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 Most difficult trail? 
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Flatfoot
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Joined: Mon May 03, 2010 10:43 pm
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 Most difficult trail?
I'm a newbie and was wondering what everyone's opinion on the most difficult trail in the White mountains is?

I have only done a handful but hands down would have to be the Six Husbands Trail. I believe it is on Jefferson but correct me if I am wrong.


Thu May 06, 2010 10:10 pm
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I think most will agree....Huntington Ravine is the most difficult. Mostly due to the open exposure

This comes up as a topic every once in a while. 6 Husbands is always on that list but while I've done 9 of the 10, I still need to see what Huntington is all about before I put togetehr a top ten list
Wx, personal conditioning, timing, are all factors to the hike to consider too.
I absolutely loved North Tri Slide....had a killer day. But was beat to heck when I did Ball Crag.

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Fri May 07, 2010 8:55 am
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Leg Burner
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Define "difficult".

While being very exposed I wouldn't consider Huntington as the most difficult. There are several trails that while not excessively steep are real pains in the a** to hike. When finished you just feel very wiped out. The old Lawrence trail comes to mind, Mahoosuc notch, Desolation trail just to name a few. Some fun ones I've enjoyed are the Holt trail on Cardigan, The Subway/Kings Ravine, and Castle Ravine.


Fri May 07, 2010 10:52 am
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Peak Bagger
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bsinc1962 wrote:
Define "difficult".

While being very exposed I wouldn't consider Huntington as the most difficult. There are several trails that while not excessively steep are real pains in the a** to hike. When finished you just feel very wiped out. The old Lawrence trail comes to mind, Mahoosuc notch, Desolation trail just to name a few. Some fun ones I've enjoyed are the Holt trail on Cardigan, The Subway/Kings Ravine, and Castle Ravine.


I can think of several trails over the last year that were challenging for different reasons personally...However Moriah via the Carter Moriah Trail out of Gorham on April 24 will be remembered as a difficult hike. As there was not much of a trip report only those Hardcore has talked with know much about: The suprise that Mt Suprise had (the only way we knew we had reached the sumit was when we looked back down on it :roll: ) The ledges wet in places from melting snow :shock: , the disapearing trail and rough bushwack both ascending and descending :x , and Hardcore falling down on his wrist :shock: .
In planning seeing the trail summits Mt Suprise then goes on to Moriah seemed encouraging but early on in the hike I had a hunch it was going to be a tough little mountain! Obviously many trails can be made more difficult in different seasons/conditions and this trip drove that fact home!


Fri May 07, 2010 11:57 am
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..


Last edited by woods dweller on Thu Jun 03, 2010 12:40 am, edited 1 time in total.



Fri May 07, 2010 2:19 pm
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I'll agree with the original poster, Six Husbands is the most difficult trail I've been on. Steep, rugged, tiring, and continues to kick your ass with every step. And just when you think your getting close to the top of the Knee, it keeps going up. I can't wait to do it again some time. :D


Fri May 07, 2010 2:28 pm
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Like the others the definition of difficulty is important but I'd have to go firmly into the Huntington Ravine Trail camp. There's really nothing else like it in the Whites unless you're off the beaten paths. Only the section of the Knife Edge on Katahdin from Pamola to the saddle in between Chimney and Baxter Peaks is even close, or tops it, if you ask me. Other trails like Great Gully have a spot here and there that is similarly exposed but not continuously.

Really it's more of a non-technical rock climb than a hike, requiring proper use of handholds in a couple spots and a high comfort level with exposure in most spots. The bottom scramble is probably the toughest, 20-30 feet of maybe 50-55 (just a guess) degree sloping smooth ledge. If you lose your momentum going up on it's hard to find anything to hang on to. There's another spot higher up where you reach around a corner and grab the handhold and swing youself around a boulder with a few hundred feet of drop below you if I remember correctly but it's been about ten years since I last did it so that might have changed or maybe be a foggy memory too. I also know you can go down the trail, I saw someone do it once, but I personally don't think I ever would and I'm plenty comfortable on steep stuff/slides. I usually seek out those trails but for your average hiker I'd probably say it shouldn't even be considered for descent.

Lots of trails could take honorable mention, woods dweller made a list that would probably be identical to mine so I won't bother but none are anywhere near Huntington in my book.


Fri May 07, 2010 3:10 pm
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Granite Guy wrote:
Like the others the definition of difficulty is important but I'd have to go firmly into the Huntington Ravine Trail camp. There's really nothing else like it in the Whites unless you're off the beaten paths. Only the section of the Knife Edge on Katahdin from Pamola to the saddle in between Chimney and Baxter Peaks is even close, or tops it, if you ask me. Other trails like Great Gully have a spot here and there that is similarly exposed but not continuously.

Really it's more of a non-technical rock climb than a hike, requiring proper use of handholds in a couple spots and a high comfort level with exposure in most spots. The bottom scramble is probably the toughest, 20-30 feet of maybe 50-55 (just a guess) degree sloping smooth ledge. If you lose your momentum going up on it's hard to find anything to hang on to. There's another spot higher up where you reach around a corner and grab the handhold and swing youself around a boulder with a few hundred feet of drop below you if I remember correctly but it's been about ten years since I last did it so that might have changed or maybe be a foggy memory too. I also know you can go down the trail, I saw someone do it once, but I personally don't think I ever would and I'm plenty comfortable on steep stuff/slides. I usually seek out those trails but for your average hiker I'd probably say it shouldn't even be considered for descent.

Lots of trails could take honorable mention, woods dweller made a list that would probably be identical to mine so I won't bother but none are anywhere near Huntington in my book.


Thank you for this post....now I know that I definitely do not want to find myself on this trail!

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Fri May 07, 2010 4:03 pm
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I think that the Mahoosuc Notch Trail is officially in the Whites. Hiking through that to Speck pond can be a doozy.


Fri May 07, 2010 4:38 pm
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I haven't been thru Mahoosuc Notch or on the Six Husbands Trail yet, so I can't compare those. Granite Guy has nailed what Huntington is like. Although I will say that I did not find the trail to be as difficult as I was expecting considering it's reputation.

Weather can make a huge difference. Most everything is harder in winter. It depends on who you're hiking with. It's different for different people. When you hiked matters too. Things I found hard 3 or 5 or 8 or 15 years ago, I might not find hard now.

Some that I've found challenging in the past year or 2, besides the already mentioned Huntington:
Long Trail south of the Forehead - I don't know how people get up or down that with heavy packs.
South Brother Spur - found this to be the most difficult part of the Coe - Brothers - Fort loop.
North Twin Trail in winter
Jefferson from Edmands Col in winter (Jefferson loop maybe?)


(dis)Honorable Mention
Lincoln Woods/Wilderness trail at the end of a winter Bonds Traverse in the dark with a huge blister forming.


Fri May 07, 2010 4:58 pm
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The Link from the Castle Trail to Caps Ridge does not have much elevation gain but it's one of the most rugged pain in the arse trails I've ever been on. I'm quite sure that the most swearing I've ever done on a trail, was on that one.

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Fri May 07, 2010 8:31 pm
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Lincoln Woods trail after a Bonds traverse. 8)

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Fri May 07, 2010 11:25 pm
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SilentCal wrote:
The Link from the Castle Trail to Caps Ridge does not have much elevation gain but it's one of the most rugged pain in the arse trails I've ever been on. I'm quite sure that the most swearing I've ever done on a trail, was on that one.


The Link Trail from the other direction was also crazy. It was maybe (ok, definitely) the first time in the Whites that I honestly thought "if we die, no one will find us here for months". The trail was rugged and eroded. We both fell a couple of times - TrailCred lost a hat, I almost lost an ankle, but c'est la vie. It was completely unexpected and an "interesting" experience...but I say that only after I know that Pete and I made it out alive :)

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Fri May 07, 2010 11:28 pm
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Flatfoot
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I'll go with Huntington because of the rock scrambles, and to this day I've still never descended Huntington Ravine trail were I've gone up and down all others.

Can I nominate The Garfield Ridge trail as a "Most Annoying" trail because of all the little up and downs!


Sun May 09, 2010 6:32 pm
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Who wants to do a loop including Six Husbands and Huntington Ravine? :twisted: :twisted:

Tim

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Mon May 10, 2010 7:18 am
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