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NH4K - Full Franconia Ridge Traverse (ADVANCED)

  • Apr 6, 2013 · 7:30 AM

Organizer: Michael Blair @ (978)[masked]

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03/28 UPDATE: Changed the start time (7:30), the route (up Greenleaf down Liberty Springs), and the number of participants (12).

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Because of the advanced nature of this hike (steep climb, above treeline travel, lots of miles, and lots of elevation gain) all potential participants will be wait listed. The limit for this trip will be 12 people. Only sign-up if you have similar experiences this winter. I will let people know if they will be added to the trip within 24-48 hours of them joining the wait list.

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Read the entire description before you RSVP and answer all questions that are part of the RSVP. Failure to answer them will result in your removal from this event.

If you RSVP from a mobile device the questions may not show up - be sure to use a computer to update your RSVP so you can answer them (go back to the event page, click change "RSVP", click "YES", then answer them.

Your safety, and the safety of the group, is the most important thing. If you underestimate the demands of this event; overestimate your experience, knowledge, skills or abilities; or come unprepared you put yourself or others at risk – consider this before you decide to participate.

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What we're doing...

The plan is to traverse the whole Franconia Ridge and we will hit four of the 4,000 footers in NH along the way - Flume (#25 @ 4,328'), Liberty (#18 @ 4,459'), Little Haystack (4,760'), Lincoln (#7 @ 5,089'), Truman (5,020'), and Lafayette (#6 @ 5,260') along the way.

Lafayette is the highest peak in the Franconia Ridge - there are stunning views of the Bonds and the Pemigewasset Wilderness Area from its summit and the open ridge between Little Haystack and Lafayette. While this route would be packed with people in the summer, you can expect to see a lot fewer people during the winter.

We will be climbing up Old Bridle to the AMC Greenleaf Hut (closed in winter). From there we will use Greenelaf Trail to climb Lafayette before following the Franconia Ridge Trail south all the way to Flume. At Flume, we will retrace our steps over Liberty before using the Liberty Springs Trail to get back to the trailhead.

Guests are not permitted - all participants must be members of the Random Group of Hikers.

Dogs are not permitted on this hike - while I don't mind having them along in the summer they can sometimes cause problems in the winter while walking along narrow snow shoe paths or climbing icy sections.

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What to bring...

Be sure to look at the gear information listed below - you will need things like warm layers, wind protection, goggles, snow shoes, and traction (while you can bring microspikes or hillsounds you will also need full mountaineering crampons for this trip). I will update everyone if weather conditions dictate that we bring more than what is described here. If you don't know what to wear and/or bring with you or have any questions contact me.

Do not rely on others to have extra items to share with you at the meeting spot or on the trail. If you don't have the required items you put yourself and everyone else at risk. You should know how to use all of your equipment - test and adjust it prior to this trip.

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Trip Summary

We start as a group, hike as a group, and finish as a group. Our pace will be that of the slowest hiker. This trip isn't for you if you are faster than the group and don't want to stay with us, if you want to head off on your own, or if you are slower than the group and expect us to constantly wait for you.

On this moderate pace (~1.5 MPH) out and back trip we will hike about 14.0 miles and climb about 5,600 feet. It should take an average hiker about 9 hours 45 minutes to complete this trip (this does not include time for rest breaks).

This event is considered to be ADVANCED because of the pace, distance, and elevation gain. We could alter our plans because of fatigue, weather, and/or other conditions and there is no guarantee that we will complete the entire event as described here (i.e. we might not reach the summit).

I did my research using the Appalachian Mountain Club's "White Mountain Guide", a trail map, and the Internet. You need to become self-reliant by becoming familiar with the route, terrain, and potential hazards since you are ultimately responsible for your own safety.

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Weather

Mountain weather is subject to rapid changes and extreme conditions. Dangerous weather conditions will cancel - I will post an update and/or send an email to all confirmed participants a day or two ahead of time. We will assess travel and weather conditions during the hike and make changes to our planned trip as necessary.

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Directions

We will meet in the parking lot on the east side of Route 3 in Franconia Notch (just north of Flume Visitors Center). Since this is where we will finish we will leave a few cars here and then drive to where we will start the hike. According to Google Maps this spot is about 134 miles from Boston and it should take about 2 hours 8 minutes to drive there.

While carpooling is encouraged you are responsible for coordinating your own rides. Use the comments section below to communicate with others who may also be looking to share a ride. If you do share a ride be sure to share the expenses - suggested donations per person are $20 from Boston MA, $15 from Salem/Nashua NH, and $10 from Concord NH.

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Random Group of Hikers Disclaimer

As a condition of your voluntary participation in this activity you acknowledge and agree to the following: this activity involves inherent risks that can cause property damage, injury, illness, disability, and/or death to participants and/or others; you assume all risk associated with this activity; you are responsible for having the necessary knowledge, skills, abilities, clothing, and equipment to safely participate in this activity; you know and will follow the Hiker Responsibility Code; the organizer(s) of this activity are volunteers; and you release, hold harmless, and indemnify the organizer(s) and all members of this group from any and all claims for property damage, injury, illness, disability, and/or death - including those caused by negligence and/or other reasons.

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  • Michael B.

    On the ride up I still held out hope that we could get the whole ridge but after getting blown all around in nearby Lincoln it seemed like staying in the trees was the best bet for a fund day. We stayed in the trees (except for the brief "summit stops") and had a lot of fun. It was nice to be able to make some last minute adjustments on the trail to be able to go out Osseo to Lincoln Woods.

    1 · April 9, 2013

  • Sue R.

    A fun hike with great views. It was nice meeting everyone!

    1 · April 8, 2013

  • Amal

    A great hike on a crystal clear day with fantastic views. Thanks for organizing another great hike in the Whites!

    2 · April 7, 2013

  • Monica T.

    It was a great hike! Thanks for coming everyone.

    1 · April 7, 2013

  • Al

    Awesome trip! Strong team !

    1 · April 7, 2013

  • John

    Fun hike, great people and lots of laughs, it doesn't get much better than that.......and Barney lives!!!

    April 6, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Due to the winds/temps we altered the trip to a traverse of Liberty/Flume, heading up Liberty Springs and out via Osseo/Lincoln Woods. Once we descending Flume we were sheltered from the wind and it was very pleasant. A great day and I enjoyed meeting everyone!

    2 · April 6, 2013

  • Domenic D.

    Sorry, I missed the hike. I became a grandfather (again) yesterday! Hopefully I don't get kicked off the team.

    April 6, 2013

    • Monica T.

      Congratulations! See you next time.

      April 6, 2013

  • Michael B.

    We will be going in the right direction - winds will be from the west early (so from behind us on the way up to Lafayette) and then from the north later (so from behind us as we traverse the ridge). You may want to bring a sled for some fun on Liberty Springs Trail.

    1 · April 5, 2013

  • Michael B.

    Peg beat me to it - it is going to be cold and windy. Be prepared for a full-on winter hike. Since we will be above treeline a lot have head, face, and body wind protection. Goggles too. Once we leave the hut (which is closed remember) we won't be stopping for long so make sure you can easily access your food and water.

    1 · April 5, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Checking the weather forecast for Saturday, it should be sunny, but COLD and WINDY! high winds tapering down to 40mph (http://www.usairnet.com/cgi-bin/launch/code.cgi?Submit=Go&sta=KMWN&state=NH & http://www.mountwashington.org/weather/summit_forecast.php) and down to 10 degrees. BRRR! I guess I will be packing a balaclava, ski goggles, and warmer layers.

    1 · April 5, 2013

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