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HapyHkngSmile
04-04-2007, 10:11 AM
Hello All!

Happy Spring - or is it?!

I am planning a few backpacking trips this spring/summer and needed some advice.

Memorial Day weekend, I was hoping to backpack the Bond cliffs in NH Whites. Does anyone know the conditions there around the end of May?

Also, I am really starting to push myself to get over my fear of heights and exposure, hence my taking a rock climbing course this weekend, BUT I am so drawn to the intensity of the Six Husbands trail...Does anyone have any photos and reviews that they can share of their experience, especially of that elusive knee I keep hearing so much about. :p

grouseking
04-04-2007, 10:40 AM
Never hiked the Bonds before, but in the woods between the peaks, I've heard that snow can linger very late into the season, possibly as late as Memorial Day or into early June. On Franconia Ridge last year, I came across some snowy patches just below treeline and on the summit of Lafayette on Memorial Day, but it wasn't too terrible. Just something to keep in the back of your mind, esp if we have a cold spring thru May.

grouseking

giggy
04-04-2007, 11:00 AM
you might still have some snow - but it will be (should be) hardpack spring patchy snow everywhere but pressies. it will be lingering snow by then - no big deal, bareboot right over it - it will be the excpetion rather than the rule.

even though there is this "big storm" this weekend, I bet most snow will be gone in 2 to 4 weeks.

6 husbands - minimal (if any) exposure, its a steep trail, but the hardest part is the long hike in. There are ladders and if memory serves right - one "tricky" section that invloves grabbing a tree and kind of swinging up. But it it sounds tougher than it is.

Maybe some class 2 parts, but its a great trail, highly recomended - prolly best to pick a diff descent route, it would be a pain in the butt to come down - but doable if careful.

That being said - I have heard some people getting a bit wigged out on it, so I guess its all relative.

TDawg
04-04-2007, 11:02 AM
I did the Bonds via Lincoln Woods last year 4/29-4/30. There was no snow to speak of until after the last crossing of Black Brook to "the ledge" before treeline on the Bondcliff Trail. And that snow was maybe 8 inches of consolidated spring snow that just made things interesting, no big deal.

No snow what-so-ever out in the open over Bondcliff and up the open shoulder of Bond. Once you got back into the trees nearing the summit of Mt. Bond there was maybe 12 inches of heavy consolidated snow, no postholing yet, still no big deal.

The only real significant snow amounts I encountered was going from Mt. Bond over to West Bond, especially on the West Bond Spur trail where there was still 3-4+ feet in spots. You didn't absolutely need snowshoes, but they woulda made the walking less ginger. We would be OK treading lightly on top of the snow for a while then BAM, posthole. (http://www.parazz.com/photos/28166025104_12565.jpg) I'd say this years snowpack could be a little bit deeper than last years maybe so you can draw your own conclusions as to where the snow will be. Good luck.

Can't really comment on Six Husbands except that it is on my "to do" list and I've heard it's a blast if you like scrambling, which I most definatly do. :D

percious
04-04-2007, 11:19 AM
http://www.percious.com/hiking/WMNF/WMNF%20-%20July%202002/index.html
Here are some pics of a few guys and myself heading up the 6 husbands. I remember one section that was steep and required some arms to get up. The rest was just really fun. We ended up doing Jeff and Wash in a day, descending the Wamsutta. 4300 ele. I think that if you don't have a problem with exposure on your climbing course you should be just fine on the 6H trail.

Who are you taking the lesson with anyway?

-percious

albee
04-04-2007, 11:22 AM
TDawg... that picture made me laugh!

I've never seen someone so happy to have one foot in a posthole. Looks like that was a gorgeous day.

I can't believe you didn't have your snowshoes on April 30th! You inconsiderate postholing heathen! (kidding...)

TDawg
04-04-2007, 11:38 AM
TDawg... that picture made me laugh!

I've never seen someone so happy to have one foot in a posthole. Looks like that was a gorgeous day.

Not a cloud in the sky for my 40th NH4k (http://www.parazz.com/photos/83220228313_12565.jpg) on West Bond ...nothing could damper the mood. :)


I can't believe you didn't have your snowshoes on April 30th! You inconsiderate postholing heathen! (kidding...)

Ha! Throw the book at me I'm guilty. :) But really they were only needed for a .2 mile stretch of the spur where it was a little worse, oh well.

HapyHkngSmile
04-04-2007, 12:13 PM
Thanks everyone...

percious - EMS offers clinics for climbing in early spring. The sessions are about 30 minutes shorter than the classes offered and the ratio of instructor: students is greater...BUT it is about $100+ cheaper...Looks like you know of where I am going...West hartford Ragged Mountain...Got any tips?

TDawg - whacha waitin for with the Six Husbands Trail :) Just kidding - but when I go in the summer I'll lecha know! And I agree with the postholing pic, it's people like you that I was cursing out on Kearsarge this Presidents Day weekend (someone postholed, with another fellow postholer, about 3ft of snow, for about a mile)...made it quite difficult and ankle twisting on snowshoes :p BUT I am sure glad you were enjoying yourself - I am sure I have left my share of holes :)

percious
04-04-2007, 12:55 PM
Thanks everyone...

percious - EMS offers clinics for climbing in early spring. The sessions are about 30 minutes shorter than the classes offered and the ratio of instructor: students is greater...BUT it is about $100+ cheaper...Looks like you know of where I am going...West hartford Ragged Mountain...Got any tips?



Interesting. 30 minutes? Do they set an egg-timer at the base of the cliff or what? Chances are you will be heading out with Matt Shove, who is really pretty great. FYI Ragged is in Southington. Many great routes there. It's likely that you will get familiar with the Weisner slab. Enjoy!

Suggestions. Well, if you enjoy your introductory lesson and learn how to belay, get a harness, some shoes and join www.ctclimbers.com on Wednesday nights. You can learn a ton from those guys and there's all you can eat/drink beer and pizza for $13 afterwords.

cheers.
-percious

sapblatt
04-04-2007, 02:17 PM
Did Bondcliff last June 3 from LW - do not recall seeing any snow - just a lot of rain and fog.

FWIW - the previous year, I traversed the Twinway around Memorial Day and there was still 2-3 feet of snow in areas.

nartreb
04-04-2007, 04:26 PM
I did the Pemi Loop May 17-20 2005. Above treeline on the Bonds was totally clear; negligible snow puddles in shady parts of the Bondcliff trail below treeline. Up to a few feet of snow in high shady places like Garfield Ridge, Twinway, and North Twin Spur, so YMMV.

swamp
04-04-2007, 05:17 PM
I do a Pemi/Bonds trip every Memorial weekend and conditions are never the same from year to year. Two years ago the trail was dry and summer-like from Lincoln Woods to the summit of Bond, 3+ feet of snow from Bond to South Twin , and back to summer conditions by Galehead hut,13 Falls and out.
This year I may throw in a whack from Thoreau Falls trail up to Guyot.Maybe I'll see you out there.

TroutBumNH
04-04-2007, 06:18 PM
I've done the Bonds from LW to Zealand twice.. once on Memorial Day w/ an overnight @ Guyot. Got there at 1pm on Sat. and got the last 2 spots in the shelter. It was gorgeous, if windy.

Six Husbands is a GREAT trail... There is a particular patch of snow that hangs around up on Jefferson's Knee late into the season. It's essential to make sure you're in the pole position at this point, so you can toss the first snowball down on an unsuspecting trailmate :eek:

This year -- not withstanding the stuff falling in Portsmouth right now -- I think you'll be fine by Memorial Day... The Bonds are a less strenuous hike... all flat, and then gentle terrain except for the steep stone stairs, and 'the clifflet' you climb to get the first view. Six Husbands is more of a Presidential grinder straight up the hill.

Have fun!

(Edited to add stuff I forgot!! d'oh!)

Woody
04-04-2007, 08:08 PM
We did the Bonds on the first weekend of June last year. I don't recall any significant snow.

Here (http://dwoodford.photosite.com/Album7/) is a link to some pictures of a Great Gulf trip from last September when we hiked up the Six Husbands Trail:

eddie
04-04-2007, 10:24 PM
I did this with my 13 year old son last summer on our first Whites day hike - up Six Husbands to Jeff, Adams and Madison on a clear day - awesome! The toughest part of Six Husbands that I remember was squeezing thru a small tunnel thru some boulders approaching the knee. There is one section that is very steep and the squeamish should not look down. :o We loved it.

Mike P.
04-04-2007, 11:20 PM
Memorial Day weekend 1996 2-3 feet still left on Twinway between South Twin & Guyot, some heading to Zeland & about a foot or so along higher wooded sections of Garfield Ridge. Weather between now & late April will have impact on May levels. Last year on Garfield Ridge only one or two tiny snow piles left, each year is differemt.

Bugs should be out