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Thread: Compare hiking Franconia Ridge to Mt. Washington via Ammonoosuc Ravine and Jewell

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    Default Compare hiking Franconia Ridge to Mt. Washington via Ammonoosuc Ravine and Jewell

    I was wondering if anyone could compare hiking Franconia Ridge (up Falling Waters and down Bridal Path) to hiking Mt. Washington via Ammonoosuc Ravine and down Jewell Trail. My husband and I visited the White's and hiked Franconia Ridge for the first time last year. It was a pretty difficult hike for me, but the views at the top made it so worth it! We're planning to try Mt. Washington at the end of June (weather permitting) this year, so I wondered if it's about the same (elevation gain and steepness) or if it's much more difficult? Any advice on the easiest trail to hike up would also be appreciated.. Looking forward to visiting the beautiful White Mountains again! Thank you!

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    The easiest way to Washington is probably round trip by Jewell trail, 10.2 miles, 3800', 7:00. Next would be the loop, Ammonoosuc Ravine and Jewell trail, 9.6 miles, 3800', 6:40. The Ammo is steeper than the Jewell so go up that way and down the Jewell. You can get Mount Monroe for an addition half mile and 300' doing things this way, plus a stop for food/water/rest at the Lake of the Clouds Hut if you are interested.

    The popular Falling Waters, Little Haystack, Lincoln, Lafayette, Old Bridle Path loop is 9 miles, 3900', 6:30. I would put the two counter-clockwise loops on nearly equal footing, difficulty-wise.

    Tim

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    I personally think that washington is a much tougher climb. I havent tired washington fron the west side only the east via tuckermans ravine. I had done the franconia loop about two months prior to climbing washington and I thought it would be similar. I was mistaken the final climb from the floor of the ravine to the summit was the most grueling climb that I have done in the whites as far as elevation in such a short distance. I have heard that the jewell trail is the easiest way to washington summit. Keep in mind if you climb it from the west side and find it to much to go down you have the option of taking the cog down but its pretty pricey. If you climb from the east side via tuckermans or the boot spur they have shuttles down the autoroad that are about half the price of the cog and they will drop you at pinkham notch visitors center. My opinion you should still attempt washington it is an amazing hike just drink plenty of water the day before and the morning you climb

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    Thanks, Tim. We're really excited to try it and hoping for a nice clear warm day! We'll try the Ammo trail up and see how we do when we get to the hut. I needed a little reinforcement that it was about an equally difficult hike, so glad to hear you think so! Are there any places where streams are difficult to cross? We had a spot on the way up falling waters trail that we had to cross on a pretty high log. I'm not too good at that and certainly don't want wet feet for the remainder of the hike! How about the downhill, is it a pretty good trail? We hiked Tongue Mountain Range in the Adirondaks last weekend and had to slide down a steep slab of rock -- I'm not a rock climber (or descender) either.. But I made it - all 14 miles! ;-) We're from western MA so hike Mt. Greylock a lot as well, but that mountain certainly isn't anywhere near the size of Mt. Washington!

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    There are no notoriously difficult stream crossings on the Ammo Ravine Trail. Washington via Tuckerman's is 8.4 miles, 4,300 feet which is 500 more feet of elevation in 1.2 to 1.8 fewer miles.


    Old Bridal Path - Lafayette - Lincoln - Little Haystack - Falling Waters


    Ammo - Monroe - Washington - Clay - Jewell

    Tim

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    Default Which direction?

    The nice thing about the Ammonoosuc ravine trail in comparison to Falling Waters is, the steep part (1500 feet per mile) is one mile long instead of two. Two miles of that might be a leg killer for me.

    Is Falling Waters tough to go down? I noticed the map above started up the gentle slope of the old bridle path, which I have climbed without difficulty, and down the steep part.
    John

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    I've come down both but only in winter where the butt sliding was a blast. In summer I've only ever been up both.

    Tim

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    Default Advice

    All good advice here EXCEPT advice about the Cog and Shuttles. There is NO guaranty that you can get a ticket on either. If the train is full, it is full. If the shuttle is full, no ride. You cannot buy a one way ticket in advance for either. If the weather turns one or both may stop running.

    If you're going to hike up, you need to be able to get back down yourself. This means: Do not forge on to the summit beyond your endurance thinking you can just get a ride down, there is no guaranty! If you think you might need a ride down when you get to the summit, then turn around and try again some other day.

    Jewell, though longer, is the most gradual pathway up AND down.

    KDT

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vox Sciurorum View Post
    Is Falling Waters tough to go down? I noticed the map above started up the gentle slope of the old bridle path, which I have climbed without difficulty, and down the steep part.
    We've been up Falling Waters 3 times but never down and I'd like to keep it that way (that's my knees speaking). Plenty of people obviously do it and are fine with it. Some even say they like it better in that direction...
    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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    Tim, thanks so much for the topo maps -- the two hikes do seem pretty comparable - at least on the maps! And thanks everyone for all of your great advice. I do agree that you need to be able to get up and down and not rely on some other mode of transportation down. We'll definitely be looking for good weather to do this hike and will be prepared and head down if bad weather rolls in unexpectedly. I'm sure hoping for clear blue skies that day! John, when we hiked Franconia ridge last year we went up Falling waters and down Bridal path since that's what most folks recommended as the easiest route. Some said that Falling waters was steeper and could be slippery if wet. Our plan originally from reading trip reports on the internet was to go up Old Bridle path but then we spoke to some people on Cannon Mtn. who changed our minds. Either way is tough on the knees for sure! Such a great feeling up there on top above treeline -- hope to feel it again this year! Happy hiking everyone! Stay safe!

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