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 Help me choose a ridge! 
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Joined: Fri Feb 01, 2013 10:04 am
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Location: Worcester, MA
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 Help me choose a ridge!
Hey folks,
I've lucked out with a Monday off - it's going to be a clear beautiful day, and I'm aching to get to a ridge. Since its a Monday, ALL hikes are on the table.

I have it narrowed down to three hikes, and would appreciate some feedback.

1) Lincoln/Lafayette - I've done this hike twice, and love it. A clear Monday with 80 degree highs makes this an easy top choice.

2) Baldfaces - Never done this, so it's always intrigued me.

3) Mt Mansfield - Never been here either. I didn't realize it had such a nice alpine zone until reading recent reports here. Looks like you can do a nice loop and hit the chin and the forehead all from Underhill.

Given the unknowns, I'm not really sure how to compare them. What do you guys think?

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Tue Aug 25, 2015 1:47 pm
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 Re: Help me choose a ridge!
Don't know about Mansfield. Since you've done FR before, go for the Baldfaces. My 2 cents

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Tue Aug 25, 2015 2:07 pm
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 Re: Help me choose a ridge!
Since you've done the Fran Ridge thing, I'd go with 2 or 3. I did not have the best day for views on Mansfield but I still like the Baldfaces over it for views. Just my opinion.

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Tue Aug 25, 2015 3:50 pm
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 Re: Help me choose a ridge!
If you've done Franconia twice I'd go for either of the others in a heartbeat. Mansfield is and extended alpine zone, but it's a shorter and easier hike. Baldfaces if you don't mind dipping in and out of the trees occasionally. Much more remote, wild and scrambly fun than Mansfield too if you head up the ledges. Head down Bicknell Ridge trail if you go clockwise, the north branch of the circle trail is a snooze fest. Can't go wrong with either but Baldfaces is the superior hike IMO with a lot of side attractions along the way and options to extend it if you want more more more.

Of course if all hikes are on the table, the drive to Evans Notch from Worcester looks to be 3:55 minutes. To the Adirondacks looks to be the same. If you're willing to drive 4 hours and want to check out some new turf you could do either of these as long (14 & 16) mile day hikes. Or any number of other great hikes in the High Peaks. Just throwing it out there.

http://forum.hike-nh.com/viewtopic.php?t=6644

http://forum.hike-nh.com/viewtopic.php?t=7844


Tue Aug 25, 2015 4:06 pm
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 Re: Help me choose a ridge!
JustJoe wrote:
Since you've done the Fran Ridge thing, I'd go with 2 or 3. I did not have the best day for views on Mansfield but I still like the Baldfaces over it for views. Just my opinion.

Couldn't say it better myself. Of course, I've had bleh weather both times I've been on Mansfield. Sunset Ridge looks awesome though if you go there. Baldfaces are amazing. Just don't assume that since the guidebook recommends ascending South and descending North (if doing the BCT loop) that that means the North side of the loop isn't steep and scrambly. It is, just not as crazy (and awesome) as South.

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Tue Aug 25, 2015 5:26 pm
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 Re: Help me choose a ridge!
Really you cant go wrong with either. Throwing in mybhat for the baldface loop though. Do one this week and the other next week. You can't lose that way! 8)


Tue Aug 25, 2015 6:00 pm
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 Re: Help me choose a ridge!
So I'm thinking Baldfaces is #1, but I have some questions about those ledges going up South. Most extreme descriptions are overkill (Desolation Trail, anyone?), but Dingo is a trustworthy writer, and his descriptions of negotiating the swing-around on sloping ledges is something that isn't quite exactly my favorite thing to do.

If I decide to take the way around the ledges (Slippery Brook detour), do you still get a few miles of extended view? The selling point for this trip is 4 miles of views: what would that be if approaching from Slippery Brook and descending BIcknell Ridge? If you do the detour, is it still a great awesome day of hiking, or do you really miss out?

To expound on the ledge thing:
I can hike the SPellman Trail at Monadnock. Requires hand holds and footholds for about a 1/4 mile. But no real "edge of a ledge negotiating around a big rock" kinda thing. Are the slabs kinda like the big open slopes at Welch Dickey? Grippy rock, or slick slabs? Some of the pics I"ve seen make it look like the Holt Trail... but that can't be right. Is it? Thanks.

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Nothin' on the top but a bucket and a mop,
and an illustrated book about birds.
You see alot up there, but don't be scared:
Who needs actions when you got words?


Wed Aug 26, 2015 12:11 pm
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 Re: Help me choose a ridge!
Granite guy and I did this a few months back. I don't recall any swinging around a rock. It's kind of a staircase af big slabs of rock. Only a few places I needed my hands to hoist myself up. A dog did the trail when we were there. Just avoid it while wet.


Wed Aug 26, 2015 12:21 pm
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 Re: Help me choose a ridge!
I don't recall anything like that either. It's nothing like Huntington Ravine which IS like that in spots. The ledges are mostly vegetation fringed too and don't even require that many handholds. The ones that are there are to hoist you up a few foot high step, not to hang on for dear life. You'd be unlikely to fall more than a few feet even if you did for some reason trip. Somewhere back in July I think Gibba put up our report and here's my complete set of way too many pics if you want a step by step play of the thing. Bear in mind many are taken with a super wide angle lens which makes it look a bit steeper than it is. I don't think you'll see too many places using handhold and none hovering above certain death.

https://flickr.com/photos/104458316@N08/sets/72157655323480040

So I think you'd have zero issues on them. But, if you did avoid them, you'd still get in miles of open ridges and views. Emerald Pool, Chandler Gorge (which is a loop not a spur so no reason not to check it out) Baldface Knob, the summits, Eagle Crag. You can't lose either way. You'd just miss all the fun!


Wed Aug 26, 2015 2:05 pm
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 Re: Help me choose a ridge!
Here's the report when we went up.

http://forum.hike-nh.com/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=8683


Wed Aug 26, 2015 2:07 pm
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 Re: Help me choose a ridge!
The ledges heading up to S. Baldface on the Circle Tr. creeped me out a bit the first time. There were points, if you follow the blazes, the ledge you must get up is almost chest high in my case. I had to at least one deviate from the blazes to find away around. My second and third times were a breeze. I've overcome a lot of my height/exposure over the years. Having said that, you absolutely can not go wrong via Slippery Brook to Baldface Knob and over. The views are easily just as good IMO and if you feel up to it, you can bag Eastman as well. But as already said, definitely descend Bicknell Ridge.

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Wed Aug 26, 2015 4:04 pm
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 Re: Help me choose a ridge!
I went up South last November with a bum hand (badly screwed up thumb that hurts to this day almost a year later limited my ability to use that hand), when it was shoulder season with mixed light ice and dry rock. Not one of my wiser decisions, but the views were unreal. That said, if I had use of both hands, it would have been fine. Some minor scrambles, and it is steep, but nothing insane. More scrambly than Desolation Trail overall, but also lots of easy ledge walking. Mostly big open ledges, just some hopping/climbing from one to the other. It eases up considerably once you reach the Baldface Knob Trail junction. My trip report: http://mattshikes.blogspot.com/2015/01/the-baldface-circle-nov-15-2014.html

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Wed Aug 26, 2015 5:00 pm
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 Re: Help me choose a ridge!
Great stuff. I'm totally siked for this.

Thanks for sharing. You guys have steered me to some pretty awesome places. I probably never would've gone to Norcross pond, and wouldn't have known about the camp sites there. Definitely never would've done most of the bushwhacks I've done. And the 3ks that everyone overlooks. So many many thanks.

_________________
Nothin' on the top but a bucket and a mop,
and an illustrated book about birds.
You see alot up there, but don't be scared:
Who needs actions when you got words?


Thu Aug 27, 2015 8:00 am
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 Re: Help me choose a ridge!
BTW... which is the 52WAV: Eagle Crag, or Mt Meader?
The list names them both on one line.

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Nothin' on the top but a bucket and a mop,
and an illustrated book about birds.
You see alot up there, but don't be scared:
Who needs actions when you got words?


Thu Aug 27, 2015 9:48 am
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 Re: Help me choose a ridge!
iagreewithjamie wrote:
BTW... which is the 52WAV: Eagle Crag, or Mt Meader?
The list names them both on one line.


By the original list, both.

http://overthehillhikers.blogspot.com/2 ... -list.html

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Thu Aug 27, 2015 10:13 am
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