It may not technically be winter, but it seems no one has discussed this with the White Mountains of New Hampshire. They are already quite white! This past weekend we headed up the Liberty Spring Trail to Mt. Liberty and then over to Mt. Flume and back. You can do a loop going up the Flume Slide Trail to Flume over to Liberty and then down the Liberty Spring Trail but at this time of year, the slide is a slippery treacherous mess.
We left Mizpah at home because it was a seven hour hike, 10 miles, which is just too much for Mizpah in the cold and snow. On the ridge between the peaks, we used snowshoes, and then descending from Mt. Liberty, we wore microspikes. It was beautiful up there- the snow and the rime ice were so pretty. It almost looks like another planet up there.
The last time I did Liberty and Flume was September of 2014 and it was wet and foggy. I was so happy to see some views this time. Liberty and Flume are a part of the Franconia Ridge which is probably some of the most picturesque mountains in the Whites.
I hiked Mt. Garfield in December 2014, but we still aren’t quite ready to do any of the 9 remaining mountains I have left to finish the New Hampshire 48 4000 footers, so we did Mt. Garfield on Sunday for my husband’s grid. My husband, Jon, is doing the grid, which is all 48 in all 12 months. It takes years to accomplish for most; probably close to 20 years for Jon. When I did Garfield in December, we were socked in meaning it was a cloudy day with no views. When we did it Sunday there was not one cloud in the sky!!! Mt. Garfield is a part of the Franconia Ridge, so you can see Mt. Lafayette, Mt. Lincoln, Little Haystack, Mt. Liberty, and Mt. Flume to one side, and North & South Twin, and the Bonds to other side. You can look down into the Pemigewassett River Valley to see Owls Head, and on a really clear day, you can see Mt. Washington past the Bonds. We took the Garfield Ridge Trail up, which is a beautiful trail. The road to the trailhead from Rt 3 is still closed, so that does add 2 miles of walking to the distance. Overall I think it was 12 miles. There are a couple river crossings which were very low/safe for this time of year. Sometimes spring can be tough for river crossings because the melting snow makes for raging rivers. The trail was a sheet of ice for probably the last 2-3 miles to and from the summit. We had our microspikes, and even then it was a little tough. We both really wished that we had our crampons. We saw one couple turn around because they didn’t have any traction, another couple where one didn’t have traction and struggled hardcore, and another couple that shared 1 pair of microspikes (they each had one on their right foot). The happiest and safest folks had microspikes 🙂
Mizpah did an amazing job as usual. She is so athletic, surefooted, and agile. I am constantly impressed by Mizpah out on the trails. She’s so aware of her surroundings and just in tune with the trails. We purposely let her nails stay a little long in the winter/spring until the ice melts because they give her little microspikes of her own. She was the only dog we saw up there, and she got a lot of love from our fellow hikers. This coming weekend, we are planning to do Mt. Cabot, which I do need for my 48, so I am really excited about that!!!