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Thread: Franconia Ridge hike

  1. #1
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    Cool Franconia Ridge hike

    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

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    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.
    "I've learned that everyone wants to live on top of the mountain, but that all the happiness and growth occurs while you're climbing it."
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    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...
    Mark

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    Default Exactly

    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

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    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.
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    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...
    Mark

    Keep close to Nature's heart...
    and break clear away, once in awhile,
    and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods.
    Wash your spirit clean. - John Muir


    Hiking photos: http://picasaweb.google.com/mtruman42
    Hiking Blog: http://theramblingsblog.blogspot.com/
    Seek the 2011 Peak page: Mark Truman's Pledge Page

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    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!

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    Default Franconia Ridge

    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

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    Quote Originally Posted by KD Talbot View Post
    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.
    "LIVE FREE OR DIE...DEATH IS NOT THE WORST OF ALL EVILS." Gen. John Stark. "by reason of much foule weather and Extreme Bad Woods to travel in..." From the letter of my Great Uncle, Samuel Willard (accompanied by my grandfather Henry), to Governor Dummer on August 16, 1725, explaining the reason for his return, being instructed to "range all the country", of the Wawobadenik (White Mountains) July 19-August 16, 1725. I am a 13th generation New Englander and proud of it.

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    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.

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