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Thread: Pemi loop advice

  1. #1
    Member Bushwhack's Avatar
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    Pemi loop advice

    Hey Folks,

    It has been a long time since I have done a Pemi loop, and was hoping for some reminders, as my memory is getting foggy on the details of the trail. I'm looking to do a one day pemi loop this July. due to parking restrictions, I'll be starting from the Hancock parking lot. What I am worried about is water. I had planned on filling up at Galehead hut and liberty springs, but galehead will be closed this year. Given the closures, does anyone have any thoughts on the best spots on the trail to water up? I'm hoping not to have to carry a whole gallon of water, but I will if I have to. The other option is to bring rain gear and lots of socks and go on a rainy day, filtering water from puddles, but that is sub-optimal when it comes to views.

    Since I moved away from NH, it has been forever since I spent time in the Pemi. I'm really looking forward to getting back to the best trail run in the northeast.
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  2. #2
    Senior Member swamp's Avatar
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    I assume that you mean Lincoln Woods for parking.

    As far as reliable water goes I would say Liberty Spring ( you’ll have to drop a few hundred feet of elevation), Garfield Ridge campsite, Galehead hut, Guyot Spring ( another loss of elevation) and pretty much anywhere along the Lincoln Woods trail.
    I agree with Ranxerox !!!!

    Swampyankee

  3. #3
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    Garfield Pond and Bondcliff Trail below Bondcliff are also options.

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    Lincoln Woods parking reopened as of last Friday. The water source for Garfield Shelter is just off the side of the trail. Unless you take the long drop down to Guyot then you need to use the water source at the end of the dugways south of Bondcliff. Garfield Pond is very boggy.
    Last edited by peakbagger; 05-05-2020 at 01:33 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by peakbagger View Post
    Garfield Pond is very boggy.
    Going downhill S-N, with the Pond coming into view on your left and the old shelter site opening up on your right, about 100 yards before the bottom of the sag there is a path leading down to a rocky section on the shore that is less boggy, usually an easy water draw spot.

    Lafayette Spring, usually running though sometimes just a drip, is off to the left up in the rocks about 300 yards downtrail from Lafayette peak towards the hut, at a point the trail is usually wet from the spring.

    Going up the Osseo Trail, about 50-100 yards short of the first rock steps, a drastic right hand turn where the Trail departs from a gentle rise to a steeper climb up towards the "downlook" ridge, there is steep but reasonable access (the last) to the stream downbank to your left, about 75-100 yards from the Trail.

    Going down the Bondcliff Trail the first Black Brook crossing is usually running, the second rarely is but I've never seen the third one dry.

    All of these require treatment.

  6. #6
    Senior Member B the Hiker's Avatar
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    All of what they said. The problem with Liberty Springs and Guyot tentsites is that the drop in elevation for both is quite substantial, and I'm not sure you'll want to do either if you're shooting for a one-day, which will be exhausting in its own right.

    Galehead hut will be closed. Putting aside Guyot tentsite, between Garfield tentsite and below Bondcliff, there isn't anything.

    I did the Loop in two days last summer and it was wonderful! So epic, so beautiful. About as good as it gets.

    Brian

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    Quote Originally Posted by B the Hiker View Post
    Putting aside Guyot tentsite, between Garfield tentsite and below Bondcliff, there isn't anything.
    Which reminds me that there is an always-flowing stream after you've pretty much bottomed out coming down from Garfield and have been walking flat for awhile.

    I have a tenuous recollection that I once found a stream very near Galehead Hut once, when it was closed and I needed water, but I've looked for it again in recent years when I wasn't as motivated and couldn't find it. I can very literally smell water when I need it.

    The detour down to the spring at Guyot Shelter is smooth walking and a gentle slope, a much more pleasant experience than the rock pounding down to Liberty Spring.
    Last edited by Will; 05-07-2020 at 02:19 AM.

  8. #8
    Moderator bikehikeskifish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Will View Post
    Which reminds me that there is an always-flowing stream after you've pretty much bottomed out coming down from Garfield and have been walking flat for awhile.
    Guthook lists this one at 3.6 miles from Lafayette at 3532'.

    Tim
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    Member Bushwhack's Avatar
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    Awesome! I feel much better about this now. I was thinking there was some water (and the trails on garfield are sometimes a waterfall), but this adds more certainty to my planning. I was not looking forward to carrying 25 miles worth of water.
    This is my home,
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    Out of curiosity, when runners post FKTs on the loop do they have caches or does it include resupplying with water?. Obviously having to run down off the ridge to water source adds mileage and elevation.

  11. #11
    Senior Member sierra's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bushwhack View Post
    Awesome! I feel much better about this now. I was thinking there was some water (and the trails on garfield are sometimes a waterfall), but this adds more certainty to my planning. I was not looking forward to carrying 25 miles worth of water.
    Just bring a filter and you will find plenty of water.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by peakbagger View Post
    Out of curiosity, when runners post FKTs on the loop do they have caches or does it include resupplying with water?. Obviously having to run down off the ridge to water source adds mileage and elevation.
    There are sub categories for every single type of style one could imagine (and some you couldn't). Resource support - water, clothes,batteries... psychological support - pacing. Just invent your own category and you too can be a winner.

  13. #13
    Moderator bikehikeskifish's Avatar
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    Copied from the previous board

    Quote Originally Posted by Bushwhack
    most folks with a competitive streak do it unsupported if they are planning on posting their times, without caches beforehand. It is also rare to see someone go off the main route for water except if they are bailing on the route. Caches are more common on multiday runs, like the long trail. Most ultrarunners have day jobs and dishes to do, and caching beforehand takes a lot of time.

    I am happy to descend to find water, because I don't run for time- I'm just an ADHD kid all grown up who likes to travel by foot for hours and hours.

    And yes, a filter is a must. I would rather not get giardia again.
    Bike, Hike, Ski, Sleep. Eat, Fish, Repeat.

  14. #14
    Senior Member blacknblue's Avatar
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    The spring by Garfield Shelter/Campsite is your best bet. Good, clean water, and about halfway through the loop. With Galehead closed, I think that's your go-to.
    "People hardly ever make use of the freedom which they have, for example, freedom of thought; instead they demand freedom of speech as a compensation."
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