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best above treeline day hike

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  • best above treeline day hike

    im heading up next friday morning and looking for a good day hike. im looking for something that is challenging, has great views and is above treeline.


    For reference, this month i have been hiking in the white mountains in NH. I have done Mt washington, Mt adams and the lafayette ridge (mt lafayette, little haystack and lincoln).

    Also, if you guys could give the trailhead, trail name and mileage, that would be great. thanks!

  • #2
    Marcy, Skylight, Haystack, and Algonquin have the most above treeline exposure out of all of the High Peaks. Of those, Skylight and Haystack are more remote and a longer hike to reach. Marcy is moderately long with gentle grades, Algonquin is shorter with steeper grades.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by DSettahr View Post
      Marcy, Skylight, Haystack, and Algonquin have the most above treeline exposure out of all of the High Peaks. Of those, Skylight and Haystack are more remote and a longer hike to reach. Marcy is moderately long with gentle grades, Algonquin is shorter with steeper grades.
      which would you recommend? algonquin seems like a good choice. would the side trip to wright peak in combination with algonquin be doable for a day hike?

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      • #4
        Do Algonquin and Iroquois. That way you'll be traversing the entire Algonquin dome rather than just up and down the north side. The north and south sides are of very different character. Adding Wright is also very doable.
        Scooting here and there
        Through the woods and up the peaks
        Random Scoots awaits (D.P.)


        "Pushing the limits of easy."™

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        • #5
          Yeah, I would say that if you're familiar with above treeline hiking in winter, Wright and Algonquin is a doable day. Adding Iroquois will make it a long day, but still an achievable itinerary if you're in good shape and get an early start.

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          • #6
            Rocky Peak Ridge
            Paul

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            • #7
              I am fond of Gothics as a winter peak. You have several approach options and also can target other peaks. It's best not to try and be too ambitious in the winter. Unlike the Presidentials we do not have the number of bailout or shelter options even though weather can be nearly as harsh.
              Recent weeks have been piling on lot's of ice and freezing rain. Be prepared for that.

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              • #8
                Rocky Peak Ridge is beautiful on an exposed ridge line.

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                • #9
                  [QUOTE=mt.runner;242319]Rocky Peak Ridge[/QUOTE

                  Where do you recommend I start? I only have one car so I have to end up back at the same parking lot. Also, how far of a hike is it?



                  I have also been thinking of something like gothics pyramid and sawteeth or something in that area.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by kstr0h View Post
                    Where do you recommend I start? I only have one car so I have to end up back at the same parking lot. Also, how far of a hike is it?
                    IMO, Rocky Peak Ridge is best done as a through hike if your goal is to maximize your enjoyment of the alpine scenery, so it's worth saving that one for when you have a partner and can spot a second car. Most people do it by traversing between Chapel Pond and New Russia. Particularly ambitious hikers will do it solo in the summer by stashing a bike at the far trailhead and peddling back to their car. If memory serves, it's about 11-12 miles to go all the way through.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by DSettahr View Post
                      IMO, Rocky Peak Ridge is best done as a through hike if your goal is to maximize your enjoyment of the alpine scenery, so it's worth saving that one for when you have a partner and can spot a second car. Most people do it by traversing between Chapel Pond and New Russia. Particularly ambitious hikers will do it solo in the summer by stashing a bike at the far trailhead and peddling back to their car. If memory serves, it's about 11-12 miles to go all the way through.
                      Thanks! I'm leaning towards either the Algonquin/wright/Iroquois or gothics and maybe a sorrounding.

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                      • #12
                        Is something like a gothics, pryamid, sawteeth realistic?

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                        • #13
                          Based on your experience, I would say it's realistic. The scenic trail to Sawteeth doesn't get much use in winter and likely won't be broken out, but Sawteeth via the Weld Trail is pretty straightforward. There are a couple of steep scrambles on the south side of Pyramid that can be tricky in winter but usually aren't too hard- carrying crampons just in case is probably a good idea (especially since this has been an icy winter). From Gothics, you can either descend back to the Ausable Club, or you can choose to continue to Armstrong and Upper Wolfjaw, depending on how you are feeling and how quickly you are moving. There is a ladder on the north side of Armstrong that often becomes fully encased in ice and can be tricky to descend.

                          One of the summit stewards saw this thread and asked me to remind you to be careful around alpine vegetation. In a normal season, the snowpack protects much of it, but with minimal snow accumulation this year, there is likely to be some areas where vegetation is exposed and is susceptible to damage from snowshoes, microspikes, crampons, etc. Just something to be aware of.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by DSettahr View Post
                            Based on your experience, I would say it's realistic. The scenic trail to Sawteeth doesn't get much use in winter and likely won't be broken out, but Sawteeth via the Weld Trail is pretty straightforward. There are a couple of steep scrambles on the south side of Pyramid that can be tricky in winter but usually aren't too hard- carrying crampons just in case is probably a good idea (especially since this has been an icy winter). From Gothics, you can either descend back to the Ausable Club, or you can choose to continue to Armstrong and Upper Wolfjaw, depending on how you are feeling and how quickly you are moving. There is a ladder on the north side of Armstrong that often becomes fully encased in ice and can be tricky to descend.

                            One of the summit stewards saw this thread and asked me to remind you to be careful around alpine vegetation. In a normal season, the snowpack protects much of it, but with minimal snow accumulation this year, there is likely to be some areas where vegetation is exposed and is susceptible to damage from snowshoes, microspikes, crampons, etc. Just something to be aware of.

                            I will make sure to be careful above treeline in regards to vegetation. Where exactly is the ausable club? I see that it's private property but can't find coordinates on the actual trailhead. Do you think that's a better start then say the garden? Thanks!

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by kstr0h View Post
                              I will make sure to be careful above treeline in regards to vegetation. Where exactly is the ausable club? I see that it's private property but can't find coordinates on the actual trailhead. Do you think that's a better start then say the garden? Thanks!
                              The Ausable Club is basically the valley between St. Huberts and Upper Ausable Lake. It's a privately owned club across which the public is allowed to hike on certain designated trails (but you can't camp until you cross onto state land). You also have to park near Route 73 and walk through the Ausable Club- most people walk up Lake Road, a private road that is open to the public for foot travel only.

                              It's really a matter of personal preference which side you start on. If you go from the Ausable Club side, you've got more bailout options, so it is easier to tailor your hike to your needs as you go- you aren't committed to doing the full Lower Range like you are from the Johns Brook side if you decide that you want to continue north along the range. Going from the Ausable Club means that you miss the cables on Gothics, though, which is probably one of the more scenic/spectacular parts of the Lower Range (although honestly is not as difficult as some people make it out to be, IMO).

                              Also, in order to do Sawteeth from the Johns Brook side means that you would have to summit Gothics twice- once on your way to Sawteeth, and again on your way back. Maybe not a huge issue, depending on your fitness and experience level, but something to be aware of. (I think the summit is actually a short distance north of the trail junction so you'd technically only be touching the exact summit once, but it's not a huge difference.)

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