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plodder
04-29-2005, 16:01
Where is the Old Phart and his links when you need him? I wonder if I can get thru New Hampshire, July 1ish, with a 40' bag and a liner. I can check in the back yard but, that isn't the same. Got clothes, but prefer not to die...

Peaks
04-29-2005, 17:09
Conventional wisdom is to get your cool weather back before the Whites. I would suggest being prepared with more than a 40 degree bag, no matter when you hiked there

The Solemates
04-29-2005, 18:13
Where is the Old Phart and his links when you need him? I wonder if I can get thru New Hampshire, July 1ish, with a 40' bag and a liner. I can check in the back yard but, that isn't the same. Got clothes, but prefer not to die...

You'll be fine. We went thru the Whites June 1st with a 35deg bag draped over the two of us and just a fleece liner underneath.

Kerosene
04-29-2005, 20:27
Note that The Solemates are 24, and Plodder is 43. I know that I don't sleep as warm as I used to, plus you don't tend to be in as good shape and end up going to bed exceedingly tired after a day-long workout (and are more likely to wake up cold).

Take a look at the high/low/avg/records for Franconia, NH here (http://www.weather.com/activities/other/other/weather/climo-monthly.html?locid=USNH0077), then subtract 10 degrees for elevation. Here's another list for the summit of Mt. Washington (http://www.mountwashington.org/weather/normals.html). I'm sure that the weather is mild some July's, but there have been a number of sub-40 nights in Franconia. Three years ago it was 24-degrees atop Mt. Washington in July (but that may not be as much of an issue if you're using the huts).

If I were you, I'd be bringing my 30-degree bag, but if you do get cold weather, you'll probably just be uncomfortable for a few nights.

The Old Fhart
04-29-2005, 21:58
This is not the short answer. First, You will not be tenting on Mt. Moosilauke. Franconia Ridge, or above treeline in the Presidentials. These are the three areas where you will probably see the worst weather and be most exposed. However, you will still have to be carrying gear that is adequate in case you do have an emergency in those areas. In the 1980s I stayed at Guyot shelter on August 28 and woke up to snow that was up to a few inches deep from Guyot to South Twin Mountain. Around the 4th of July one year I had to stop at Lakes of the Clouds hut on a trip to the summit of Washington because of high winds and snow.

These conditions are not typical and you have the summits forecast posted in the morning at each of the huts. You can read these forecasts or get them from some other hikers, going the other way, who stayed at the huts, so you generally have plenty of warning as to what the conditions will be. As important as temperature is the wind speed and visibility above treeline. Trying to walk in high winds and whiteout conditions is very tiring and can be dangerous.

Even on summer day hikes in the Whites I carry long sleeved polypro tops and bottoms, fleece jacket and full length zippered fleece pants, and rain gear tops and bottoms, hat, gloves, and a 35° F (1lb, 15oz)down bag. On overnights, my tent adds a few degrees. With added clothes inside the tent and sleeping bag I can be comfortable into the mid 20°s. The most important thing to remember is if the weather is bad, don’t go, or turn back-be flexible. Know escape routes along the way. There are many trails in the area so carry a map/compass and know how to use them. One error a number of hikers have made in extremely bad weather between Crawford Notch and Lakes of the Clouds hut is to go east into the Dry River area (away from the westerly wind) and not be found for days.

Chances are you will see reasonable weather and have no problems. However, I always tell the participants in our mountain safety workshops: “You don’t have to carry as much gear if you’re only going one way!” :D

plodder
04-30-2005, 03:23
Thanks for the words of wisdom. Bailout is indeed an option. More trails there than Acadia, must be good hiking. A healthy respect for Mother Nature won't hurt, big wind is hunker down time. But then I drive different now, than at 20.

hawkeye
05-01-2005, 16:10
Better safe than sorry while hiking in the Whites.