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Recent: Western White Mountains

PostPosted: Fri May 14, 2010 6:31 am
by Stevie0111
Anyone been to the western side of the Whites within the last week or so?? Specifically Twin & Franconia Ranges... I'm planning a trip for the beginning of next week to Lafayette, and wanted to see how the melt was going, still ice/snow, and how cold it was near and above tree-line. I am planning on calling the park to get their update, but wanted all the info I could get. Lemme know - thanks!!!

-Steve :D

PostPosted: Fri May 14, 2010 2:46 pm
by nartreb

PostPosted: Fri May 14, 2010 5:23 pm
by Castlereagh
also ... y.php?f=13

This guy gives Lincoln/Lafayette conditions as of 5/13 ... hp?t=35913

Edit: Just realized Nartreb's links gives pretty much the same thing

PostPosted: Sun May 16, 2010 5:35 pm
by AlexeyD

PostPosted: Sun May 16, 2010 6:46 pm
by Stevie0111
Thanls guys so much!!! This has all been more than helpful. Has anyone spent a night in the backcountry in the Franconia Range area?? Any suggestions on where a good spot in the wilderness is to set up camp. I was thinking either the Old Bridle, or Falling Waters as soon as you get out of state land... How steep it it within 100 yards or so of both those trails?? I have a few ideas based on my map, but does anyone have a spot they can suggest?? The main idea for us is to NOT use the greenleaf hut, or the tentsite to the south... Thanks again!!!


PostPosted: Sun May 16, 2010 10:02 pm
by nartreb
You could do it but you'd barely be getting into backcountry at all.
The Old Bridle Path marks the border of the state park, and is also on a narrow ridge (park on the west and cliffs on the right), for most of its length - there's a short section outside the park where it first makes a northward turn to climb the ridge, but that's already getting steep.
There's a section, low on Falling Waters, along Dry Brook where you'd be outside the park and the slope isn't too bad. In fact the woods there are pretty pleasant and open if I recall correctly. But you're still only about half a mile from the highway as the crow flies, and you'll probably hear hikers passing by at all hours. Might as well camp at Lafayette Place and hike with less gear.

PostPosted: Mon May 17, 2010 4:39 am
by AlexeyD
Though I've never done it, I imagine you might be able to find a spot somewhere on the ridge between Liberty and Haystack, if your intended route takes you there. I believe that portions of this ridge are wide enough that you'd be able to find a flat spot far enough from the trail that you wouldn't be breaking regulations...but of course you'd have to carry all of your water with you. Another possibility would be somewhere in the saddle between Lafayette and Garfield, but again I'm not sure if that is within the range of what you have in mind when you say the Franconia Range.

PostPosted: Mon May 17, 2010 2:41 pm
by nartreb
Depends how hard you're willing to look for a campsite. You're into thick balsam fir on those ridges, and you're required to be at least 200' from the trail (wilderness boundary). Also bear in mind, as Alexey says, you shouldn't expect to find water on the top of a ridge.

BTW, there's also a 200' rule for the FW and OBP trails: ... 008-09.pdf

[2010 rules don't seem to be posted yet]

PostPosted: Tue May 18, 2010 1:27 am
by Castlereagh
Agree with the above posters, you might as well camp down in Lafayette and do Lincoln Lafayette as a day hike. If you have energy left try Cannon or the Kinsmans on the other side of the backcountry camping for a longer excursion in the Pemi wilderness...a la Bonds or Owl's Head.

PostPosted: Tue May 18, 2010 3:41 pm
by AlexeyD
Castlereagh wrote: If you have energy left try Cannon or the Kinsmans on the other side of I-93.

That or just add Liberty and Flume and make it a longer loop (about 17 miles including the walk along the bike path back to the Lafayette trailhead.)

PostPosted: Tue May 18, 2010 5:07 pm
by bdynkin
As of last Sunday (May 16) there were plenty of snow patches on the ridge between Flume and Little Haystack. Not enough to cause real probems for walking but surely enough to make dinner if you decide to camp on the ridge. It's old snow so boil it or treat it of course. One can find water almost anywhere in White Mountains this time of the year.

PostPosted: Tue May 18, 2010 6:11 pm
by Castlereagh
Plus, I wouldn't trust the Flume Slide this time of year.