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Thread: Winter hike route

  1. #1
    Senior Member The Sikes's Avatar
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    Winter hike route

    I have 21 peaks left to finish the winter 48 and most of them make me a little nervous. I have been researching but would like more feed back on:

    Jefferson, Adams and Madison (I have always done these together in other season but winter is very different) Are they doable to do all three or is that too much?

    Bonds, Bondcliff, W Bond, Zealand, Hale Galehead and Twins. Trying to figure out how to break these up to be safe and not die.

    Wildcats ..most go up the ski trail. Is it better to go up that and across ridge and backtrack or come out 19 mile. (I know the coming down is very steep on the non ski side...concerned about getting too much speed)

    Carters.

    Thanks in advance.
    We don't stop hiking because we grow old, we grow old because we stop hiking! Finis Mitchell

  2. #2
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    Its entirely weather related, most folks get their winter summits in later in the season and plan their days carefully to ensure good weather that could mean postponing hikes the day of the hike

    Quote Originally Posted by The Sikes View Post
    I have 21 peaks left to finish the winter 48 and most of them make me a little nervous. I have been researching but would like more feed back on:

    Jefferson, Adams and Madison (I have always done these together in other season but winter is very different) Are they doable to do all three or is that too much? Too Much, most do Madison and Adams Via Valley Way, then cut over to airline to grab Adams. Star Lake trail can be a nice option to drop off of Adams back to Madison but there is a significant steep angled snowfield you need to cross down near Madison Gulf. Crampons on microspikes are definitely the right gear. Jefferson is either an overnight at Gray Knob or a hike out and back via Jewell trail but only in calm weather. Some folsks od an out and back via Castle trail bit its quite exposed to weather and going over the castle has some very high fall exposure area.

    Bonds, Bondcliff, W Bond, Zealand, Hale Galehead and Twins. Trying to figure out how to break these up to be safe and not die. No good way to do the Bonds unless conditions are perfect. As Zealand road is closed its a lot more miles to do it in a day. Hale is easy using the old Firewardens trail from North Twin trail. North Twin, south Twin and Galehead can be done in long day but you need to spot a car to come down Galehead.

    Wildcats ..most go up the ski trail. DO a car spot, Use the ski trail up and then come down Carter Notch to 19 mile brook. The hike up from Pinkham to Wildcat D is as steep and gnarly as its gets made worse by fresh snow Is it better to go up that and across ridge and backtrack or come out 19 mile. (I know the coming down is very steep on the non ski side...concerned about getting too much speed)

    Carters. Park at 19 mile brook or Great Gulf, take the Dodge Cut off through Camp Dodge to pick up the south end of the Imp, then go up Imp trial to the North Carter Trail then south along the ridge to middle and south. If you are feeling good go up Carter Dome and loop back via Mt Hight

    Thanks in advance.
    If in doubt hike on Sundays, the trail are usually well broken out. Generally the trails are broken out within 2 days of a storm unless the weather has been rotten.
    Last edited by peakbagger; 01-08-2018 at 10:44 AM.

  3. #3
    Senior Member DayTrip's Avatar
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    Jefferson and Adams are 2 of the 4 I have left for my Winter list so I can't comment on those other than to say that trying to bag all 3 in Winter would probably be best left to super fit groups (I have no idea what your background is. Not passing any judgement here). The trip through Edmands Col from everything I read can be pretty treacherous at times. Winds, drifts and lack of decent bail out routes out toward Jefferson make for a lot of exposure. I'm personally planning to do Adams and Jefferson separately unless a particularly ideal day presents itself.

    I did the Bonds as a day hike from Lincoln Woods and didn't find it to be overly tricky. I would favor doing these later in the season (I did early March) where you'll have more daylight and likely a lot more people out there with you. Lot of long boring miles but low degree of difficulty for the most part.

    I did North Twin and South Twin from Little River Road. The only uneasy part of this hike is the 3rd crossing of the Little River. When this is well bridged and solid (which it likely is this Winter) this hike is a very comfortable and fun hike, one of my favorites in Winter actually. I did Galehead with Garfield but it sounds like many people do via Gale River and include with the Twins. Probably the easiest way to make this a 3 peak trip and it eliminates the 3rd crossing of the Little River (and the recent issues with parking problems on Little River Road). The only areas of this hike that are uncomfortable to me are the steep climb up South Twin (from the Gale River side) and the descent off North Twin to the North/South col. There are some steeps and ledges which could be an issue in icier, bony conditions and may require some care. The North/South col the times I have done also collects quite a bit of snow and drifts so following the trail can be problematic.

    I did the Wildcats going up 19MB and hitting Wildcat A first, working toward the ski area and going down to D and Polecat. It is a short but very steep climb to the ridge but I prefer going up the severe incline, especially if it is icy. Going over the ridge toward ski area you're generally descending with brief steep climbs in the cols so you get most of the hard work done early when you're fresh. And as a bonus to calm your nerves if you can make the ski resort and you're gassed I'm sure you could arrange a chair ride down, I think they still have a little cafeteria in the summit building to get out of weather, get a hot beverage, etc and the walk down the ski slopes is pretty easy. And if you're solo with no car spot that road walk (nearly 3 miles) is mostly downhill. If I ever did again I would definitely do this in this direction. Some people also do an out and back from the ski area but there is a lot of up and down in all the cols going out and back and I personally would avoid.

    These are some fun hikes. Enjoy.

    I'm not sure how people incorporate Hale into a multi-peak day. I happened to do as my first Winter hike ever so I did it as a "single" from Zealand Rd. I don't know that I would bother adding it on to another hike. The extra mileage and aggravation for such an anticlimactic peak don't seem worth it. Save it for a day where there has been a ton of snow and it is a nice snow shoe for an easier hike.
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  4. #4
    Senior Member nartreb's Avatar
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    Northern presis: these depend on good weather. Doing all three peaks is feasible but it depends on your pace. In winter I'd be fine doing Adams and Madison together (Valley Way, or Air Line if the weather is really good) but I'd want to wait for a perfect day and get up early if I was going to try to add Jefferson to that.

    When the cog road is open, Jefferson can be gotten via Jewell trail. That's still a significant hike above treeline, but doing it in a separate trip from Adams saves you time and energy. Another option is Castellated Ridge: shorter and more sheltered than Jewell, but the trailhead is a thousand feet lower.

    The 3 Bonds, - these are remote. Best way to get these, IMO is on a multi-day trip from the north, camping at Guyot.

    So Hale - Lend-a-Hand trail - stay at Zealand hut (open year-round). Next day, Zealand peak (do stop at the overlook), camp at Guyot shelter. Tag the Bonds next day with a light pack, and head back when rested. If feeling ambitious, do the Twins on your way out (but note Haystack Rd is closed, and see VFTT for discussion of parking issues on Little River road, and don't forget to "bushwhack" around the river crossings on North Twin trail).

    The slope from Galehead to the Twins is a big pain in the rear, so I'd tag Galehead via a separate out-and-back hike on Gale River trail. That's a below-treeline hike so you can do it some day when the weather's not quite perfect.

    edit: forgot to mention Wildcat. The trail up from Glen Ellis was steep and unbroken but no big deal except for one exposed traverse (somebody carved a ledge into the slab, but you can't see it under the snow). Once up top, though, I have vivid memories of deep snow and low branches forcing me to crawl along much of that ridge. (I made it worse by carrying a snowboard, but it would have sucked even without that.)
    Last edited by nartreb; 01-08-2018 at 11:06 AM.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by peakbagger View Post
    Hale is easy using the old Firewardens trail from North Twin trail.
    This is no longer an option due to landowner issues at the end of Little River Road.

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/hike...6038176403724/

    ETA (Tim) See Hale Fire Road Access Little River Road Winter Access Twins and Hale
    Last edited by bikehikeskifish; 01-10-2018 at 04:04 PM.
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  6. #6
    Senior Member Bob Kittredge's Avatar
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    Jefferson was my bete noir. I signed up for numerous hikes to it only to have them canceled, or to get sick, or to get turned back halfway there, or to find at the last minute that I'd forgotten some crucial piece of equipment. But I did eventually bag it; it was my last one.

    My advice is to start signing up AMC or Meet-Up hikes to it right away. This is not a mountain to be attempted on your own as a relative winter hiking newbie.
    I am Geezer; hear me roar!

  7. #7
    Senior Member blacknblue's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Sikes View Post
    I have 21 peaks left to finish the winter 48 and most of them make me a little nervous. I have been researching but would like more feed back on:

    Jefferson, Adams and Madison (I have always done these together in other season but winter is very different) Are they doable to do all three or is that too much?

    Bonds, Bondcliff, W Bond, Zealand, Hale Galehead and Twins. Trying to figure out how to break these up to be safe and not die.

    Wildcats ..most go up the ski trail. Is it better to go up that and across ridge and backtrack or come out 19 mile. (I know the coming down is very steep on the non ski side...concerned about getting too much speed)

    Carters.

    Thanks in advance.
    I've done Madison, Adams, and Jefferson in a single winter day. Obviously, you need a good weather window. Even then, it's a bit nerve-wracking. Ascending Jefferson out of Edmonds Col can be a bit tricky, and route-finding in bad visibility could be quite difficult. Finding your way back along Randolph Path can be tricky, too, as it drifts in.

    Ditto what others said about the Bonds/Twins/Zealand. I did fail to find the trail up Bond from Bondcliff once, and spent several hours searching through drifts, only to hike all the way back to Lincoln Woods in the dark. Not a fun day. (well, sort of fun, in a weird way) Makes me prefer approaching from the north.

    I've done Wildcat via 19MB and Carter Notch and it's not a problem.
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