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 Presi and Great Range Traverses on the same Calendar Day! 
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Mountaineer
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Joined: Mon Aug 27, 2012 7:43 pm
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 Presi and Great Range Traverses on the same Calendar Day!
First post in a very long time here, but I was thinking about GraniteGuy when my point-and-shoot camera failed miserably to capture how amazing, clear, and bright the night was up on the Presi ridge line. Onto the report:
The Presidential Traverse is the premier "big" hike in the White Mountains and the Great Range Traverse is likewise for the Adironacks. Chris Dailey had never heard of anyone having attempted to hike both on the same day and then asked me if I'd be interested in attempting it with him. Well, YEAH!!!

We started up Valley Way as soon as the clock struck midnight. The night couldn't have been any better, not a cloud in the sky, a full moon, cool temps, no wind, and dry trail! We kept a steady brisk hiking pace to Washington, enjoying the beautful glow on the horizon preceding the sunrise. From Washington we gently jogged the flats and downhill. The timing was perfect as we saw the sun rise up over lions head. Unfortunately I only had a point and shoot camera that failed miserably to capture how amazing the views were above treeline. We didn't even need to use our headlamps (we did though) and you could see thousands of stars in the sky. Unbelievable.

We got back to previously spotted car at the Highland Center at 7am, giving us a likely window of 12 hours to do the Great Range Traverse after a 5 hour drive. Chris was kind enough to do all the driving (no way I could have stayed awake!) and we made it to Rooster Comb trailhead just after 11:30am. After regearing we were back on trail at 11:52am.

The hike up to Rooster Comb and then Lower Wolf Jaw went by quickly as our hiking legs were feeling strong. We took our time on the 5-6 mile stretch between the climb up Upper Wolf Jaw Mt and down Basin Mt as the trail is relentlessly steep and eroded with endless slabs and scrambles. Basically take the worst of the White Mountains and meet their roided-out twisted uncle. The push up to Haystack was much quicker and easier than we anticipated and we put our heads down and plowed up Marcy for 4,000 footer #15 on the day (7 of the NH48 and 8 of the ADK46), which also means we summited the highest peaks in both NH and NY that day!

Although the sunset was approaching, we both decided to continue on the 8-9 mile treck to The Garden trail head and use that extra time just in case we needed it. We both felt pretty good, but were starting to tire enough that we decided not to run but 'shuffle' (as Chris put it!) down Marcy. The trail basically resembles the Presi's until you are about a mile after connecting up with the Phelps trail (about 4 or 5 miles from Marcy summit). From there the trail becomes more gently with an easier slope.

As the woods became engulfed in darkness though, both of us became increasingly tired (38ish hours without sleep and after 16 hours of hiking will do that!). Once the woods were completely dark it was as if someone hit shutdown mode on us. Everything all of a sudden started to hurt and the last 3 miles were the most mentally and physical brutal miles, despite the easiest section of trail. We simply put our heads down and kept a brisk hiking pace, arriving at the Garden Trail head at 10:28pm. The celebration was short lived as we faced a two mile road walk back to the car.

Completing a Presi Traverse and Great Range traverse on the same day: 22.5 hours, 17.5 hours of hiking, 42 miles, 18,214 ft of elevation gain, and a set of beat of feet.

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The moon was much more red than the photo captured!

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Sunset approaching

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Sun Jun 19, 2016 7:45 pm
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Sovereign Woodsman

Joined: Sat Jul 28, 2012 2:40 pm
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 Re: Presi and Great Range Traverses on the same Calendar Day
WOW!!!!! It would take me several days to do this! And I'm probably get pulled over on the way to NY for driving while drowsy! Good photos, too, although it would be impossible to do a sight like that justice. Congratulations to you both.


Sun Jun 19, 2016 8:16 pm
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 Re: Presi and Great Range Traverses on the same Calendar Day
:shock: ... :shock: ...

Point ans shoot has its limitations. I think carrying the DSLR is the only thing that has kept me from doing both these in a day!! :lol: :lol: :lol: Matt said on FOT48 last year you were into trail running but holy crap! I really never would have thought that humanly possible between the hiking and driving. I've hiked those trails but never done either as even a single day traverse and the great range has some beastly up and downs in there. I would like to do them both as day hikes but there's no way in hell I'd ever be able to do both in a single day. And when I do get to them I'll probably just use my phone as a camera. I'd imagine every ounce counts for most people on such hikes. You had the right guy as a "guide" that's for sure, or maybe you're into the 46ers too?? Pretty amazing stuff and thanks for posting and sharing it with us mortals! :D

Good to meet you the other day too by the way.


Sun Jun 19, 2016 8:17 pm
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 Re: Presi and Great Range Traverses on the same Calendar Day
Satchboogie wrote:
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W-O-W!!! Holy Handrails Batman!!

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Sun Jun 19, 2016 9:12 pm
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 Re: Presi and Great Range Traverses on the same Calendar Day
Granite Guy wrote:
:shock: ... :shock: ...

Point ans shoot has its limitations. I think carrying the DSLR is the only thing that has kept me from doing both these in a day!! :lol: :lol: :lol: Matt said on FOT48 last year you were into trail running but holy crap! I really never would have thought that humanly possible between the hiking and driving. I've hiked those trails but never done either as even a single day traverse and the great range has some beastly up and downs in there. I would like to do them both as day hikes but there's no way in hell I'd ever be able to do both in a single day. And when I do get to them I'll probably just use my phone as a camera. I'd imagine every ounce counts for most people on such hikes. You had the right guy as a "guide" that's for sure, or maybe you're into the 46ers too?? Pretty amazing stuff and thanks for posting and sharing it with us mortals! :D

Good to meet you the other day too by the way.


I definitely want to buy a good digital camera sometime to capture low-light hikes (I'm just too cheap/broke right now...). Chris is the best as a trail partner for sure and pointed out bushwhacks and peaks I wasn't familiar with. I did a GRT last summer plus a couple other 46ers. I absolutely love it out there. It's easy speed hiking/running in the Whites because I'm up there all the time, I'm never 'missing out'. But after two quick GRTs, I definitely want to just go hang out on those peaks all day long and soak it all in! :D


Sun Jun 19, 2016 9:28 pm
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 Re: Presi and Great Range Traverses on the same Calendar Day
I'm the 4th person EVER to [comment on a tr of a] Presi and Great Range traverse on the same calendar day!


For real, seems like some sort of comment is called for but not sure what to really add here. "Looks like a nice hike" somehow seems silly, "that's incredible" is self-evident.

"Wow"?


Mon Jun 20, 2016 10:12 am
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 Re: Presi and Great Range Traverses on the same Calendar Day
I'll just echo what everyone else has said.

:shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: :roll: :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: :wink:

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Mon Jun 20, 2016 11:07 am
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 Re: Presi and Great Range Traverses on the same Calendar Day
What an incredible athletic feat! On George before the sun rose! I would like to a Presi traverse in a day myself. But it would take me the entire day and probably another to begin to recover. Thanks for sharing. Those ADKs look mighty fine! Can't wait to get out that way.


Mon Jun 20, 2016 11:41 am
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 Re: Presi and Great Range Traverses on the same Calendar Day
Can't wait to get to the Daks Gibba?? Why didn't you just say so!! :twisted:


Mon Jun 20, 2016 1:15 pm
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 Re: Presi and Great Range Traverses on the same Calendar Day
Granite Guy wrote:
Can't wait to get to the Daks Gibba?? Why didn't you just say so!! :twisted:


like satch, im going to need some sleep on the drives haha :twisted:


Mon Jun 20, 2016 1:39 pm
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 Re: Presi and Great Range Traverses on the same Calendar Day
Soooo, nothing different than the Acadia trips?? :D Luckily, I know a guy who doesn't mind driving one bit.


Mon Jun 20, 2016 1:49 pm
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 Re: Presi and Great Range Traverses on the same Calendar Day
Ya, I've never seen a Presi and Great Range Traverses trip report before. That's full on nutty. Congrats Chris and Satchboogie.


Mon Jun 20, 2016 5:39 pm
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Peak Bagger
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Joined: Sun Jun 27, 2010 5:03 pm
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 Re: Presi and Great Range Traverses on the same Calendar Day
Amazing day. I couldn't do either of these in a single day, but to do both??? I wouldn't have even thought that humanly possible.


Mon Jun 20, 2016 7:23 pm
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Joined: Wed Dec 12, 2012 9:49 pm
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 Re: Presi and Great Range Traverses on the same Calendar Day
Along with the summer solstice and a full moon to boot.

Wow, that's admirable, and daunting.

The hiking challenge itself is plenty, but how in hades does Chris not fall asleep on the drive? That would honestly be as big a challenge as anything and certainly the most dangerous part of this kind of trip.

Congratulations guys - pretty impressive stuff. Way to live your life.


Wed Jun 22, 2016 4:05 am
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 Re: Presi and Great Range Traverses on the same Calendar Day
Raven wrote:
but how in hades does Chris not fall asleep on the drive?


Chris is a marathon driver. He has driven cross-country several times, doing crazy long days along the way. I don't know how he does it...and I'm several years younger!

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Thu Jun 23, 2016 1:40 pm
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