View Full Version : My Better Half and Lowes Path???

06-23-2005, 10:39 AM
It's the time of year when my much better half comes hiking with me to do her Annual 4K. The past 3 years she's done....The classic ridge walk, up FW across and down OBP, Tom and Field (bad weather), and last year Crawford up and back Pierce and Ike.

I'm thinking about Lowes this year to Adams. Just looking for a reality check.. In my mind with the exception of one section Lowes isn;t much more difficult than the others she's done! Am i on the mark, it's been a long time since i've been up Lowes.

If she summits it will be redemption for an October trip up waaaay back in the 70's. when she hiked a lot. We got pinned down by nasty weather going up Air Line and had to turn back below JQ Adams. If the summit is not to be the views are great anyway!

Thanks all,


06-23-2005, 10:45 AM
Slow and steady should work just fine. I can only think of one section where Lowe's is harder than FW and the nice thing about Lowe's is you can mentally break it up into sections so you aren't thinking about the trip as a whole big trip :)


06-23-2005, 11:13 AM
agree with sli74 here - its really no different than franconia ridge via obp - more less the same grade. - she should have no issues. the ele might a bit more (but not too much) - adams is one of my favs to summit. on a nice days views will be amazing.

06-23-2005, 12:21 PM
Adding my agreement. IMHO the section just below the Cabin is the most awkward, a short section of often wet slab.

It's pretty steep in a lot of other places but there is some amazing rockwork that takes a lot of the difficulty (some would say fun) out of it. While there is still a long way to go once above the Quay there is nothing terribly difficult and the constant views are fantastic.


06-23-2005, 04:26 PM
I agree with everyone (how's that for PC!). The area below the cabin that Hikerbob mentions does have some recent "stairs" constructed by the RMC (I think they did it) and does make those sections a little easier.
I still think it's a harder way up but maybe shorter than Airline or Valley Way. Crag Camp will give you a place to bail in case of a 1970's deja vu and you'll still great some great views into Kings Ravine.
Good luck!

06-23-2005, 07:19 PM
OK, I'll be different. I really don't like Lowe's Path, in particular the section from below the Log Cabin up to almost Gray Knob, because I don't like hiking on wet ledge (and the ledges seem to always be wet). I've pretty much sworn off that part of Lowe's Path except for winter when it is cramponable. I definitely don't like descending that particular section. I *do* like to park at Appalachia, get myself to the Pentadoi and take the Spur from there to the Hincks Trail, which will get you to Gray Knob. Steep? You bet, but comparable to the same section of Lowe's. I also think that the footing is better and the trail is prettier. There are some big steps over boulders but not the inclined wet ledge that Lowe's presents. I have not descended via Hincks.

You could also just stay on the Spur up to Crag (I have not done this section) and the Spur continues from Crag up to Adams summit. I have done this section and find it comparable to taking Lowe's up from Gray Knob, except the Spur doesn't get you above treeline quite as fast.

06-27-2005, 08:07 PM
I also agree that Lowes is no more difficult than FW. Actually I remember FW to be steeper. Maybe because I did it on a hot hot day. But I did Lowes and Adams for the first time back when I was 11, and if I could do it then, chances are she can do it now.

However I also remember falling and sliding off a 2-3 foot ledge on the trail and landing on my back. (first time up Lowes was in November) But I was 11 and had an external frame pack on fully loaded so it didnt phase me.

Also I might add a recommendation to stay a night at Crag Camp and visit "Knights Castle" off the Spur Trail. Views from both into King Ravine are GLORIOUS! :D

Good Luck

06-27-2005, 08:48 PM
IMHO, a round trip to Adams as a day hike is more tiring than the OBP to FW hike. Not harder technically, but significantly more strenous when you take into account the vertical drop that she will have to deal with. I know many folks that have done the OBP-FW easily and croaked and complained on a day trip to Adams (knees and stuff), esp. going down.

06-28-2005, 04:52 AM
Well folks, we did Techumse from Tripoli Saturday as a warm up for Sunday. The day went OK but the humidity was giving her a hard time. With the heat and humidity headed for higher numbers on Sunday, i decided that Adams would not be the best place to take her. I do after all want her to continue to at least one or two a year with me:-) So we returned to Tripoli Rd Sunday and did Oceolas which she enjoyed very much.

Thanks for all of your input.

06-28-2005, 07:06 AM
Good choice bailing on Adams in that heat. In case you are thinking about doing it in the future, I will agree with Ridgerunner and disagree with most others. I think Adams is more difficult than the OBP-FW loop. There is more vertical on Adams and it makes for a long day. The grades on OBP and the ridge are much more tame by comparison and if you go up FW then the ridge and decent are much easier on the knees than coming down Adams.

The section right below the log cabin can be avoided by going around it in the woods if it is wet, but if it is dry it really isn't that bad. It is the worst part of the trail though.

Glad you had fun on the Osceolas. They are always a good fallback choice.

- darren

06-28-2005, 07:23 AM
As a mark for future referance, I'll toss in with Darren, Ridgerunner and Vegematic on this one.

I'm very, very jaded by way too many trips on Lowes. It ranks right up there with Lincoln Woods and Tuckerman Ravine trails as trails that has had too much of my foot traffic. The lower section of Lowes is a buggy foot-bath in the wilderness and as other have noted, the middle section is a muddy, slippery mess. While the section between Adams 4 and Thunderstorm Junction is really, really cool, the section between Grey Knob and Adam 4 can be a sucker punch. Going up you will have wind to your back but you will have nasty head winds coming down. (more of an issue in the winter or in the rain.)

If Adams summit is the goal, I prefer Amphibrach to Spur (return by Airline). This also gives Crag as a reality check stopping point. Excellent views of King Ravine, nice porch, lovely place to just sit.... NOTE: the grind up Spur above Randolf Path and below Crag has broken the spirit of more than one hiker. But, it is infinitely more interesting imo than Lowes (not saying much).

Actually though, I think Madison (via Airline or Valley Way) or Jefferson (via Caps Ridge) are both much easier for people to get started with in the northern presis.