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 1/23 Flume & Liberty 
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Leg Burner
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Joined: Thu Aug 25, 2005 6:40 am
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Location: Thornton
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 1/23 Flume & Liberty
Drew, Jeff & I decided that a hike in the new snow would be fun for a change. Jeff had never hiked the Flume Slide trail, and Drew had only hiked it one other time in non-winter conditions. So we agreed on a loop.

In the morning, the bike path still was covered in ICE, which made for a tricky walk to the trailhead. As with the other trails we had recently hiked, the bottom section was hardly covered in snow, but there was ice to negotiate around. We put our crampons on near the Flume / Liberty trail junction, to avoid further cautious stepping. The streams have all opened up, and the water level was higher than a week and a half ago. When we arrived at the base of the slide, a few inches of snow had already fallen.

The going was a tad slow, as a lot more ice had accumulated on the rock slabs due to the recent rain events. We picked our way along, and teased Jeff with descriptions of the "view". We got pretty wet during our ascent, as the snow continued to fall & the tree branches kept unloading the new snow they were receiving on our heads, arms & packs as we moved around them. Up on the summit, and along the trail to Liberty, the snow was a good 4 inches deep, and very dry & light. We continued with crampons, hoping not to step in anyone's previous post holes. As we left Liberty summit, the light snow had already scattered from the summit area, and piled up around the base - we stepped down into 2 1/2 foot "drifts" ! Wouldn't that be nice on all the trails right about now !!!

We finally encountered other hikers at the Liberty Springs tent platform. It was approx. 4PM, and a young couple was making their way to Liberty. Drew, being the kind, concerned father type, inquired if they had "lights" with them. They were good to go, so we said enjoy and continued on our descent.

Once back at the bike path, we found about 5 inches of the new snow covering the pavement, and it was in the process of being packed down by a couple of snowmobilers. Which made for much better footing on the return trip. Two new Winter summits for both Drew and Jeff.

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Mon Jan 23, 2006 8:12 pm
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Flatfoot
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Joined: Fri Jan 20, 2006 10:08 am
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 sore legs
i have sore legs from that climb but i love it :P


Mon Jan 23, 2006 8:44 pm
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Moderator
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Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 8:13 pm
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Location: Mt Lafayette Winter 2009
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One of the best hikes and trails in the White...sounds like you had the kind of day to really enjoy that ridge.
I did Lincoln on Friday and missed all the snow, but there was still plenty of ice and wind to make it interesting.
Congrats!
Bill

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Mon Jan 23, 2006 9:28 pm
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Location: Lancaster, NH Avatar: On the trail again
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Drew, I hear ya. My legs have been burning for about a month. When does it stop?! So many hikes. Loving it!

Lincoln got 5" of snow Monday, 2 1/2' drifts on top? Heck about an hour north we rec'd only about 2". And the new snow isn't sticking to the ice. Traction devices essential.
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the water level was higher than a week and a half ago.
Too bad -- I noticed that too. Ten of us are hiking the Hancocks Saturday. Should be an interesting day. We'll bushwhack to the West to avoid most brook crossings and try to stay dry. Pucknuts, bring 2 freezer bags just in case!
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The going was a tad slow...
You must mean 2 miles per hour instead of your usual 3 mph. Life is good, and then we hike! :D

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Wed Jan 25, 2006 8:10 pm
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Leg Burner
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Mtn Magic ~ Don't be "scared" about the brook crossings on the Hancocks
I hiked there last Friday (1/20) and it wasn't too bad. I by-passed the two that are located really close together (that herd path that is quite evident). The smaller brook crossings have exposed rocks to step on, and the other 3 larger ones have large pieces of ice, that piled up on each other or on downed trees in the water, things were firming up enough to support my weight without a problem.

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Wed Jan 25, 2006 9:35 pm
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It's the final brook crossing that I'm concerned with. To hike 8 more miles with soaking wet boots, let's call it fun. I believe a few more days of -32 degree weather will help ease the crossings. I'll let you know. Thanks very much for the conditions!

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Wed Jan 25, 2006 11:32 pm
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Leg Burner
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MM ~ The final one on the Cedar Brook trail, it has the washed out banking on the far side, there were 2 logs on the near banking, encased in ice, which lead to ice around 2 bigger boulders, and then the low water level on the far side. That one was not bad at all last week.

Same with the first one on the very beginning of the Hancock loop trail, ice around the bigger rocks (I did go up stream just a few steps instead of straight across) and there were downed logs in the brook as well that trapped ice.

The brook that turns into a water fall in high water events, a short ways up on the Hancock loop trail, was sufficiently covered in ice, so tractions go you over that no problem.

The base of the North Hancock side did have a "pond" from the rain events, but there are a LOT of downed trees from the October storm, so the water is being "trapped" and the ice was building there too.

Have fun :)

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Thu Jan 26, 2006 7:31 am
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I visit the Hancocks often, even several times a year. We cancelled a few weeks ago based on all the rain and warm temps. I've turned back before. I didn't want to disappoint the group even though we could hit the O's as plan b. Tomorrow it's the Wildcats & Saturday the Hancocks. You bet I'll post the hikes. Great update on the conditions. Can't wait to experience them myself. Thank you muchly.

Many smiles and many miles!

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Thu Jan 26, 2006 5:57 pm
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