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Labor Day Wknd Great Gulf Backpack: Jefferson/Clay/Washi­ngton via Six Husbands

  • Aug 30, 2013 · 3:00 PM
  • This location is shown only to members

**08/22/13 Update - I have moved the start time up to 3PM, which should put us at the campsite around 6-6:30pm.  ***   If you would like to drive up and meet us at the campsite later that evening, PLEASE sign up and let me know to expect you to come late.  If you want to drive up on Saturday morning and try to catch up with the group, you are welcome to do, BUT only if you complete the RSVP questions and alert me to the possibility that you may be joining us.  I cannot predict our exact start time on Saturday morning and I cannot promise anyone that we will wait for them.***

PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE ANSWER ALL THE RSVP QUESTIONS COMPLETELY.  I ask for specific information about your last three hikes and DATES and conditions as well as for your history in climbing the higher Presidentials (which peaks you have climbed and when). I do this to gauge preparedness, so I need complete answers.  You will be taken off the attendance list if you do not provide this information.

Explore the Great Gulf and climb the Six Husbands Trail!  Jefferson/Clay/Washington

One of my goals for the summer is to explore the Great Gulf.  We will follow the Great Gulf Trail to a tent site at the junction of Six Husbands and the Buttress Trail and use the next day to explore the fun and challenging Six Husbands Trail, Mt. Clay and Mt. Washington!

This is PRIMITIVE CAMPING - NOT a tent site with platforms and a bathroom. It is next to a stream, so there is water but it will not be potable without treatment.

If you have not backpacked before, this is probably NOT the experience for you to begin with.

Right now, I anticipate that we will roughly follow the schedule below.  This is subject to change as I gather more information over the next few weeks:

Friday Afternoon/Evening: Hike along the relatively flat Great Gulf Trail to the campsite at the junction of the Six Husbands and Buttress Trails.  Set up camp.  I chose the primitive campsite so that we could be that much closer to our destination when we start out on Saturday.

 

Saturday: Climb the Six Husbands Trail to the Summit of Jefferson.  Following the Gulfside Trail & Mt. Clay Loop,  summit Mt. Clay on the way to Mt. Washington.  Summit Washington and take advantage of the observatory facilities in whatever way we want/need!  :)  Return via Nelson Crag to the  Wamsutta Trail.  Depending on our pace (which I anticipate will be faster than book time), we may choose to extend the day (why rush back to the campsite?!)  and add some trails and mileage by circling the cone of Mt. Washington via the Westside, Southside or Alpine Garden Trails.  We will decide this as a group.  At the most, this would add about 3 miles with relatively little elevation change.

 

Sunday: Hike out via the Great Gulf Trail, with a 2-mile (round trip) side trip up the Chandler Brook Trail to the viewpoint from the Horn of Mt. Washington.  My goal is to be out at a reasonable daylight hour on Sunday so that you can be home, rested and able to take the day off on Monday.

 

IF the weather looks horrible early in the weekend, it IS possible that I will move the schedule UP by a day so that we leave on Sat and come out on Sunday.  Be prepared for that possibility.

 

Be prepared for cold temperatures, wind & rain.

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I will review your responses to the questions to confirm that each person is prepared for the distance and elevation gain involved.  If you do not answer the questions completely, you will be moved to the "NOT GOING" list.

Be prepared for cool and potentially poor weather conditions. DO NOT WEAR COTTON OR DENIM. If you have questions about how to prepare or how to dress, ask them in advance.


Answers to FAQs

• Because the weather can vary dramatically at different elevations, it is possible that we will not summit.  If you want to summit, you can help make that possible by making sure you are prepared with gear for all weather conditions.

• This IS NOT a traverse, so we WILL NOT need to carpool to another location.

• We will meet in the parking lot for the Great Gulf Trail off of Route 16 (Across from Camp Dodge).

• This hike will be VERY EXPOSED.  Come prepared for rain, sun AND cold conditions.

• We will stop at the Mt. Washington Observatory to refill water on Day #2.

• Headlamps *ARE*  required.

• We will START AND FINISH TOGETHER. If you cannot hold your speed down to match that of the group (if necessary), this is not the hike for you.   I require participants to wait at trail junctions, major water crossings and summits so that the group can exchange information and reset their pace.

• I am NOT a speedy hiker, but I do keep a steady pace, even as I take breaks.  I average about 1.5 mph.

• The distance, pace and location means that is a VERY ADVANCED hike.  I expect people to average book time.

• If the conditions are prohibitive, I have no qualms about turning around. The mountain will be there another day.  I would like you to be around for another day too.

• My hikes are always dog friendly, but please know the limits and abilities of your dog & bring appropriate amounts of food and water.  This is a strenuous trail.  I will NOT be bringing my dogs on this hike.

• I will watch the weather carefully and post weather updates during the week leading up to the hike. I rely on NOAA and MWObs for my forecasts.

• I will provide attendees with my cell phone number in advance of the hike.


RSVP Questions are NOT optional - If you do not provide me with a phone number to try and contact you on the day of the hike (if necessary), we will NOT wait for you at the trailhead.

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FRIDAY

Great Gulf Trail to Campsite at the Junction of the Buttress/Six Husbands Trail  4.5 miles, 3 hours 10 min

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SATURDAY

Six Husbands Trail to Mt Jefferson Loop (Sat AM) 2.3 miles, 2 hours 25 min

Descend Jefferson and take Gulfside Path to the Mt. Clay Loop - 1.1 miles , 1 hour

Mt. Clay Loop to Gulfside Path 1.2 miles, 55 min

Gulfside to Summit of Washington 1.1 miles, 1 hour

Nelson Crag Trail to Wamsutta Trail 1.1 miles, 45 min

 Wamsutta Trail to Great Gulf Trail 1.7 miles, 2 hours

Sat Total Distance/Time = 8.5 miles,  8 hours

Depending on our Saturday pace (which I anticipate will be faster than book time), we may choose to extend the day (why rush back to the campsite?!)  and add some trails and mileage by circling the cone of Mt. Washington via the Westside, Southside or Alpine Garden Trails.  We will decide this as a group.  At the most, this would add about 3 miles with relatively little elevation change.

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Sunday

Great Gulf Trail to Campsite at the Junction of the Buttress/Six Husbands Trail  4.5 miles, 3 hours 10 min

Chandler Brook Trail to viewpoint/auto road (Round Trip from/to the Great Gulf Trail) 1.8 miles, 2 hours

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DISCLAIMER (SHAMELESSLY PLAGERIZED FROM ANOTHER MEETUP HIKER): MY ROLE AS ORGANIZER IN THIS HIKE IS ENTIRELY SOCIAL. I AM NOT TRAINED TO BE A GUIDE, NOR HAVE I RECEIVED TRAINING OR INSTRUCTION IN HIKING SAFETY. WHILE I TRY TO HEAD OFF SOME OF THE PROBLEMS I HAVE SEEN (OR EXPERIENCED OR EVEN CAUSED) IN THE PAST, MY UNDERSTANDING IS THAT YOU WILL TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOUR OWN SAFETY. IF MY DISAPPEARANCE DURING THIS TRIP WOULD CAUSE YOU MORE THAN ANNOYANCE AND INCONVENIENCE, THIS IS NOT THE TRIP FOR YOU. THERE ARE ALWAYS RISKS IN HIKING IN THE MOUNTAINS. IF YOU ARE NOT CONFIDENT THAT YOU UNDERSTAND THE RISKS, PLEASE DO NOT SIGN UP (or change your RSVP to no). WHILE I HAVE CLIMBED THIS PEAK BEFORE, I HAVE DONE ALL MY RESEARCH VIA GUIDEBOOKS, INTERNET AND ADVICE FROM OTHER HIKERS, SO IT IS POSSIBLE THAT SOME INFORMATION IS NOT ACCURATE. I AM PERFECTLY CAPABLE OF MAKING STUPID OR MINDLESS MISTAKES, SO PLEASE DO YOUR OWN RESEARCH AND COME PREPARED WITH APPROPRIATE KNOWLEDGE, EQUIPMENT AND JUDGMENT.


 

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  • Nick M.

    is anyone going??

    August 29, 2013

    • Mike C.

      Nick, I just got the email (joys of working a 16 hour shift with a dead cell phone). I may just come up sunday and monday with some friends I was going to meet at the end of this trip depending on the weather. Were you still going up tomorrow?

      August 29, 2013

    • Nick M.

      i will be camping and relaxing in th whites, maybe be nextime , enjoy

      August 30, 2013

  • Nick M.

    carolyn, what time do you plan to get there friday? i might be able to meet you.

    August 27, 2013

  • Carolyn W.

    Is anyone else going to try to meet the group Saturday morning at the campsite? I'd like to try, but am reluctant to go by myself and thought if others are planning this, we could meet Friday night and hike in together.

    August 24, 2013

    • Mike C.

      I am already getting out of work early so I am going to meet up at the 3pm time

      August 24, 2013

    • Chris G.

      I too am already going in Friday

      August 25, 2013

  • Chuck R.

    Man, I'm really disappointed to not be able to make this. But I'll be hiking in Banff, so I don't feel too bad ;) Sounds like a great time. Have fun. Nice to see Random folks doing a backpack. I wish that there were more like this.

    August 22, 2013

  • Jeffrey

    This is bound to be a great experience. I recently spent three days in the Great Gulf backpacking and am so anxious to get back. I have previously committed to a four day trip to Baxter Park, if not for that I would have joined you. Have a great time!

    1 · August 19, 2013

  • Kate K

    I am always available to carpool from the PARK AND RIDE on STICKNEY AVE in CONCORD NH

    July 28, 2013

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