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  1. #1
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    Default Upcoming NH section

    Hey everyone!
    For my September section hike, I'm considering continuing where I left off in NH at Franconia notch and finishing up at Pinkham notch. I'm quite familiar with the difficulty of what I'll be facing as I've done the previous section, and a good bit of Maine. How many days would you budget for a guy in better than average shape who did the previous section (Hanover to Franconia, which is obviously easier) in 5 days? Thanks guys!!!

  2. #2

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    Ignore the time it took from Hanover to Glencliff as effectively its another state. Now take the time it took you to go from Glencliff to Franconia notch and use that to estimate your next leg. Think of the stretch down Beaver Brook trail and up South Kinsman as more typical trail conditions for Franconia to Pinkham. The stretch over Franconia Ridge is usually done with fresh legs and is a taste of the long stretches of rocky trail but the grind kicks in once you head down North Lafayette and the rock hopping begins. Note once you get consistently above treeline, winds and weather can really slow you down. The weather usually stabilizes in early to Mid September but if a front comes through and the winds are cranking you may involuntarily end up with a zero or a very low mileage day. The nice part with ending at Pinkham is there are "escape" routes if you have to get off the trail early. Don't rush the stretch from Mt Pierce to Madison, nothing like it on the AT or the East Coast.
    Last edited by peakbagger; 08-24-2018 at 09:27.

  3. #3
    Registered User egilbe's Avatar
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    I'm planning 4 days from Crawford Notch to Franconia Notch and another Four days from Franconia to Glencliff. I have 10 days off, so plan on bagging the bonds and maybe Owl's Head along the way.

  4. #4
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    it was over 2 separate hikes but franconia notch to pinkham notch took me 4 days.

    hanover to franconia notch, again broken up into separate hikes, took me also about 5 days.

    i dont think you'll need more than 5 for franconia to pinkham.

  5. #5

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    If you stay only at legal sites and don't use the huts your days are well defined.

    1) Garfield ridge
    2) Ethan Pond
    3) Newman tent site
    4) Valley Way tent site or one of the RMC camps - both a bit off the AT and down a 1000 feet
    5) Osgood tent site

    Franconia to Garfield ridge is a ball buster of a hike. Took me about 10 hours of nearly constant hiking. I had just gotten back from doing 300 miles of the AT in northern Virginia, so was in pretty good shape plus I had a light, 15 pound load.
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slo-go'en View Post
    If you stay only at legal sites and don't use the huts your days are well defined.

    1) Garfield ridge
    2) Ethan Pond
    3) Newman tent site
    4) Valley Way tent site or one of the RMC camps - both a bit off the AT and down a 1000 feet
    5) Osgood tent site

    Franconia to Garfield ridge is a ball buster of a hike. Took me about 10 hours of nearly constant hiking. I had just gotten back from doing 300 miles of the AT in northern Virginia, so was in pretty good shape plus I had a light, 15 pound load.
    as i was typing my response i was thinking if done as one long trip and not using huts logistics could be an issue.

    i stayed at galehead and lakes. i guess if one were trying to do a 4 day hike of the whole thing it'd have to be those 2 plus find a hotel or front country camping in crawford notch or maybe ethan pond and then add a few miles on to day 3, which i dont think would be impossible.

    ethan pond to NAUMAN (we need to get slo a phonics book) would be too short a day for me to bear. esp if it was a rare nice day out. i dont know how one could stomach stopping at 1 or 2pm on a sunny day with the presidentials sitting right there beckoning you, though i agree options of a place to make it to before dark are iffy if you exclude lakes.

    as for franconia to garfield ridge- its esp a ballbuster once you start descending lafayette, but it can be done. my first hike of more than a couple hours in the whites was franconia to galehead. i want to say that took me around 10 hours, give or take 30 minutes.

    10 hours of constant hiking is what i always do though.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by egilbe View Post
    I'm planning 4 days from Crawford Notch to Franconia Notch and another Four days from Franconia to Glencliff. I have 10 days off, so plan on bagging the bonds and maybe Owl's Head along the way.
    8 days - 53 miles?
    Is that out of choice or difficulty?
    Trail Miles: 4,317.5 - AT Trips: 72
    AT Map 1: 2193.1 Complete 2013-2021
    AT Map 2: 270.2
    Sheltowee Trace Map: 148.0
    BMT Map: 52.7
    Pinhoti Trail Map: 31.5

  8. #8
    LT '79; AT '73-'14 in sections; Donating Member Kerosene's Avatar
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    I covered that stretch in mid-September 2006 (actually from Glencliff to Pinkham Notch). We camped at Liberty Springs Tentsite the evening after passing through Franconia Notch. We had a lovely, initially chilly, bluebird sky day over Franconia Ridge to Galehead Hut (10.4 miles) that took my hiking partner all day to cover. The next day to Crawford Notch (14.7) was a relatively easy trail, where we decided to take a zero given the likelihood of a storm the next day. Refreshed after a day of sightseeing (The Flume back in Franconia Notch), we stormed up Webster Cliffs only to be greeted with fog from there all the way to Lake of the Clouds Hut (11.2). Fortunately, the skies cleared (and the wind died to 0!) for our ascent of Mt. Washington. We lollygagged the entire day, with frequent breaks for pictures and soup at Madison Hut before we realized we were running out of daylight and wouldn't make it to Pinkham Notch until well after nightfall, so we camped somewhere near Lowe's Bald Spot (12.3), covering the remaining 2.6 miles early the next morning.

    So, this section took us 4 days of hiking, with a zero day in the middle. The weather was about as good as I could have hoped for, so if it had been really wet or windy we would have probably taken an extra day. I was in very good shape, and while my partner was a lot slower on the uphills, he would hike into the evening to catch me. Figure 1.0-1.5 mph through most of this section (faster from Zealand Hut to Crawford Notch), due in large part to the uneven surface (slippery rocks and roots) and steep ascents/descents (the descent of Mt. Garfield was pretty ridiculous).
    GA←↕→ME: 1973 to 2014

  9. #9

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    Yea, the decent from the Garfield tent site was insane. Straight down a stream with a lot of loose rock. Coming down from the summit wasn't much better.
    Follow slogoen on Instagram.

  10. #10
    Registered User egilbe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gambit McCrae View Post
    8 days - 53 miles?
    Is that out of choice or difficulty?
    Yes :-) but, it's a bit more than 53 miles when you count the peakbagging. It adds about 20 miles more. We are spotting cars at Franconia Notch and again in Glencliff, so that eats up just about a full day. We are in no hurry.

  11. #11
    13-45 Section Hiker Trash
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    Quote Originally Posted by icebeard View Post
    Hey everyone!
    For my September section hike, I'm considering continuing where I left off in NH at Franconia notch and finishing up at Pinkham notch. I'm quite familiar with the difficulty of what I'll be facing as I've done the previous section, and a good bit of Maine. How many days would you budget for a guy in better than average shape who did the previous section (Hanover to Franconia, which is obviously easier) in 5 days? Thanks guys!!!
    The big question is are you backpacking and using tent sites and shelters, or do you plan to use the huts the whole time? Either way, it's doable in 5 full days of hiking. It would definitely be much more enjoyable to be carrying a day pack and going hut to hut if trying to average 10 miles a day, but that's just my opinion...and I kinda like the huts even though they are pricey.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kerosene View Post
    Figure 1.0-1.5 mph through most of this section (faster from Zealand Hut to Crawford Notch), due in large part to the uneven surface (slippery rocks and roots) and steep ascents/descents (the descent of Mt. Garfield was pretty ridiculous).
    This is a good estimate. Although I have slowed down a little bit, I tend to average 2.5 to 3 mph on most of the AT except the Whites and ME. In the Whites I figured I was right at about 1.25 mph for most of the Whites.
    AT: 2007-2019 (45 sections)
    JMT: 2013

  12. #12
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    Thanks everyone for the responses! Definitely looking forward to this section!

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