View Full Version : Presidential Range Trip

02-04-2005, 06:40 PM
My two friends and i are planning to go on a trip around the 20th of Feb. up Madison via Osgood Tr, over to Adams, to Jefferson, to Clay, to Washington, to Lake of the Clouds and down Boott Spur to Pinkham. I"ve only been on parts of this trail and don't know the best way to go and just need some general suggestions for the trip. We have all the nessisary equiptment for over night for a couple of nights and figure the trip will take three days to complete. If anyone has anything that they think we should know about this trip we would love the feedback.

02-04-2005, 09:38 PM
I'd make sure you had someone with significant above-treeline winter experience in the Presi's, and a crystal ball to get yourself 3 days of good weather in a row (if that exists this time of year). That route is very ambitious but could be amazing, given good conditions. Have a plan B, C, and D, and don't be shy about bailing part way if things look iffy. Plus the usual winter gear for above treeline including plenty of fuel to melt snow. Others will surely chime in about camping spots, which are few. Good luck!

02-04-2005, 10:23 PM
There was just a thread on this topic in "Trips & Events" entitled "Presidential Traverse in Late February?". Worth reading.


02-05-2005, 04:34 AM
sounds fun - I don't think this is bad as it used to be becuase with the cog open and that road being plowed - there is a bailout down the jewel - but it still can be deadly if condtions are bad.

If you have good weather - which this year has been good so far - overall, this will be a fun trip - but you know the deal on the weather - and bail if need be.

Becuase of low snow - cairns are easier to follow and more likely to be exposed.

check out the presidential travesre page on chauvinguides.com - it is compass bearing, tentsites, etc.. really good info page on this.

You will never be that far from a bailout if things get bad - just get a map (you probably have one - but just in case) and know the basica of the terrain.

you want to follow the gulfside trail over the ridge and then hits the peaks by their trails.

bail outs -
valley way out of madison,

lowes path out of adams,

names escapes me right now but there is a trail down from edmunds col - the winds here can be brutal - I have heard if they are really high here - don't go further. I have always been lucky with decent weather in edmunds.

caps ridge down from jefferson - but this leads to an unplowed road that you will have to hike a couple of miles to base road.

jewel trail - down from clay

ammo trail down from monroe

then your near washington -

have fun -

don't forget the RMC huts you don't want to set camp on the first night.

02-05-2005, 03:13 PM
All the posts I've read about the Presis has lots of ice on the trails.

How much above treeline experiance do you have?

Good luck and have fun!

02-07-2005, 08:01 PM
I tried a nearly identical route last fathers day weekend. The weather forecast was partly sunny all weekend. Halfway up madison I ran into the crap, IE: heavy rain and wind....not too bad It was the whites after all! lunch at madison hut, hoping for the weather forecast to come true-no dice. So I headed for washington and it kept getting worse and worse. This was the day of the footrace up the auto road. I ran into 2 guys headed towards madison hut in windbreakers, cotton shorts, sneakers...it was sleeting by now and the wind was between 40 & 50 mph the rain and sleet was dumping on me...I was sort of prepared, but I started out expecting partly sunny skies and was slowly getting wetter and colder. Finally approaching edmunds coll I had had enough. I had an idea that as bad as it was, the coll can be 10 times worse so I decided to take the cut-off and get the hell off the mountain asap. If the Edmunds coll cutoff is an emergency route, I honestly still can't imagine how bad the coll must've been, and that was may! The thought of trying either trail in anything but perfect conditions makes me shudder. imagine the ice! youd need full technical climbing gear to traverse the cutoff if its icy, and to get down the six husbands or sphinx trail in bad conditions youll probably have to rappell parts of it. Good luck to you. :eek:

02-07-2005, 08:56 PM
We did the Presi Traverse the day after - on Father's Day. It was cool and quite breezy by the time we got above treeline. The clouds were hanging low and there was lots of rime ice on Adams in the morning. The clouds began to lift and Mt. Washington appeared all iced up. We persevered, the weather improved dramatically and we had a blast. By the time we got to Washington most of the ice was gone.

Ya never know what you'll find :eek:

Better luck next time.

02-07-2005, 10:24 PM
I ran up the auto road that day during the race. It was pretty good conditions below treeline for running, 65 degrees, light drizzle. Once we rounded the corner near the 4 mile mark we faced the wind head on all the way to the top. By the time I made it to the summit it was about 45 degrees with 30 mph wind gusts and I was just wearing my shorts and racing singlet. I certainly won't forget that day.

Jim lombard
02-08-2005, 09:15 AM
Posted by BrentD22

All the posts I've read about the Presis has lots of ice on the trails

Below treeline yes there is allot of ice but not above treeline right now (In the southern Presidentials.) I took this picture on Sunday just south of Mt Monroe on Crawford.

Kinda looks like early summer with the haze doesn't it?

But the conditions we saw in the past 4 days are not common in the Presidential range. I've been in the same spot when you could barely stand on your feet or see anything.......be careful out there. :)

02-08-2005, 05:26 PM
I think this is really fantastic! You guys, this site, its really cool. up untill this weekend all was aware of was the backpacker.com site. Using those forums is like talking to myself. Feedback rocks! :D