Saturday, October 6, 2007

What's new? White Mountains!


Laurel has been running and biking a lot in the past months. Dan hasn't been doing much of anything. We haven't climbed in weeks. So it was about time for a big hiking/climbing weekend.

On Saturday we hiked in the White Mountains with John. The plan was to climb Sunday at Rumney but the rain sent us home early. We still had a fantastic hike though!

We parked at the Flume Visitor Center and around 9:15 started our hike. We headed up to the Flume Slide Trail. The trail was fairly flat but then got super steep -- 1500' elevation gain in half a mile. That's steeper than Gunnison in CO! After 3-4 miles of hiking we summited Mt. Flume and could see the peaks of Lincoln and Lafayette in the distance, 5 miles away. Had lunch and checked out the topo.

Next stop was Liberty where we had great views back of Flume:

and views across the valley to the great cliffs of Cannon Mountain:

From Liberty it was a few miles to Little Haystack and then Lincoln. It was neat hiking along the ridge, the views and exposure were spectacular. We started to see some rain in the west but it looked pretty light so we decided to continue on towards Lafayette.

Lafayette was the high point of the day (literally) at 5260'. From the top we could see most of the peaks we had traversed. In the other direction the Cannon ski slopes were visible.

3:20 PM was earlier than we expected to summit but there was still a long way to go so we continued down the shoulder of the mountain towards the Greenleaf hut. You can see it in the picture below, with the massive Cannon cliff behind.

Pretty soon on our descent it started to rain so we put away the camera and pulled out the rain gear. It wasn't that bad except we got stuck behind a line of 50 people all being held up by some oblivious people in front. Clearly the kind of people that drive really slow in the ultrafast lane. Finally we got to pass and could make some progress. We made it to the campground by dusk but at that point still had 3 miles to go. Luckily the trail was a paved bike trail that was fairly flat. Around 7:15 we were back at the car. 15 miles in 10 hours, not too bad!

John took us to this great local restaurant for dinner and then we headed home. It was raining heavily as we drove by Rumney, so camping and climbing would not have been any fun.