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 Jefferson Jam - Six Husbands 
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 Jefferson Jam - Six Husbands
Our Crew got off to an early start at the Great Gulf Trailhead. We started at 6:30 and encountered early morning frost on the bridge at the start of the trail. It made for some fun sliding and misadventures. The Great Gulf Trail is fairly mundane at the onset. There are several ski trails that intersect the lower sections here but the main trail stays quite obvious.

After about an hour or so, we crested a small hill called the Bluff and clamored on to it to get a view of what was to come with our day. We could see Jefferson's knees off in the distance and the weather was perfect to say the least. We continued on the Great Gulf trail, passing several trail junctions for other ascent routes up the Northern Presidentials.

We were making excellent time and arrived at the Six Husbands Junction well ahead of book time. The footing to this junction was muddy in places but well traveled. We stopped for an energy break since we new the really tough stuff was coming up. We dropped down about 100 feet and crossed the brook on icy stones. The uphill portion of the day was upon us.

Six Husbands is not often travelled and it showed. The trail was extremely muddy on the bottom portion and the trail was overgrown in some places. We soon passed the junction with the Buttress Trail and approached soon afterwards, the first boulder caves. These boulder caves are caves similar to the ones found in "Lost River" in North Woodstock. You can crawl around and hoist yourself up in some unique features not found often on trails. The second set of boulder caves were also fun to explore and they opened up our first views of the day.

Fall Foliage could be seen in the valleys but the the features of the Great Gulf itself were starting to come forth. Mt Adams Slide was clearly visible and the Headwall of the Great Gulf itself was starting to poke out. After the boulder caves, the trail gets steeper and steeper until it goes straight up. By straight up, I mean ladders. We encountered a section, with four steep ladders bolted to the bedrock to assist you in your ascent. At the top of these ladders, the trail crews should consider installing a fifth ladder. There is a muddy spot on a steep pitch which you really had to think your way around.

The Ladder section completed, we were treated to a view of Jefferson's Knee and the remainder of the steep section. At the top of this section is a cluster of boulders which we all gathered on to regroup. The views were priceless and there was not a cloud to be seen. (Brian hiked today??? What gives????) From here, we snacked a bit and began the long march to summit up the rocky talus sections. We encountered several patches of rime ice in the shady spots and playfully tossed iceballs at each other.

The summit was the perfect hangout spot on this day and the weather made it grand indeed. All summit stays must end and I decided to take the Jewell Trail down. Monticello Lawn is one of my favorite areas to visit and in perfect weather it's a great area to just take it all in. The Jewell Trail junction soon arrived and we began our descent. I was getting a little winded at this point but I think the sun was beginining to get to me. Once below treeline and in the shade, I had all my gears back and made it down fairly quickly.

This hike easily jumped into my list of Top Ten hikes and the Six Husbands Trail was unique to any other trails I've travelled in the Whites. I can't wait to do it again.

Pics can be found here:

http://silentcal.spaces.live.com


Tue Oct 10, 2006 2:43 pm
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Looks like we need to get together and do this together next year! Love the pics, and dinner with you guys was great (even though we had to wait an hour and fifteen minutes.) I loved Cathie, she is every bit the joy you said. And how can any day be bad when you have Hikerfasts endless one-liners to keep you awake and laughing :lol: .

Brian


Tue Oct 10, 2006 5:03 pm
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Great trip report SC!....and what a great day it looked like it was (nice pictuires!). I still have to do Six Husbands one of these days.

Bill

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Tue Oct 10, 2006 8:56 pm
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I think Jim is daring you and Brownie to go DOWN Six Husbands...yeah, its him all right. Can't you hear him? :wink: :lol:

B.


Wed Oct 11, 2006 6:05 am
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No, I would not do that. It's at least a mile from the Gulfside Trail to the Alpinezone Marker on Six Husbands. In bad weather it's pretty exposed but it may buffet you from some heavier winds coming in from the West. Bad Weather with rain would make the ledges pretty treacherous in some spots. I can't imagine what that route would look like in winter conditions. One bad slip on some ice and your in for a lonnnnnnnnng way down.


But, if you get a day like we got this past Saturday, by all means try it. A gentlemen we met was going up Six Husbands and down the Sphinx trail as a loop. He mentioned that he had done the other way a couple of times. So yeah, you can go down, but pay really close attention to the weather and the footing.

We did notice several campsites along the way, both legal and illegal.


Wed Oct 11, 2006 1:55 pm
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Actually, I wonder if it might not be as bad as you think in winter. If you get real good, hard ice, I would think the pon's would make getting footholds easier.....ice axe most likely required :lol: :lol: :lol:

B.


Wed Oct 11, 2006 5:12 pm
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