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View Full Version : Which direction for a Pemi Loop....



SherpaWill
03-04-2013, 03:49 PM
I'm planning on doing a one day Pemi Loop this June (the 22nd) and I'm not sure which direction to do it in. I planned on doing it clock wise but now I'm not so sure. We plan on starting around 3:00 am and might run some of it, but it will mostly be a hike.

nartreb
03-04-2013, 05:28 PM
Readers familiar with the Pemi Loop will have realized at this point that I was taking the loop counter-clockwise. I'm not quite sure why I chose that direction. Some prefer this way precisely because they can cover the five flat miles of the Wilderness trail at a jogging pace while still fresh, rather than stumble over railroad ties in the dark at the end of the day; In retrospect I think I would have preferred to go clockwise.

http://www.summitpost.org/extending-the-pemi-loop/311203

blacknblue
03-04-2013, 05:52 PM
I'm in the minority, but I prefer counter-clockwise, hitting the flats early and bustling up Bondcliff. Descending Flume at the end is possible as a jog/run, and is remarkably gentle on sore knees (compared to most other trails, including Bondcliff). There are also more bailout options going CCW (Greenleaf, FW, Liberty Springs) in case you get into trouble.

Montana
03-04-2013, 07:07 PM
I did it clock wise. Started at 6:30 am ended about 7:30 pm. No matter which direction the crux of this is the Garfield Ridge section. Going clockwise you get by this stretch and can grab a breather at Gale Head hut. If you get that far you can do the rest with the short but steep push up S. Twin being the last killer or you can bail out Lincoln brook trail back to the start. Other bail outs leave you hitching a ride. Good luck on the solstice hike.

David Metsky
03-05-2013, 07:20 AM
I did it counter-clockwise. The run on the Wilderness Trail in the morning is nice and mindless when your legs are fresh. The run down Flume is great when the legs are tired and gravity is your friend.

SherpaWill
03-05-2013, 08:27 AM
Thanks everyone for your replies. I was also wondering what people have done to prepare for the loop. I know hiking in the mountains is the best way to get ready, but that's limited with living in RI and lack of time to get up North. I do run and I plan on working up to 3-5 miles 3-4 days a week by mid April when it warms up. I might do some incline work on a treadmill as well. I was also curious about what kind of shoes others wore on the loop. Thanks.

blacknblue
03-05-2013, 09:14 AM
I've never been a fan of treadmills, so I think I could never adequately train without getting into them there hills. Personally, along with my regular (though infrequent) running and hiking, I deliberately ramped up my mileage and vertical over the course of a year's time until I felt confident that my knees could handle it. (I had knee injuries 8 and 18 miles from my car, respectively, in consecutive summers. Took five years to hike decent distances again.) I think my longest hike/trail run before I did the single-day Pemi Loop was in the 22-24 mile range (Dry River/Davis Path), and my most vertical around 7500' (ADKs). I probably did 10-12 hikes/runs that were deliberately designed to see how far and hard I could go and still feel reasonably well.

Even with all that, the Pemi Loop still hurt like hell. :) Hobbled for 2-3 days afterward. Worth it, though.

FWIW - I did both West Bond and Galehead, making it 33.5 miles. Why skip West Bond? It's my favorite view on the whole loop.
FWIW - Here's (http://www.vftt.org/forums/showthread.php?37604-9-11-Pemi-Loop-CCW-with-WB-and-GH) my trip report, which includes split times.

Tom_Murphy
03-05-2013, 04:01 PM
I was also wondering what people have done to prepare for the loop.

Wapack trail is a relatively close training option.

And you could construct some figure eight loops on Monadnock that would add up to some mileage & elevation gain/loss.

mirabela
03-05-2013, 04:15 PM
I like counterclockwise. As far as getting ready goes -- running is good, the more hills the better, and the longer the better. 3-5 miles / 3-4 times a week is good ... if that's where you are by mid-April, then you should be able to get your weekly long run into the 10 mile range by mid June. Taper the same way you would for a marathon, too -- light miles in the last week before the big hike, just a short mellow jog two days before, and nothing at all the day prior.

If you don't already have your chafing prevention & management strategies dialed in, take some time to figure that out. You'll thank yourself. It's a long hike; the last ten miles put you into a new and different realm of personal wellness management.

Early Bird
03-05-2013, 07:31 PM
I did two Pemi Loops last year and both were clockwise. I chose clockwise after searching and reading a bunch of posts here. I liked clockwise so much the first time, I figured I'd stick with it. In the morning, I'm so excited to get up to on the peaks. Catching a sunrise on Flume is priceless as is solitude on Franconia Ridge. It's all downhill or flat after the Bonds.
Also, I live near the Wapack Trail and tend to do that end-to-end once a year. I found the Wapack Trail, 21 miles at a fast pace (5 hours) more tiring than a hike/jog (11 hour) Pemi Loop. I was way more sore after the Wapack Trail. Before the Pemi, I had time to do a week long backpacking trip, so I think that got me physically ready, plus I had been running maybe 10-15 miles a week. I wore trail running shoes for the Pemi, that were tried and tested on many other long hikes. I wrote about what I did to prepare food wise in a post. I think it was called Pemi Loop Prep and I also wrote about it in a TR, Pemi Loop and a Case for More Water. I can try to link it later. One time we brought a distance runner, non hiker friend to do it with us. He borrowed an extra pair of hiking poles from us and said he couldn't have imagined having done it without them. I'd suggest them in case you don't normally hike with poles. :-) Good luck and enjoy. It was one of my favorite hike experiences.

dailey7779
03-05-2013, 08:08 PM
Flip a coin and do it in that direction! Then next year do it the other way! Then the following year do it in the direction you liked best!

Have a fun one day Pemi Loop Will!

-Chris

SherpaWill
03-05-2013, 08:39 PM
Flip a coin and do it in that direction! Then next year do it the other way! Then the following year do it in the direction you liked best!

Have a fun one day Pemi Loop Will!

-Chris

Thanks Chris! I like the way you think!

Billy
03-06-2013, 11:07 AM
...I was also wondering what people have done to prepare for the loop. I know hiking in the mountains is the best way to get ready, but that's limited with living in RI and lack of time to get up North...

Three Rhode Islanders posting in a row...that could be a first. Anyway, living in southern RI, I can relate to your situation. I'm an average hiker, so I had to train hard to prevent my Pemi Loops and Presidential Traverses from becoming all-day affairs. For me, the solution was the Blue Hills, just south of Boston. The North Skyline Trail has a great run-able steep section near the summit (as well as lots of other ups-and-downs that are surprisingly White Mountain-like in steepness and ruggedness, but obviously for a shorter stretch). Lost track how many times I went up and down that same couple hundred feet. Anyway, it can be mind-numbingly boring to keeping going back and forth on that same trail for training purposes, but that's what mp3 players are for.

Good luck on the Pemi Loop. When you get between Garfield and Lafayette, remember to turn your brain off....it helps.

dailey7779
03-06-2013, 11:40 AM
When you get between Garfield and Lafayette, remember to turn your brain off....it helps.

Best advice yet! Don't let the 'PUDS' ninja your brain :)

Adventurous
03-06-2013, 12:49 PM
I personally liked doing it clockwise - you get all the hard sections out of the way in the first half of the loop. Once you get past South Twin, you're just on cruise control. Actually, what kept me going the entire loop was a catchy little jingle that someone got stuck in my head...what would you do for a Klondike Bar :rolleyes:

FARMER
03-06-2013, 03:51 PM
My vote is for anti-clockwise.

After the GRT where the small bumps feel like their own mountain range you emerge on the shoulder of Lafayette and you are rewarded for your effoerts! Besides, the Osseo trail is a peach to descend compared to Bondcliff especially since Irene. Either way, make sure when you get to Franconia ridge or Bondcliff you look over your shoulder and admire all that ground you just covered.

Have Fun!

Maddy
03-07-2013, 07:48 AM
Thanks everyone for your replies. I was also wondering what people have done to prepare for the loop. I know hiking in the mountains is the best way to get ready, but that's limited with living in RI and lack of time to get up North. I do run and I plan on working up to 3-5 miles 3-4 days a week by mid April when it warms up. I might do some incline work on a treadmill as well. I was also curious about what kind of shoes others wore on the loop. Thanks.

Sherpa....how about the elliptical? I have often worn my pack while a do it.

SherpaWill
03-07-2013, 08:11 AM
Sherpa....how about the elliptical? I have often worn my pack while a do it.

I hadn't thought about an elliptical, but I think I will spend some time on one. I like the idea of wearing the pack. I plan on doing some hill intervals on a treadmill wearing a pack. Thanks!

SherpaWill
03-07-2013, 08:23 AM
For me, the solution was the Blue Hills, just south of Boston.

Thanks. I'm going to check them out if it ever stops snowing!

Mike P.
03-07-2013, 02:48 PM
My .02 on training direction & logistics.

I tried it twice in 2006 & failed both times. In May it was a training trip for a Presi-Traverse that I did in June. Training was M-F work-outs during lunch at the "Y" on a treadmill. Hiking that year was the Wildcats in February, Monroe in March, (Weather dictated skipping Washington), and then 1/2 the Devil's Path with a bike spot in late April. The day before my first Pemi attempt, I made quick work of Middle Sugarloaf as I stayed at Lyon's formerly in Twin Mt.

Had a 3:45 or so start & sailed out to Lafayette. (Disclaimer, even prior to this trip, probably my least favorite trail in the Whites that I've been on is the GRT.) Got to Garfield okay but by the time I got to Galehead, the thought of ascending S. Twin & then the relatively easy descent had me getting out near dark.

My biggest mistake is that I had not planned to stay another night in NH. So it was up early, do it all, get out around 8:30 - 9:00 & then drive back to CT. So I opted to do Galehead & then descend the Twin Brook Trail which I had never been on until then.

The Presi-Traverse three weeks later went pretty well, thanks to a certain moderator bringing ice cream! I did opt to skip Jackson, named after the cartoghapher not the former President.

In Early fall, I tried again, this time starting with the Bonds. The day before I did Tecumseh. Another early start but about an 40-45 later than the May start. A fair breeze but great visibilty that day, when I got to South Twin though, I had figured again I would have a late evening descending Franconia Ridge & I still had the GRT to do. Since the real goal that year was the Presi-traverse, I went over to North Twin, did Galehead again & once again went back to Lincoln Woods using the Twin Brook Trail. It was a pleasent hike, however, had I pushed on, I'd have been miserable by the end.

Not planning to stay after the hike was a key error that impacted my decision the first time. (iknowing I'd be cursing myself ascending Lafayette on the GRT was the other. - I probably would have got up Garfield with just some mumbling under my breath.)

As Dirty Harry said in Magnum Force.....

max
03-09-2013, 10:54 AM
I will vote for clockwise, as that's the way I did it a number of years ago. Without doing any running, I started at 6 AM and finished a bit before 9 PM. The most drudgery was the climb up Garfield from Lafayette, with a 2nd place awarded to the flat trek out from Bondcliff Trail back to the car. I kept my rest breaks pretty short, except for a decent one on Garfield summit, and one more on the summit of Bond to get fueled up for the final downhill. I also included the up and back on both Galehead and West Bond. On the plus side, I met Kevin Rooney coming the other way as he was ascending South Twin from the east!