View Full Version : Summer Trip Planning in the White Mountains

Pete Hogan
03-24-2004, 07:48 AM
Now that the official winter season has ended, my thoughts are now turning to planning another summer backpacking trip in the White Mountains.

I have just filed a three-part report, "White Mtn. Hut to Hut" on the Trip Report section of VFTT. At this time last year, I asked the members of this board for suggestions in planning a trip to the Whites. As I said then and will re-state now, your suggestions made the difference in what was an extraordinary trip.

Overwhelmingly, the Franconia Ridge was clearly the most recommended route with a traverse of the Bonds a close second. The first and second day (of our three-day hike) went off without a hitch. (Please see Part 1 and Part 2.) Unfortunately, weather dictated that we change our hiking plans and finish our third (and final) day over S. and N. Twin exiting to a car we parked at the Haystack Road trailhead instead of our intended route via the Bonds and ending at Lincoln Woods. (Part 3)

I would like to return to NH to pick-up where we left off - perhaps by hiking into Galehead Hut for the first overnight and then climbing S. Twin before heading over to the Bonds, as was planned in the 2003 trip. The Bonds would be the primary destination with an option to include S. Twin because we did not see anything from that summit last year. However, this approach only requires a 2-day/1-night plan.

Is there a way to extend or expand this proposal to include other mountains and places of interest in the vicinity without missing the Bonds and still make it a through hike? Are there different routes that will still accomplish a night (or two) in the huts and include the Bonds? Should I forget the Bonds and go to a different region of the Whites that would permit a 2-day/1-night or 3-day/2-ight hut to hut trip? I am open to your suggestions.

Thank you in advance for your guidance and counsel.

03-24-2004, 08:46 AM
Well, you've done quite a good section of the Pemi loop, so continuing along might be a good option, particularly if you are a peakbagger.

A thought: From the Whitehouse Trail, head up to Liberty Springs, next day over Liberty and Flume. From there, many options either in the Pemi, or up toward the Bonds. You could spend night 2 at Franconia Falls (crowded, but if so, there are wilderness sites along the BondCliff trail), do the Bonds, stay at Guyot on night 3 (sunset on West Bond! (get to Guyot shelter early if it's a weekend!), go over South Twin and drop down to 13 Falls tent site for night 4 (can't remember the trail name, but it goes direct from Galahed to 13 Falls IIRC), head out the next day grabbing Owl's Head on the way. You will need to spot a car at the Wilderness Trailhead, and there is a shuttle service (I can't remember the name) in Lincoln to help you get to the Whitehouse Trail.

Mohamed Ellozy
03-24-2004, 09:15 AM
I call the Bonds the "Crown Jewels of the WMNF", so I obviously recommend that you do them.

Your idea of going up to Galehead Hut for the first night is good. From there you can go over the Bonds to Zealand Hut, a long trip but definitely worth every ache you will get. Then out by the A-Z trail, bagging Tom and/or Field along the way.

Check my pages on Galehead Hut (http://home.earthlink.net/~ellozy/galehead-hut.html) , the Bonds (http://home.earthlink.net/~ellozy/bondrts.html) and Zealand Hut (http://home.earthlink.net/~ellozy/zealand-hut.html) for detailed distances and elevation gains.