Presidential Traverse-Mar 2018

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Presidential Traverse-Mar 2018

Presidential Traverse

Hiking each summit in the White Mountains named after a US president

Outcome: Caught in a snow storm on Mt Adams!

Overview

Seven Presidentials, the minimum route

  • Madison, Adams, Jefferson, Washington, Monroe, Eisenhower, Pierce

Common bonus summits, not actually named after presidents

  • Clay and Franklin lie between the Presidentials
  • Jackson and Webster are on small extension to the south

North to south in a single long day is typical (12+ hours moving)

Main stretch is all above tree line for ~12 miles

  • Only 3 structures providing solid windbreaks
    • All closed in winter
    • Madison Spring Hut, Mt. Washington Observatory, Lake of the Clouds Hut

Daylight

At Mt Washington:

March 2 2018 First Light5:50 Sunrise6:19 Sunset5:35 Last Light6:04
March 3 2018 First Light5:48 Sunrise6:17 Sunset5:36 Last Light6:05
March 4 2018 First Light5:46 Sunrise6:15 Sunset5:37 Last Light6:06
March 5 2018 First Light5:45 Sunrise6:14 Sunset5:39 Last Light6:07

Weather

Update in Littleton before leaving cell service:

Parking

South: Crawford Connector Trailhead

  • Maintained by US Forest Service
  • Off Mt Clinton Rd, just above NH 302 and the AMC Crawford Notch Highland Center
  • Self-deposit box, $3/day

Several shuttle services also exist

Camping

Camping permitted above treeline during winter on 2+ feet of snow, 200+ feet from water

  • Prohibited year round in Cutler River drainage area (east side of Mt Washington)

North end: Valley Way Tentsite

South end: Nauman Tentsite

  • Maintained by AMC

Route

Detailed segments for out & back trip

  • Day 1 (evening): Crawford Connector Trailhead to Nauman Tentsite (2.5mi)
  • Day 2 (all day): Traverse south to north, ending at Valley Way Tentsite (~13mi)
  • Day 3 (all day): Traverse north to south, ending at Nauman Tentsite (~13mi)
  • Day 4 (morning): Nauman Tentsite to Crawford Connector Trailhead (2.5mi)

CalTopo Map with routes and markers

Prologue

  • Mt Clinton Rd parking lot trailhead
  • Crawford Connector east .3mi
  • Crawford 1.4mi, white blaze
  • Mizpah Cutoff .6mi
  • Nauman Tentsite

South -> North

  • Nauman Tentsite
  • Webster Cliff Trail north .8mi
    • [cross Mt Pierce]
  • Crawford Path east/north 1.1mi
  • Mt Eisenhower loop .7mi
  • Crawford Path .9mi
    • [cross Mt Eisenhower Trail]
  • Mt Franklin loop .1mi
  • Crawford Path .4mi
  • Mt Monroe loop .6mi
  • Crawford Path .1mi
  • Lake of the Clouds Hut
  • Crawford Path 1.5mi
    • [cross Dry River Trail]
    • [cross Tuckerman Crossover, Camel Trail]
    • [cross Davis Path (old Crawford Path), Westside Trail, Southside Trail]
  • Mt Washington Observatory
  • Gulfside Trail north .7mi
    • [cross Cog Railway, Great Gulf Trail]
    • [cross Westside Trail]
  • Mt Clay Loop 1mi
  • Gulfside Trail .6mi
    • [cross Sphinx Trail]
    • [cross The Cornice]
  • Mt Jefferson Loop .7mi
    • [cross Caps Ridge Trail, Castle Trail, Six Husbands Trail]
  • Gulfside Trail 1.2mi
    • [cross Edmands Col Cutoff, Randolph Path]
    • [joins Israel Ridge Path]
  • Israel Ridge Path east .1mi
  • Lowe's Path east .2mi
  • Airline Trail north .4mi
    • [cross Mt Adams]
  • Gulfside Trail .3mi
    • [cross Airline Trail Cutoff, Valley Way Trail]
  • Madison Spring Hut
  • Gulfside Trail east .4mi
    • [cross Parapet Trail, Pine Link]
  • Mt Madison summit
    • [gone too far at Watson Path]
  • Return west/south Gulfside Trail .4mi
  • Madison Spring Hut
  • Valley Way Trail north .9mi
  • Valley Way Tentsite
Presidential Traverse map

Escape Routes

Commonly accepted escape routes:

  • Edmand's Path
  • Ammonoosuc Ravine Trail
  • Cog Railway
  • Jewell Trail
  • Lowe's Path
  • Valley Way

Do not go east, most of the trails are very steep in places and often unbroken

  • Lion's Head and Boot Spur workable with prior experience

Castle Trail and Caps Ridge off Mt Jefferson should be avoided

  • Exposed on ridges for long stretches
  • Challenging ice & rock scrambles (the castles and caps)

Travel

Last real dining options coming in from the west are in Littleton, NH, e.g., vegetarian options:

  • Maia Papaya
    • 2161 Main St, Bethlehem, NH 03574
    • Mon--Thurs 7am--3pm; Fri--Sun 7am--5pm
  • Alburritos
    • 406 Union St, Littleton, NH 03561
  • Littleton Diner
    • 145 Main St, Littleton, NH 03561
    • 6am--8pm
  • Chang Thai Cafe
    • 77 Main St, Littleton, NH 03561
    • Mon--Fri 11:30am--3pm, 4pm--9pm; Sat--Sun Noon--9pm

Links

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