NH4K: Jefferson, Adams, Madison (Advanced)

  • July 13, 2013 · 8:00 AM

Organizer: John (LAG) Lagasse [masked]

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INSTRUCTIONS ON RSVPs:

  • Read the entire description before you RSVP.
  • If you RSVP "YES" the next page displayed is the questions.
  • 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.
  • Use a computer, on the Upper Right of the page in the Green Box click "CHANGE RSVP", select "Yes" and click RSVP, the next page displayed is the questions.
  • IT IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY TO LOGIN WITHIN THE NEXT THREE DAYS TO ANSWER THE QUESTIONS OR YOU WILL BE MOVED FROM "GOING" TO "NOT GOING".
  • If for some reason you cannot get the the Questions and you have REREAD these instructions and FOLLOWED them please send me an email.

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 and others at risk – consider this before you decide to participate.

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What we're doing

The plan is to climb Mt Jefferson, Mt Adams, and Mt Madison.

starting at Caps Ridge Trailhead, 3008 ft

to Air Line Trailhead Trailhead, 1306 ft

See full route and description below.

NOTE:  Anne and I will be staying at Dolly Copp if anyone wants to join us the night before or the night after.

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.

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

Dogs are not permitted on this hike.

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Trip Summary

On this slower/moderate pace (~1.5 MPH) round trip we will hike about 10.37 miles and climb about 4,364 feet and Descend 6,058 ft- it should take an average hiker about 7 hours 27 minutes to complete this trip.  I am scheduling 10 hours.

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.

starting at Caps Ridge Trailhead, 3008 ft

Back to here hike 1.10 mi/58 min/+792 ft on the Caps Ridge Trail
The trail leaves the parking area and crosses a wet section on log bridges, then ascends steadily up the lower part of the ridge. There is an outcrop of granite on the right that provides a fine view, particularly of the summit of Jefferson and the Caps Ridge ahead. There are several potholes in this outcrop; such potholes are normally formed only by torrential streams, and such streams occur on high ridges like the Ridge of the Caps only during the melting of a glacier, so these potholes indicate to geologists that the continental ice sheet once covered this area.
to the junction of The Link
entering alpine zone
hike 1.00 mi/1 hr 7 min/+1245 ft on the Caps Ridge Trail
About 100 yd. beyond this outcrop, the Link enters from the left, providing a nearly level but rough path that runs to the Castle Trail just below the Castles, making possible a very scenic though strenuous loop over the Caps and Castles. The Caps Ridge Trail follows the narrow crest of the ridge, becoming steeper and rougher as it climbs up into scrub, and views become increasingly frequent. The trail reaches the lowest Cap after a steep scramble up ledges, and it runs entirely in the open from here on. The trail ascends very steeply up the ridge to the highest Cap, then continues to climb steeply as the ridge blends into the summit mass.
to the junction of The Cornice
hike 0.40 mi/32 min/+663 ft on the Caps Ridge Trail
The Cornice enters left, providing a very rough route to the Castle Trail and Edmands Col, and then diverges right in 20 yd., providing an easy shortcut to Monticello Lawn and points to the south.
to Mt Jefferson, 5716 ft

Totals
Distance 2.50 mi
Time 2 hr 37 min
Elev Gain +2730 ft
Elev Loss -30 ft
Elev Change +2700 ft

Back to here hike 0.02 mi/1 min/-21 ft on the Caps Ridge Trail
The Caps Ridge Trail continues east, keeping a little south of the crest of the ridge, to the summit of Mt. Jefferson, then descends east 40 yd. to the base of the little conical summit crag, where it meets the Mt. Jefferson Loop just above its junctions with the Castle and Six Husbands trails.
to the junction of Mt Jefferson Loop
hike 0.01 mi/1 min/-4 ft on the Mt Jefferson Loop
From this junction, Mt. Jefferson Loop heads northeast, and almost immediately Castle Trail diverges left.
to the junction of Castle Trail
hike 0.06 mi/2 min/-72 ft on the Mt Jefferson Loop
In a short distance, Six Husbands Trail diverges right.
to the junction of Six Husbands Trail
hike 0.33 mi/10 min/-423 ft on the Mt Jefferson Loop
Mt. Jefferson Loop descends steeply down the slope until it returns to Gulfside Trail, 0.2 mi. south of Edmands Col.
to the junction of Gulfside Trail
hike 0.20 mi/6 min/-249 ft on the Gulfside Trail
Gulfside Trail now descends steeply north over rough rocks, with Jefferson Ravine on the right, and about 100 yd. beyond the junction, it passes flat-topped Dingmaul Rock, from which there is a good view down the ravine, with Mt. Adams on the left. The trail continues down to Edmands Col. At Edmands Col (4,938 ft.) is a bronze tablet in memory of J. Rayner Edmands, who made most of the graded paths on the Northern Peaks. Gulfside Spring is 50 yd. south of the col on Edmands Col Cutoff, and Spaulding Spring (reliable) is 0.1 mi. north along Randolph Path near its jct. with Castle Ravine Trail and the Cornice. The emergency shelter once located at this col has been dismantled, and none of the trails leaving this area are entirely satisfactory escape routes in bad weather. From the col, Edmands Col Cutoff leads south, entering scrub almost immediately, affording the quickest route to this rough form of shelter in dangerous weather; it then continues about 0.5 mi. to Six Husbands Trail leading down into the Great Gulf, but it is very rough, and Six Husbands Trail is very difficult to descend, making it a far less than ideal escape route unless the severity of the weather leaves no choice. Randolph Path leads north into the Randolph Valley, running above treeline with great exposure to northwest winds for more than 0.5 mi. This is nevertheless probably the fastest, safest route to civilization unless high winds make it too dangerous to cross through Edmands Col. Branching from Randolph Path, 0.1 mi. north of the col, are the Cornice, a very rough trail leading west entirely above treeline to Castle Trail, and Castle Ravine Trail, which descends steeply over very loose talus and may be hard to follow.
to Edmands Col, 4938 ft
hike 0.70 mi/32 min/+312 ft on the Gulfside Trail
Leaving Edmands Col, Gulfside Trail climbs moderately along the edge of Jefferson Ravine, ascending northeast along the narrow ridge that divides Jefferson Ravine from Castle Ravine near the edge of the southeast cliffs, from which there are fine views into the Great Gulf. This part of Gulfside Trail was never graded. The trail reaches the crest of a small ridge, where Israel Ridge Path enters left. Near this junction in wet weather there is a small pool called Storm Lake.
to the junction of Israel Ridge Path
hike 0.50 mi/24 min/+225 ft on the Gulfside Trail
Gulfside Trail and Israel Ridge Path coincide, passing reliable water at the base of a conspicuous boulder just to the right of the path; Peabody Spring (unreliable) is just beyond on the left in a small, grassy flat. Gulfside Trail continues to ascend and, as it levels out on a grassy lawn in the saddle (5,490 ft.) between Mt. Adams and Mt. Sam Adams, Israel Ridge Path diverges right and ascends a short distance to Lowe’s Path and thence to the summit of Mt. Adams.
to the junction of Israel Ridge Path
hike 0.10 mi/6 min/+100 ft on the Israel Ridge Path
With the cairn at Thunderstorm Junction in sight ahead, the Israel Ridge Path branches right from the Gulfside Trail, and enters Lowe’s Path, which leads to the summit of Mt. Adams. The cairns between the Gulfside Trail and Lowe’s Path are rather sketchy, so in poor visibility it might be better to follow Lowe’s Path from Thunderstorm Junction to the summit.
to the junction of Lowe's Path
hike 0.20 mi/12 min/+210 ft on the Israel Ridge Path
Climbing almost due east, the path reaches the summit of Mt. Adams, where it meets the Air Line and Star Lake Trail.
to Mt Adams, 5799 ft

Totals
Distance 4.62 mi
Time 4 hr 11 min
Elev Gain +3689 ft
Elev Loss -910 ft
Elev Change +2779 ft


Back to here hike 0.54 mi/17 min/-641 ft on the Air Line
Air Line begins on the summit of Mt. Adams, at a junction with Lowe’s Path and Star Lake Trail. It descends steadily southeast on a rough way over large, angular stones, passing northwest of Mt. Quincy Adams. The path then enters Gulfside Trail, turning to the right.
to the junction of Gulfside Trail
hike 0.06 mi/2 min/-10 ft on the Air Line
Gulfside Trail and Air Line coincide for less than 100 yd. Then Air Line branches left at the top of the steep, open north slope of Mt. Quincy Adams, and just below this junction, King Ravine Trail branches left from Air Line. Here there are striking views ahead to Mt. Madison, and into King Ravine at the Gateway a short distance down on the left.
to the junction of Gulfside Trail
hike 0.30 mi/9 min/-357 ft on the Gulfside Trail
Gulfside Trail then descends the slope and passes through a patch of scrub to a junction with Valley Way and Star Lake Trail.
to the junction of Valley Way
hike 0.02 mi/1 min/+13 ft on the Gulfside Trail
Madison Spring Hut is reached in another 30 yd.
to AMC Madison Spring Hut, 4800 ft

Totals
Distance 5.54 mi
Time 4 hr 40 min
Elev Gain +3725 ft
Elev Loss -1941 ft
Elev Change +1784 ft


Back to here hike 0.02 mi/1 min/+13 ft on the Osgood Trail
Osgood Trail begins at Madison Spring Hut. In 30 yd., Pine Link joins on the left. (From Madison Spring Hut until it reaches the Osgood Tentsite, Osgood Trail is part of the AT.)
to the junction of Pine Link
hike 0.48 mi/31 min/+546 ft on the Osgood Trail
Osgood Trail ascends steeply along the north side of the ridge. It crosses to the south side and  ascends eastward just below the ridge crest and above the steep slopes falling off into Madison Gulf on the right. It then follows the crest of the ridge past several large cairns to the summit of Mt. Madison, where Watson Path joins from the left.
to Mt Madison, 5366 ft

Totals
Distance 6.04 mi
Time 5 hr 12 min
Elev Gain +4288 ft
Elev Loss -1944 ft
Elev Change +2344 ft


Back to here hike 0.48 mi/14 min/-546 ft on the Osgood Trail
Osgood Trail then follows the crest of the ridge west past several large cairns, drops off to the left (south), and continues to descend westward just below the ridge crest and above the steep slopes falling off into Madison Gulf on the left. Soon it crosses to the north side of the ridge and descends steeply. Then Pine Link joins on the right.
to the junction of Pine Link
hike 0.02 mi/1 min/-13 ft on the Osgood Trail
In another 30 yd. Osgood Trail reaches Madison Spring Hut.
to AMC Madison Spring Hut, 4800 ft

Totals
Distance 6.54 mi
Time 5 hr 27 min
Elev Gain +4292 ft
Elev Loss -2507 ft
Elev Change +1784 ft


Back to here hike 0.02 mi/1 min/-13 ft on the Gulfside Trail
The trail begins about 30 yd. from Madison Spring Hut at a junction with Valley Way and Star Lake Trail and leads southwest through a patch of scrub.
to the junction of Valley Way
hike 0.01 mi/1 min/-3 ft on the Valley Way
Valley Way begins at a junction with Gulfside and Star Lake trails, just below Madison Spring Hut. In 10 yd. Air Line Cutoff diverges left.
to the junction of Air Line Cutoff
hike 0.50 mi/16 min/-619 ft on the Valley Way
Valley Way swings down into the scrub close to Snyder Brook. The descent becomes steep and rough. The trail swings away from, then back towards, the stream, and continues steeply down to a junction with Upper Bruin, which branches steeply left, leading to Air Line at the lower end of the Knife-edge.
to the junction of Upper Bruin
leaving alpine zone
hike 0.06 mi/2 min/-37 ft on the Valley Way
Valley Way passes a spring to the left of the trail, and soon a side path on the left leads 150 yd. to the Valley Way Campsite.
to the junction of Valley Way Tentsite access
hike 0.44 mi/13 min/-508 ft on the Valley Way
Valley Way angles down the rather steep slope of Durand Ridge at a moderate grade considerably above the stream. Lower Bruin enters right, coming up from Bruin Rock and Duck Fall.
to the junction of Lower Bruin
hike 0.40 mi/12 min/-426 ft on the Valley Way
Valley Way continues to descend moderately, and Watson Path crosses, leading right to the summit of Mt. Madison.
to the junction of Watson Path
hike 0.30 mi/9 min/-349 ft on the Valley Way
Valley Way continues down to a junction with Scar Trail on the left, leading to Air Line via Durand Scar, an excellent outlook on Scar Loop only about 0.2 mi. above Valley Way, well worth the small effort required to visit it.
to the junction of Scar Trail
hike 1.20 mi/37 min/-885 ft on the Valley Way
Valley Way heads south, then west, and crosses several small brooks at their confluence. It descends at a comfortable grade high above Snyder Brook, and then crosses Randolph Path.
to the junction of Randolph Path

Totals
Distance 9.47 mi
Time 6 hr 58 min
Elev Gain +4364 ft
Elev Loss -5419 ft
Elev Change -1055 ft

Back to here hike 0.05 mi/2 min/-49 ft on the Valley Way
Valley Way descends 100 yd. to its junction with the Brookside, which joins from the right.
to the junction of The Brookside
hike 0.02 mi/1 min/-25 ft on the Valley Way
At this junction Valley Way turns left, and it is soon joined from the left by Beechwood Way.
to the junction of Beechwood Way
hike 0.20 mi/6 min/-150 ft on the Valley Way
Valley Way then leads nearer Snyder Brook, and Fallsway diverges right for the Brookbank and Tama Fall - a short but worthwhile loop.
to the junction of Fallsway

Totals
Distance 9.74 mi
Time 7 hr 7 min
Elev Gain +4364 ft
Elev Loss -5643 ft
Elev Change -1278 ft

Back to here hike 0.09 mi/3 min/-86 ft on the Valley Way
Fallsway rejoins from the right.
to the junction of Fallsway
hike 0.02 mi/1 min/-16 ft on the Valley Way
In 30 yd. Fallsway diverges right from Valley Way.
to the junction of Fallsway
hike 0.33 mi/10 min/-232 ft on the Valley Way
Valley Way leaves the WMNF, and Sylvan Way crosses.
to the junction of Sylvan Way
hike 0.14 mi/4 min/-53 ft on the Valley Way
Maple Walk diverges right.
to the junction of Maple Walk

Totals
Distance 10.32 mi
Time 7 hr 25 min
Elev Gain +4364 ft
Elev Loss -6030 ft
Elev Change -1666 ft


Back to here hike 0.02 mi/1 min/-13 ft on the Valley Way
Valley Way enters a power-line clearing and Air Line joins from the left.
to the junction of Air Line
hike 0.03 mi/1 min/-15 ft on the Valley Way
The combined Air Line and Valley Way cross Presidential Range Rail Trail and end at Appalachia.
to Air Line Trailhead (Appalachia) and Valley Way Trailhead (Appalachia), 1306 ft

Totals
Distance 10.37 mi
Time 7 hr 27 min
Elev Gain +4364 ft
Elev Loss -6058 ft
Elev Change -1694 ft

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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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Clothing, Gear, Equipment, and Supplies

Hiking safely is about being prepared so that you can respond to an emergency situation or spend a night in the woods if you have to. Failure to bring the basics puts you and the rest of the group at risk. If you don't know what to wear and/or bring with you or have any questions either refer to the list below or contact me.

Do not rely on others to have extra items to share with you at the meeting spot or on the trail. You should know how to use all of your equipment - test and adjust it prior to this trip.

If you don't have what you need you will not be allowed to participate - even if you carpooled with someone.

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Directions

We will be meeting at the Airline Trailhead and carspotting to the Caps Ridge Trailhead of Jefferson Notch Rd. According to Google Maps this spot is about 171 miles from Boston and it should take about 3 hours 09 minutes to drive there. (We may car spot a few cars at Dolly Copp, TBD)

  • Click for

https://maps.google.com/maps?q=airline+near+Gorham,+NH&hl=en&ll=44.371344,-71.28895&spn=0.001026,0.002411&sll=44.369791,-71.289811&sspn=0.008206,0.01929&oq=AIRLINE++GORHAM+NH&hq=airline&hnear=Gorham,+Coos,+New+Hampshire&t=h&z=19

(google.com)

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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  • Elena

    Thanks for organizing John and for water Anne. And thanks for the great lead with songs Dianne! It was fun hiking and singing at once:)!

    July 19

  • Sarah L

    It was a beautiful day with a fun group of hikers, and a great challenge hiking up the "rocky road with bugs on top." That can be a new ice cream flavor!! Thanks John for putting this hike together, and letting us camp with you. Thanks Anne for being our chauffeur to the trail head and waiting for us with cold water. I can't wait to hike and/or camp with everyone again.

    July 15

  • Amal

    All the bugs and hard rocks couldn't take away from the fantastic views and fun we had on the trail. This was a great hike, although the stop at Madison hut came not a moment too soon. I loved playing "what am I" and so today, I'm a "feeling in my legs that's aching for a deep tissue massage". It was great hiking with everyone. Thanks John not only for leading the hike, but also for being a generous camping host. It was nice to meet you Anne -- hope to camp with again, sometime soon ;)

    July 15

  • DIANNE AND PAUL

    Thanks John for planning and organizing such a great hike!! It was perfect weather with an absolutely fun & fantastic group!! A wonderful day from beginning to end.

    July 15

  • John (LAG) Lagasse

    This was a hard hike though the weather was perfect. Although when summiting Adams I wouldn't have minded standing in 50 mph winds instead of 5000 flying bugs. :) Thanks Amy for volunteering to drive the second vehicle to the trailhead. Extra big thanks to Paul and Dianne for driving Amy and Elena back to their car after dinner. Sorry you missed your Candle Light Tour. Special thanks to my personal Limo driver Anne. Amal and Sarah it was fun having you at the campsite for a morning of toasted marshmellows and German lessons. Nice seeing you again Elena. Awesome time so thank you all!

    July 14

  • John (LAG) Lagasse

    If you are going to be late call as soon as you know. Cell coverage is spotty so call early. Remember the be at the Appalachian Parking lot ready to go at 7:45. We will jump in a few vehicles as possible and drive to the Caps Ridge Trailhead.

    1 · July 12, 2013

  • John (LAG) Lagasse

    Weather update: Light rain in am, chance of rain in afternoon, with 30mph winds. So it'll be slick going up. Still have two days for a completely different forecast. :)

    July 11, 2013

    • Amy Dalrymple

      It's changed 5 times this week. Fingers crossed.

      July 11, 2013

    • Amy Dalrymple

      It's changed 5 times this week. Fingers crossed.

      July 11, 2013

  • John (LAG) Lagasse

    Weather Update: High of 55 on the summit,some clouds in the am, sunny afternoon, 10mph wind.
    We turned in the Smiley Van for a Black Ford Transit Connect. Not sure if we'll have new Smiley's on it by Saturday. Look for a small tall black van!

    1 · July 10, 2013

  • Jay

    I'm a bit low on the waitlist so will be backpacking in NY. Have a great hike, see you next time!

    July 9, 2013

  • Htar Htar Yu

    Hello,
    may I join this hike, please? I have hiked 11Mts of 48s this past two months, and just finished hiking Zealand, West Bond, the Bond and the Bondcliff this past Sat 7/6/13. I am trying to finish 48 by October 13 and trying to catch any hike I can with some great company. Please let me know. Many thanks!

    July 9, 2013

  • Tom P.

    unfortunately must drop to p/u wife at Logan. Be Safe and Have Fun!

    July 8, 2013

  • Sarah L

    Hi Paul and Dianne, are you planning on camping Sat night? If so, can Amal and I camp with you?

    John, I know Dolly Copp has a vehicle limit or I would see if you have room for us at your campsite, unless there is a way to leave our car at Pinkham Notch or another trail head.

    Either way, Amal and I will see you Sat morning.

    July 7, 2013

    • John (LAG) Lagasse

      Sarah, Gordon is not coming so if you want you can pitch a tent on our site. You'll need to pay $5 for your vehicle to park at our site.

      July 8, 2013

    • Sarah L

      Perfect. Thanks John. I'm excited for the hike and camping. :)

      July 8, 2013

  • Gordon

    Just cancelled formally on Meetup .. As noted was really looking forward to it .. But just can't spend yet another extended weekend away .. In particular since I pulled an unexpected info vol stint at Lakes last weekend .. In doing so I am also freeing up my place at Dolly Copp with John and Anne .. Have a great time .. Gordon

    July 8, 2013

  • Gordon

    Really bummed .. But just can't spend another weekend away .. Have a great hike!

    July 8, 2013

  • John (LAG) Lagasse

    Sarah, Gordon is staying at our campsite. I could hold one for you Friday night. Sites are only $20 a night.

    July 8, 2013

  • Amy Dalrymple

    Im willing to either join a carpool in Concord or drive... I live in Bedford...

    July 7, 2013

  • Amy Dalrymple

    Wahooo!!! Love that we are not going down DW trail! That one is soooo long and steep.. Love the Airline and Valley Way!!

    June 25, 2013

  • Gordon

    John .. Would hope to join you before and after hike at Dolly Copp .. Gordon

    April 23, 2013

  • Amy Dalrymple

    Yay! I'm do excited to have cleared the wait list so quickly! I look forward to hiking with all of you.

    April 25, 2013

  • Barbara

    +1 guest

    April 23, 2013

    • John (LAG) Lagasse

      Barbara,No Guests. Have them sign up and fill out the form. Thanks

      April 23, 2013

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