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Thread: Traveler Loop In The Rain

  1. #1
    Senior Member DayTrip's Avatar
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    Traveler Loop In The Rain

    So I'm heading to Baxter this week from North gate and one of my main goals while staying there was to hike the Traveler's Loop. It's looking like the weather is not going to be too great though the days I'll be there so I'm curious about whether there would be a reason I'd want to avoid it in the rain. I know it is a strenuous loop, with lots of exposure but is the terrain sufficiently challenging when wet, i.e. smooth steep slabs, steep scrambles, etc? If anyone can provide a White Mountain "comp" trail to assist with assessing the route or has any general thoughts on the matter it will be appreciated. I've done many of the sketchier routes in NH in poor weather but I've never been in this area before. The Maine AMC Guide is quite brief with its descriptions.

    As a secondary question, how is the loop of South Branch and Black Cat Mountain? Is that a worthy "plan B" alternate hike if Traveler is a bad idea? It seems similar to South Turner from Roaring Brook in terms of mileage/vertical, which is a hike I really enjoyed. Going to do the Howe Brook Trail with the wife one of the days so I wanted to do a "real" hike the other full day we'll be there.
    NH 48 4k: 48/48; NH W48k: 48/48; ME 4k: 2/14; VT 4k: 1/5; NY 46: 6/46

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    As far as comps go, I would suggest that the southern presidentials is the most easily comparable area that comes to mind. I did the loop on a humid summer day and I do not remember the rocks as being slippery. There is basically no exposure to falling. It is certainly exposed to the weather with almost zero chance of bailouts. In Baxter, the rangers will certainly offer their opinion if they are not comfortable with your plans for the day.

    I do not have any other experience in the northern part of the park to suggest alternative hikes

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    Senior Member MikePS's Avatar
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    Doing the loop counterclockwise- typically the recommended way- coming down No Traveler encounters some open granite slabs, never did the red rock in rain,not "smooth" more of a corrugated surface. might depend on how comfortable you are on wet rock. Definitely exposed for much of the last mile or two. The So Branch-Black cat is definitely doable in the rain- no open slabs. The descent down Black Cat is a lot of small rock, almost like a slide. Route is mostly in the woods with open peaks.

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    IMHO, buy a book and spend a day hanging out at camp. Unless you just need to check off a box on list, doing the Traveler Loop in crappy weather is a waste of time as the major draw is the extensive above tree line views. The trickiest part is probably the first climb up off the lake shore. Probably easier to go up then down. If you just have to go out there are plenty of shorter hikes nearby.

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    Senior Member Raven's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by peakbagger View Post
    IMHO, buy a book and spend a day hanging out at camp. Unless you just need to check off a box on list, doing the Traveler Loop in crappy weather is a waste of time as the major draw is the extensive above tree line views. The trickiest part is probably the first climb up off the lake shore. Probably easier to go up then down. If you just have to go out there are plenty of shorter hikes nearby.
    I was thinking the same about the first climb up from the lake. It's rough rock but narrow in spots. Not particularly bad but a spot to take care for sure.
    Humankind has not woven the web of life.
    We are but one thread within it.
    Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves.
    All things are bound together.
    All things connect.
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    Senior Member DayTrip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lost Dad View Post
    There is basically no exposure to falling. It is certainly exposed to the weather with almost zero chance of bailouts.
    That is basically what I wanted to know. I obviously want to see the views from the loop but I enjoy that type of terrain in just about any conditions and have the gear/experience to manage the weather side of it.
    NH 48 4k: 48/48; NH W48k: 48/48; ME 4k: 2/14; VT 4k: 1/5; NY 46: 6/46

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    Senior Member DayTrip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by peakbagger View Post
    IMHO, buy a book and spend a day hanging out at camp.
    I could never do that, especially at Baxter. We only have 2 full days there as well so throwing one on the scrap heap won't be an option unless the weather is biblically bad. I'll get out there and enjoy it as best as the weather allows. Can catch up on my reading this Winter when it's cold and dark.
    NH 48 4k: 48/48; NH W48k: 48/48; ME 4k: 2/14; VT 4k: 1/5; NY 46: 6/46

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    Senior Member JustJoe's Avatar
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    I just did the loop counter clockwise about 10 days ago. I personally wouldn't not want to descend from either direction if wet. I personally felt there was one no fall zone descending North Travel. But descending from Traveler going clockwise would be worse in my opinion.

    https://photos.app.goo.gl/ECBXfdBPL6M9YLH89

    This is one of the spots descending North Traveler I feel is a no fall zone. One this whole section is like pea stone (marbles) tough enough to descend on. Add wet, and that's a white knuckler for me.

    Last edited by JustJoe; 09-08-2019 at 02:38 PM.
    Joe

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    Senior Member JustJoe's Avatar
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    Oh, and as far as comparing it. I'd say The Baldface Loop, on steroids, with northern Presi type terrain.
    Joe

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    Senior Member DayTrip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JustJoe View Post
    Oh, and as far as comparing it. I'd say The Baldface Loop, on steroids, with northern Presi type terrain.
    Great photo album! I pretty much can't wait to do this now. I hadn't seen many photos. Only people telling me it's awesome, which it clearly is. Hopefully I luck out with a break in the forecast. Thanks.
    NH 48 4k: 48/48; NH W48k: 48/48; ME 4k: 2/14; VT 4k: 1/5; NY 46: 6/46

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    Senior Member DayTrip's Avatar
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    JustJoe how long did the loop take you to hike? AMC Maine Guide says 7 1/2 hours but I've seen write ups saying to allow for 10-12 hours, which seems crazy for the mileage/vertical. That's why I was wondering if there were scrambles or other problems that would make it take longer.
    NH 48 4k: 48/48; NH W48k: 48/48; ME 4k: 2/14; VT 4k: 1/5; NY 46: 6/46

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    Senior Member JustJoe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DayTrip View Post
    JustJoe how long did the loop take you to hike? AMC Maine Guide says 7 1/2 hours but I've seen write ups saying to allow for 10-12 hours, which seems crazy for the mileage/vertical. That's why I was wondering if there were scrambles or other problems that would make it take longer.
    8.75 hours. But I take at ton of photos and spent a lot of time picking blueberries. Sat on Traveler for quite a while too. The ranger told me to allow for at least 10. But 7.5 sunnds about right for an average experienced hiker.
    Joe

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    Senior Member DayTrip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JustJoe View Post
    8.75 hours. But I take at ton of photos and spent a lot of time picking blueberries. Sat on Traveler for quite a while too. The ranger told me to allow for at least 10. But 7.5 sunnds about right for an average experienced hiker.
    I do the same - lots of pictures/video. I was planning on allowing for 9 hours. Thanks!
    NH 48 4k: 48/48; NH W48k: 48/48; ME 4k: 2/14; VT 4k: 1/5; NY 46: 6/46

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    Senior Member B the Hiker's Avatar
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    So, to summarize, you asked, two people told you not to do this loop if it rains, and you replied something to the extend of, "If I drive up there, I'm going to do it, because I can't drive all that way up there and not hike."

    Hmm. Does that really sound wise?

    It's an amazingly beautiful loop on a nice day, but as was already stated, you can't bail off of it, and it is very exposed. As with others, I would tell you that if it's raining, this is not a hike to do. As the saying goes, it will always be there.

  15. #15
    Senior Member ChrisB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JustJoe View Post
    Oh, and as far as comparing it. I'd say The Baldface Loop, on steroids, with northern Presi type terrain.
    That's amazing photo of the canoe. Beautiful wake and with ghost trees reflected in the water. Nice work JustJoe!!
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