View Full Version : Pemi question

06-18-2004, 09:17 AM
My wifeís cousin is hiking the AT and I plan to meet him at the Lafayette campground sometime next week to give him a few zero days at our place to replenish is strength and supplies. I would also like to hike with him for a few days and was thinking of accompanying him through the Pemi. He has been averaging 30 miles a day since leaving Springer April 7th ,so Iím confident he can make the Garfield campsite after starting at the base of Mt. Liberty in the morning, I, however, might have some problems, but I am willing to give it a shot.

My problem is the next day. I have no doubts that he could make the Ethan Pond campsite from the Garfield campsite in one day, but I seriously doubt I could accomplish this feat, so I need a place to camp somewhere between the base of Zeaciff and the Ethan Pond campsite. Any suggestions?

06-18-2004, 09:36 AM
I'm just a bit confused by your reference to the base of Zeacliff, since you're never actually there on the AT. You're atop Zeacliff but then the Twinway arcs over to the Hut, then into the Notch.

There's no place, really, to camp between Zeacliff Pond and the Hut. The Pond, however, I'm told is a great spot.

Another, but most expensive, option is to stay at Zealand Falls Hut on the Twinway.

But ... once you get down the Twinway to the Ethan Pond Trail, it is dead flat the entire way to Ethan Pond. There's a tiny bit of rock stepping where erosion has slid some of the trail near the hut, but once you get out on the face of Whitewall, it's an entirely smooth, wide, flat trip. If you get to Whitewall, I think you'll get to Ethan Pond, especially if your friend goes ahead to ensure you a spot if you get there late.

There's no camping allowed anywhere around Thoreau Falls, but if you go about 1/4 to a mile beyond, I recall some hardened sites between the trail and the river (a Wilderness area so technically not legal).

06-18-2004, 10:00 AM
Thanks for the info. If Iím reading my map correctly, the Zeacliff trail seems to connect the Twinway up top to the Ethan Pond Trail at the bottom before it cuts through Zealand Notch. I was thinking that I could make it to Zealand Hut without too much difficulty, but making it to Ethan Pond campsite might be a stretch, so I was looking for alternatives after traversing the Notch. However, since Iím not the one hiking the AT, I can take the Zeacliff trail to Ethan Pond Trail and save some time.

06-18-2004, 11:43 AM
Gotcha. It's shorter in mileage, but the Zeacliff Trail is a steep, rough descent. I'd take the way by the hut, personally.

edit: who am I kidding ... I *hate* the Twinway. I'd take the Zeacliff Trail just to do something different for a change. But if your legs are at their limit ... Perhaps someone who's descended via the Zeacliff Trail can comment?

Whatever you do ... don't miss the Zeacliff lookout (http://hiking.saletnik.org/album/index.cgi?mode=image&album=/Hiking_Zealand_Valley_Nov_2001&image=021_18.jpg) . It's just a little loop but takes you right up to the edge. And in this (http://hiking.saletnik.org/album/index.cgi?mode=image&album=/Hiking_Zealand_Valley_Nov_2001&image=022_19.jpg) view, you can clearly see the Ethan Pond Trail along the face of Whitewall. If you look really carefully, a little left of the midpoint of that exposed section of trail, you can see the Zeacliff Trail coming up and joining.

06-18-2004, 11:58 AM
I remember that lookout when I did the Bonds from the Zealand side a few years ago. Depending on my legs, I might or might not take the Zeacliff Trail. Thanks again for the info.

Jim lombard
06-18-2004, 12:08 PM
Lots of people camp about 1/3 of a mile from Zealand hut as you hike towards Whitewall along the AT. Before you get to the part where the trail clearly follows the old railroad track alongside Whitewall there are several flat camping spots on the right. I've seen several tents there in my journeys through that area.

Michael is right, that outlook is spectacular....it's where I proposed to my wife!

06-18-2004, 02:37 PM
The Zeacliff trail is steep and would jolt tired legs pretty good. If you are tired, I'd avoid it in the rain when it can get a bit slick.

You do cut off a lot of mileage though...if you've got poles and you're not in a t-storm (note other thread :) ) going down slowly with pole might be worth saving the mileage.