View Full Version : Presidential traverse?

06-28-2004, 10:11 AM
With a spotted car, this is doable as a dayhike? I've only hiked in the adirondacks, and this will be my first trip to the whites. The people I'm doing it with told me it's 19.8 miles and alot of elevation gain/loss. The mileage doesn't really bother me, I've done that much before, but do people usually do it in a day?

06-28-2004, 10:42 AM
I did the Traverse from Appalachia to Crawford Notch on the 20th with a group of 10 strong hikers. 8 of us are in our 40s-50s and we had two youngsters along (mid 20s).

The weather cooperated, except for strong winds in the AM which diminished enough by the time we summited Washington.

We usually do the Adirondack Great Range traverse for the Solstice, but decided to do the Presidentials to celebrate my 50th birthday (born on the Solstice!).

We started at 5:15am and ended at 8:15pm. We spent an hour at the Madison Hut and an hour on Washington. A tremendous day of hiking, with wonderful views - after we got out of the fog and ice on Madison.

I found this traverse to be easier than the Great Range. Easier trails, shorter (19.8miles v. 23?miles) and you can't get hot coffee and cream of broccoli soup on the summit of Marcy! The weather report we got at the Madison Hut gave us a lot of concern, but the winds diminished to a reasonable level as we were blessed by the summit Gods.

A tremendous day hike!:D

06-28-2004, 11:16 AM
I need a newer guidebook also--I have the 25th edition AMC white mtn guide--it has maps and all, but I imagine there is a newer updated version. Any ideas for that. Also--we're hiking it Madison to Pierce. Hopefully the 31st of July.

06-28-2004, 11:39 AM
We did Madison to Pierce and out to the Mt. Clinton road trailhead, where we had spotted cars. A couple of our party bailed at the Lakes hut, to a spotted car down at the trailhead below the cog. The two young guys with us also did Jackson and came out just as darkness fell.

06-28-2004, 11:55 AM
Mtn-Top and I completed the 1 day traverse last night at 9:10 PM in Crawford Notch. Trip report to be posted when one of us has
some energy. ;)

Beautiful trip.

06-28-2004, 07:15 PM
The mileage varies depending on who you talk to and which of the many variations you do. I've seen some as short as 17 miles. The one I did covered most of the summits and was @ 22miles.

For the distance, I would have to disagree with the statement that there's a lot of elevation gain/loss (relatively speaking of course). Once you get on the ridge it's smooth sailing.

Sounds like you're strong. Shouldn't be a problem for you to do in 1 day.

Mohamed Ellozy
06-28-2004, 08:17 PM
For distances and elevation gains of a few variants of the Presidential Traverse see my Presi Traverse FAQ (http://home.earthlink.net/~ellozy/presidential-traverse.html).

Doc McPeak
06-28-2004, 10:43 PM
Mohammed's site has excellent scoops and I consulted it before attempting the traverse last year. The Presi trails are a walk in the park compared to our lovely mudpit, root infested, cliff scaling, cripplebrush carnivorish paths of the Dacks. If you have the stamina and endurance, I doubt it will be a problem. However don't underestimate the weather. That was what turned us back after climbing Madison (in moderate winds and peekaboo sunshine) Adams (in 60 mph howlers with fifty foot visibilty) and then Jefferson (in zero visibility and the calm before the storm). Heading down toward Monticello Lawn the ravenous winds returned and brought with them horizontal rain. Hitting the Lawn, we debated our options (knowing thunderstorms were predicted for LATE afternoon... it was 11 am at this point) while the rain changed to some lovely biting hail. Hail meant the thunderstorms were closer than we hoped, and instead of going forward and bypassing Washington for Lakes, we headed back to Madison Hut. The lightning found us as we skirted the sides of Adams. Scary shit being up there as lightning slammed Adams and Madison in front of us, but scarier still was finding out Washington got hit a couple of times around the time we would have been arriving there had we buckled down and forged on. But, as far as the hiking, I was in great shape after doing the first three and the bulk of the climbing. If I don't make it back to do it this year, I'll get to it soon enough. Of course the day before when I arrived was one of those rare days when there wasn't a cloud in the sky and not a wisp of wind!