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 Early October rigorous hike suggestions? 
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Flatfoot
Flatfoot

Joined: Tue Jul 26, 2016 2:40 pm
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 Early October rigorous hike suggestions?
Hi everyone -

I did read the FAQ and availed myself of Tripfinder, and I still feel my question requires the subjective touch of experienced hikers.

Columbus day weekend I'll be in Sandwich/Tamworth - October 12th. My girlfriend's brother and I want to do a day hike that:
- is at least somewhat fun/challenging for two fit young men 28 and 30 years old who didn't have trouble with Huntington Ravine and have routinely done summer 'speed runs' of Whiteface
- will have good-great views of purdy leafs
- will be passable/not suicidal in case the season has been cold and there is some snow cover
- isn't more than ~60-80 minutes normal driving time from Sandwich

For example, we would consider Whiteface, but if there is any snow cover on the peak, the peak probably won't be traversable (is this true?), and it will be quite exposed regardless. However, this mountain is a good example of the level we're expecting. We will be prepared for cold, blustery conditions, and in fact would prefer the challenge and the fun, but of course we don't have crampons and axes.

Of course, this all depends on what weather is like that season/week/day, and we will have to watch the forecast and be prudent and cautious, certainly turning back or calling it off if there's any question about safety - we respect the mountains and have no desire to rack up a bill with mountain rescue. That said, any suggestions?


:beer:


Tue Jul 26, 2016 2:54 pm
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 Re: Early October rigorous hike suggestions?
Every Columbus day that I've hiked, I've gotten snowed on. Usually not much. Besides, it doesn't look like the above-average heat and drought are going to let up any time soon... so it looks like there are lots of options on the table, especially in the Sandwich area.

You should at least do Welch-Dickey. It's a 5 mile loop that will take you half a day. The views are tremendous, and the ledges can be a challenge unless you're 6'2" with really great boots.

If you're looking for something that compares to Huntington in Southern NH, check out the Holt trail on Mt Cardigan. It's nowhere near as bad as Washington in any regard, but it is the hardest trail in southern NH for sure. I doubt it would be icy in October. There are good loop options that can be made with that trail.

The Tripyramids are in the Sandwich range if you enjoy climbing rock slides. Also a loop hike.

I personally hike Mt Roberts every October. It's easy to get to, easy to hike up, but (IMHO) typically has the best color in the fall. I'm not holding my breath this year - no snow this winter, no rain this summer = blah colors.

Happy hunting. There's lots of great stuff in that area.

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Tue Jul 26, 2016 4:03 pm
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 Re: Early October rigorous hike suggestions?
Jamie - Every year they say the colors are going to be crap due to one reason or another... There have been a few dry years where it looks bad down here, but we've gone to the mtns and have managed to find some good color.

Mocbro - welcome to the forum! You'll get more great answers from others soon. Now, it might be a little more than 50-60 minutes, but you could consider the Zealand Notch area. On the way in to the notch, there are many brook crossings, a beaver pond, etc. It is an area that generally gets good color. I'm going out on a limb here, because I haven't done it yet (you can look up reports by others), but you can take Ethan Pond Trail and then descend to the brook and take Zeacliff up. It is very steep and maybe I'll try it next week when I'm on vacation. The view from Zeacliff is fantastic. Don't be tempted to go up the Whitewall Slide, my daughter and I did it last year. It is extremely unstable (I should have stopped to consider where all that rock on the bottom came from :oops: ). The top of Whitewall is beautiful, but it is better done as a bushwhack from the A-Z trail, and that is a subject for another day.

Like I said, experienced folks are going to chime in and give you better ideas.


Thu Aug 04, 2016 8:32 am
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 Re: Early October rigorous hike suggestions?
Beckie and Prema wrote:
Like I said, experienced folks are going to chime in and give you better ideas.

Don't let Beckie kid you....she is one of the experienced folks.

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Mon Aug 08, 2016 10:47 am
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 Re: Early October rigorous hike suggestions?
Check out this link, good ideas here for the 48-list.
http://home.earthlink.net/~ellozy/

If you're looking for a non-48 list hike, sheesh. SO many options. That timing could put foliage just on or just past peak in the hills. Why not check out that link, look at some trip reports herein for that same time over the past two years - just search for GraniteGuy or JustJoe. They have pretty pictures. Then check back in closer to your date.

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Mon Aug 08, 2016 2:25 pm
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 Re: Early October rigorous hike suggestions?
If you are starting in Sandwich you are close to Chocorua, and a Carter Ledge/Piper loop of that mountain is a pretty spectacular loop. Fun trails with moderate scrambling but lower elevation in case it snows higher up. Views a plenty from the Sisters and Chocorua itself.

If you head for Cardigan and the Holt Trail make a nice loop out of it and come down over Firescrew back to the lodge.

Webster Cliff Trail, Jackson and the Dry River Wilderness made for a great and colorful loop last year at that time. Report here to save you the search! :D http://forum.hike-nh.com/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=8898

Good luck wherever you go.


Mon Aug 08, 2016 7:46 pm
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 Re: Early October rigorous hike suggestions?
OK. I am amending my previous response. Don't listen to Granite Guy. :wink: If he could live on Chocorua he would. :lol:

Of course, his summer lodging would be in Acadia, with some winter jaunts in the Pawtuckaway area for a change of scenery.

HA HA HA HA. Have you missed me G-to-the-second? 8)

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Wed Aug 10, 2016 8:52 pm
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 Re: Early October rigorous hike suggestions?
Kathy wrote:
HA HA HA HA. Have you missed me G-to-the-second? 8)


Of course I've missed you, hope you find a way to post pics and reports again soon. The AMC 48 hasn't gotten much love around here as of late. And, it is OK to stray from the 48 Kathy! :D There are much better hikes out there than most of them. Also, for the record, Kathy would live on the 48, with a summer residence on the 48 and winters on, well, need I go on?! :wink:


Wed Aug 10, 2016 9:31 pm
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 Re: Early October rigorous hike suggestions?
Granite Guy wrote:
for the record, Kathy would live on the 48, with a summer residence on the 48 and winters on, well, need I go on?! :wink:

That is NOT true. I would venture out west occasionally in the summer

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Thu Aug 11, 2016 10:10 am
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 Re: Early October rigorous hike suggestions?
I've hiked most of the recent Columbus Day weekends in the White Mountains, and have had some really nice hikes. Even did the aforementioned Huntington Ravine 2 years ago on that weekend - some snow above treeline, but the headwall was dry. Most of the time there has been a dusting of snow at high elevation, but never more than 1-2", and easily dealt with. I did Whiteface last year on Columbus Day in fact, and unless we have a lot of quite cold weather and snow leading up this year, I wouldn't think twice about heading up that peak honestly. It's a bit more than 1 hour from Sandwich, but any of the ravines up in the Northern Presis might be a good fit if you enjoyed Huntington. Nothing that exposed, but there's still plenty of bouldering and such in King Ravine. And lots of trails to play on around there if the weather is good.

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Thu Aug 11, 2016 11:49 am
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Mountaineer
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 Re: Early October rigorous hike suggestions?
For what it's worth I was up in the Whites last Columbus Day and it felt like summer, sunny and temps in the 70's. While I wouldn't count on that every year, long-range forecasts are predicting an above-average warm Fall for the East Coast.


Thu Aug 11, 2016 1:58 pm
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 Re: Early October rigorous hike suggestions?
Even in the rain, and often especially in it the foliage looks better than on sunny days.
I think my approach would be to come up with a Plan A, B, C for a sunny day and a Plan A, B, C for a not-so-sunny day.
Ex: Sunny day Plan A: Up airline to Adams with possibility of tagging on the ridge walk over to Jefferson and back.
(or spot a car and descend Jefferson).

Sunny day Plan B: Up any route to Washington, then traverse across to a few of the southern Presidentials.
Could very easily get as far as Pierce and with a car spot there that makes a nice little jaunt.

Sunny day Plan C: Glen Boulder route to Davis Path to wherever your feet take you.

These are off the top of my head. Others on this forum have more experience with loop hikes.

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Thu Aug 11, 2016 2:40 pm
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 Re: Early October rigorous hike suggestions?
Plan A: Baldfaces. Standard Loop up the ledges of South and over North and exit, probably on Bicknell Ridge.

Plan B: Carter Ledge/Piper loop on Chocorua and the Sisters.

Plan C: The Webster Cliff loop I mentioned before.

All should have the purdy leaves. The Presis are father north and higher in elevation so foliage might be failing by then, and alpine zones don't have great foliage to begin with. Evergreens don't turn, the grasses go gold and the stuff below tends to look flat in color from high above. If you are 4K bagging that advice is pretty useless, but if you really just want a good foliage hike there are plenty of strenuous (more so than many of the 4ks) lower elevation hikes where the foliage will shine.


Thu Aug 11, 2016 9:05 pm
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 Re: Early October rigorous hike suggestions?
Granite Guy wrote:
Plan A: Baldfaces. Standard Loop up the ledges of South and over North and exit, probably on Bicknell Ridge.

Plan B: Carter Ledge/Piper loop on Chocorua and the Sisters.

Plan C: The Webster Cliff loop I mentioned before.

All should have the purdy leaves. The Presis are father north and higher in elevation so foliage might be failing by then, and alpine zones don't have great foliage to begin with. Evergreens don't turn, the grasses go gold and the stuff below tends to look flat in color from high above. If you are 4K bagging that advice is pretty useless, but if you really just want a good foliage hike there are plenty of strenuous (more so than many of the 4ks) lower elevation hikes where the foliage will shine.


Having just returned to my lovely home an hour or two ago from the NH/Maine line, I'd like to second the Baldies, and definitely come down Bicknell. The ledges would be fun for you (I think) as you are not 4 '11, nearly 59, and slightly overweight :lol: :lol: :lol: . As an aside to Granite Guy, once you get over the ledges ther are 12 million blueberries! Great views all over, nice summits to sit and enjoy the views. When you're descending Bicknell you can look over and see the south, where you ascended. Bring as much water as you possibly can; I wish I had :( !


Fri Aug 12, 2016 8:23 pm
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