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Valley Way to Madison Spring Hut compared to Caps Ridge, Mt
http://forum.hike-nh.com/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=9245
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Author:  psalisbury [ Mon May 23, 2016 11:13 am ]
Post subject:  Valley Way to Madison Spring Hut compared to Caps Ridge, Mt

Hi Folks!

It's that time of year where I need a professional opinion on my (sadly) yearly hike. We're interested in hiking Jefferson this year, and I am curious as to anyone's experience when compared to Adams.

Let me give you a little insight as to why I am asking this specifically - first we are two women in our 50s who are both equestrians and I am a runner as well, so we're not unfit. The downside, we live in RI where there is literally nowhere to hike with any elevation!

Last year my friend & I set off to hike Mt Adams via Valley Way trail. We made it to the Madison Spring Hut and made a command decision then to not go to the summit because we both found it quite difficult. It was a good decision.

We have both hiked Mt. Washington, me 3 times and her 2. We've done Boott Spur and Ammonoosuc. After that hike I said "give me Mt Washington any day!"

That said, the following description regarding Mt Jefferson confuses me a bit because it makes it sound super difficult:

The easiest route up Mt. Jefferson is the Caps Ridge Trail (5 miles, 2700 ft, 3:40). It is steep, rough, involves scrambles over ledges, and has what some may consider an uncomfortable degree of exposure. In spite of that, it is definitely the easiest route for those comfortable with moderate exposure.

This averages out to approximately 500 feet of elevation per mile, which compared to what we did on our attempt to hike Adams last year sounds easier.

As I am sure you are aware, Valley Way to Madison Spring Hut, is 3.8 miles, 3550 feet of elevation, averaging out to approximately 1000 feet of elevation per mile.

So with all of this information, can anyone give me a firsthand comparison of these two trails?

Thanks!

Author:  Granite Guy [ Mon May 23, 2016 12:16 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Valley Way to Madison Spring Hut compared to Caps Ridge,

That 5.0 miles is round trip. It's actually climbs the 2700 feet in 2.5 miles, so 1100 feet per mile give or take. It is quite fun if you don't mind scrambly trails. Hits treeline in about a mile. Hands on scrambling like that doesn't tire me out, but everyone is different. Valley Way is so boring it seems longer IMO. So, it's rugged, but relatively short and easy IMO.

Author:  psalisbury [ Mon May 23, 2016 12:54 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Valley Way to Madison Spring Hut compared to Caps Ridge,

Oh I see - that makes more sense! I don't know why that wasn't registering with me, when I knew I was looking at round trip mileage. Well I hate to make us sound like a couple of old ladies, but I think perhaps we'll stick to our original plan of hiking Mt Washington, doing the Ammonoosuc - Jewell loop!

Author:  Kathy [ Mon May 23, 2016 8:21 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Valley Way to Madison Spring Hut compared to Caps Ridge,

On the caps ridge trail there is only a relatively short section that is "scrambling" and "exposed." For my money that route would be more bang for your buck than Washington up the Ammo, then up, across, up, across some more to an over-crowded summit and then down, across, down some more (and be sure to stay on the trail, can be tricky) then down some more.

Not trying to sway you, but as a sister-hiker also in my 50s I would tackle Jefferson.

When are you planning to do this?

Author:  Flash [ Mon May 23, 2016 8:26 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Valley Way to Madison Spring Hut compared to Caps Ridge,

I thought Caps Ridge was fun and easier than Mt Adams (we went up Airline and the weather was not cooperating). It was busy the day we were there but nothing like the summit of Washington. I'm about the same age as you but do get out in the mountains many times a year. Personally I'd take Jefferson over Mt Washington.

Author:  Beckie and Prema [ Tue May 24, 2016 12:17 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Valley Way to Madison Spring Hut compared to Caps Ridge,

58 years old reporting! And short and slow, too! We (my daughter, Prema) did Caps in the early 2000s. We both loved it (Prema loves scrambles) and had no problems with it. I don't dislike Valley Way, but you will have lots more to look at with Caps Ridge, including the famous pothole rock! The parking was good, too.

I am considering a return, but as a loop (Castles/Link). Up Caps, down the Castles (because when we did the Castles a couple years ago it got too late and we had to turn around :oops: :oops: :oops: ), and then the Link back to the car (to see if it's really that bad). this would be done on vacation as to not have to drive back to the Great City of Lawrence late in the evening. You ladies have my sympathy having that long haul to and from RI.

We've been up Ammonusic at least twice. And while the psychological effect of having a mile long waterfall :D makes it a little easier, I think Caps is still easier. Have fun!

Author:  Kathy [ Tue May 24, 2016 7:06 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Valley Way to Madison Spring Hut compared to Caps Ridge,

Beckie and Prema wrote:
the Link back to the car (to see if it's really that bad).

Beware the Link.

Author:  neexpatriate [ Tue May 24, 2016 7:57 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Valley Way to Madison Spring Hut compared to Caps Ridge,

I liked Caps Ridge, because the views were very good most of the way up. I think if you're comfortable with Washington (multiple times!), you'll be OK with Caps Ridge. And, if you don't mind a roadwalk at the end (or the beginning, I suppose), you can go up Caps Ridge and then down Jewell.

Make sure the weather's going to cooperate, though. I would not want to be on Caps Ridge in foul weather!

Author:  psalisbury [ Thu May 26, 2016 8:33 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Valley Way to Madison Spring Hut compared to Caps Ridge,

Thank you fellow 50 something year olds :D I discussed it with my friend and we have decided to stick with our plan for Mt Washington this year, mostly because even though we've hiked up several times, we have never hiked down and that is a goal we need to complete! So we are taking Ammo up and Jewell down, and will plan on Jefferson next year. If the gods smile down upon us and we could come back in early fall to tackle Jefferson perhaps we'll do that. Thank you all for the great input!!!

Author:  psalisbury [ Wed Aug 24, 2016 1:20 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Valley Way to Madison Spring Hut compared to Caps Ridge,

Hi Folks,

Well, we did it! Finally hiked Mt Washington up and back down. First, it was this past Saturday August 20. If you were in the area then you know we had the most perfect day for hiking! We took the planned route of Ammonoosuc up and Jewell down. We made it to Lake of the Clouds hut in just under 3 hours, and including a short break to the summit in 4 1/2 hours. Spent a lovely two hours at the summit before hiking back down, which took us abut 3 1/2 hours.

We are quite proud of our time! Now that we've finally done the complete loop on Mt Washington we can begin to tackle the rest of the 4000 footers, though I suspect I will do Washington again :)

Paula

Author:  Beckie and Prema [ Wed Aug 24, 2016 8:25 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Valley Way to Madison Spring Hut compared to Caps Ridge,

:beer: :beer: :beer: :beer: :beer: :beer: :beer: :beer: :beer:

CONGRATULATIONS!!!!

Author:  Kathy [ Thu Aug 25, 2016 4:30 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Valley Way to Madison Spring Hut compared to Caps Ridge,

Nicely done. Saturday was indeed an excellent day in the Presidentials. I was a few peaks down on Jackson and Pierce. Incredible distant views.

And yes. You should hike Washington again, though it will be tough to beat the conditions.

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