm a little embarrassed to say that I haven't stayed in a hut in about 15+ years! Before that, however, I did many nights up there from college through pre-marriage/child days...

Back then, ("before electricity" as my son says) you basically got a great dinner the night you arrive, a bunk with a couple wool blankets, a pillow, and a hearty breakfast the next morning around 6 or 7 so you could get going. The hut croo were usually pretty hearty themselves, mostly fun. I don't think I ever ate a bad meal back then in a hut, although you're usually so hungry that maybe your taste buds are more forgiving? The breads were always amazing. I still remember waking up to the smell of fresh muffins or raisin bread or whatever.

Just wondering what to expect. Have things changed much? We've only been doing day hikes when we've been in the Whites the past few years, so I'm really looking forward to going back and staying in the huts. I found one of my old hut t-shirts from the dark ages, Carter Notch. I just wish I could still fit into it:( Apparently it has shrunk since I was in college? I remember the Carter Notch croo telling us stories back then that they didn't need a refrigerator up there, because they had a cold cave to keep stuff in!

Bill O
05-12-2007, 08:44 AM
Thankfully, things haven't changed much. I think they are using more solar and wind power. Probably a few upgrades in the bathrooms as well.