View Full Version : Jefferson, Adams, Madison

David Campbell
09-22-2004, 01:54 PM
Has anyone climbed Jefferson, Adams and Madison from Rt.16 in the same day? I'm thinking of going Great Gulf to Six Husbands to Jefferson summit. Then AT/Gulfside over Adams and Madison and return via Osgood to lower Great Gulf. It's 15.5 miles and 12,350 of elevation. Are the trails suitable enough to enable this one day outing?

David Metsky
09-22-2004, 02:50 PM
I've done a similar trip (out via Mad Gulf, not Osgood), minus a few of the summit loops (I forget which ones now) but it was done in the middle of the summer with more daylight. It's a long day, I was dead tired at the end and would not have enjoyed finishing up with a headlamp. The bottom of Osgood is quite hard on the legs, and when you are very tired and it's dark, that could be the biggest danger factor.

If the weather is perfect it could be a good long day. You can always shorten it as you go along by taking the Edmands Cut-Off to avoid the Jefferson Summit or stay on Gulfside to avoid the Adams climb. Taking the loop around Madison won't save you any time and the trail is much rougher.

Can you do this trip? No way of telling, since only you know how fast you hike. Have you been up in this area before? If not, I'd suggest taking a slightly less ambitious trip to see how you do on the rough Northern Presidentials terrain before starting a death march.


09-22-2004, 04:06 PM
As usual, I concur with Dave. Two years ago in July, I did precisely the hike you propose. It was a long day then. Osgood Ridge can be slow going, and as Dave suggests, bypassing Madison is no help.

09-22-2004, 04:23 PM
Two years ago, I embarked on and overly ambitious trip such as this. I had limited experience in this area and dragged my friend over Madison, Adams, Jefferson and Washington and descended to Hermit lake. Let's just say that this was a huge mistake, and I would NEVER underestimate the difficulty of the northern presis again. We made it, but it took 17 miserable hours. It would be best to try Adams and Madison first as a dayhike and see how you do. I hear six husbands is a nasty, steep trail.


09-22-2004, 04:41 PM
I did the same loop last year (Six Husbands - Jefferson - Adams - Osgood ridge), and I strongly agree with Dave. We hiked fast and steady, and since Madison's summit was in the clouds, we decided to take the Parapet trail. Mistake! It's a rough off-camber and boulder-strewn trail. It would be faster and easier to pass over the summit.

But if you're fast and the weather is good, it's definitely doable. Our legs were a bit beaten at the end of the day, but it wasn't my toughest hike ever. Beware of the rough footing and start early:)

09-22-2004, 04:43 PM
The estimated 12,350 ft. elevation confuses me. My calculations are about 5700 total vertical rise over the 15.5 miles, which is a long day but certainly within the range of a fit hiker. My rule of thumb is not to exceed my "comfort zone" by more than 25%, so if you haven't recently done a hike of at least 12 miles and 4500 ft. vertical then you're probably biting off more than you can chew.

09-22-2004, 04:54 PM
I agree - 12,350 is certainly not correct. I believe a full Presi traverseis no more than 9000 feet

Presi traverse page (http://home.earthlink.net/~ellozy/presidential-traverse.html#presi2)