The following is a very basic description of the itinerary. This will be a rugged trip of just over a total of 50 miles with roughly 15,000 feet of elevation gain for the week.
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Sat, July 14: Arrive at Pinkham Notch Visitor Center. Register at the Joe Dodge Lodge by 3 pm. The orientation meeting will begin at 3:30 pm. Please bring your pack, rain gear and boots to the meeting. We will introduce everyone and discuss the hikes, hike rules, care of your feet and the rest of your body, and distribute your snack materials . Please have your pack ready with full water bottles for weigh in so all you have to do is add the food supplies. After supper we will gather again at 7:15 pm to have a pack weigh in and to collect your bag of clean clothes for Highland Center. Lights out at 9:30 pm.
Sun, July 15: We will arise around 6:30 am and eat breakfast at 7. After breakfast in the main building, we will load packs and selves into the vans at 8 am sharp for ride over to Franconia Notch. There will be 4 hike options to Greenleaf Hut. Skookumchuck Trail over Mt. Lafayette (6.2 mi. – ~ 5 hrs.) and down to hut / Greenleaf Trail (2.5 mi. – ~3 hrs.) to the hut / Old Bridle Path (2.9 mi. – ~3.5 hrs.) to the hut / Falling Waters Trail over Mt Lincoln and Mt Lafayette (6 mi. – ~ 5 hrs.) and down to hut.
Mon, July 16: We will all hike the same route from Greenleaf Hut to Galehead Hut in 4 separate groups. This will entail hiking up to summit of Mt. Lafayette then hiking the Garfield Ridge Trail over Mt. Garfield where we usually stop for lunch. Then we continue over to Galehead Hut. This day is 7.7 mi. – ~8 to 9 hrs. and is considered the most strenuous day due to the many ups and downs and rough trail.
Tue, July 17: We will all hike from Galehead Hut up the steep trail to South Twin. This section is 0.8miles and rises 1150 feet making for a steep ascent. We will continue on Twinway trail over Mt Guyot and Mt Zealand before descending to Zealand Hut. (7 mi. – ~8 hrs.) Available options as we make our way to Zealand Hut may be a side trip to North Twin (adds 2.6 mi.) , or a side trip to West Bond (adds 2.2 mi.), or a side trip to Mt Bond (adds 3.2 mi.).
Wed, July 18: This is our rest day and will be staying at Zealand Hut tonight also. This is the night of our skit. Options today include Mt. Hale via the Lend a Hand Trail (5.4 mi. – 4 hrs.) or Thoreau Falls (4.6 mi. flat terrain) for swimming and sun. You may also choose to just hang out and swim at the hut or read a book.
Thur, July 19: We will hike up and over the A-Z trail which includes a beautiful ascent through meadows and woods. At the col there is a short option to Mt. Tom (1.1 mi. – ~1 hr.) or some may choose to go over Mt. Field and down to Mt. Avalon and then to Highland Center. We then drop down a steep wooded path to Highland Center and Route 302. After a snack, we will make our way up to Mizpah Hut via Crawford Path and Mizpah Cut Off.
For the last three days, we will enjoy some of the most beautiful and rugged sections of the White Mountains along the Northern Presidentials. This area can have extreme weather changes along with its rugged terrain.
Fri, July 20: We will hike from Mizpah Hut to Lakes of Clouds Hut (5 mi. – ~5 hrs.) This is a glorious ridge and summit hike especially if the weather is good. The Webster Cliff Trail goes from the hut up to summit of Mt. Clinton/Pierce. Just beyond the summit, we pick up the Crawford Path to go over Mt Eisenhower, Mt. Franklin, and Mt. Monroe. In the afternoon we head up to Mt. Washington with light packs to play tourist and get junk food (2.8 mi. – ~3 hrs.). The entire day from Mt. Clinton (Pierce) onward is above tree line and all summits have great views weather permitting.
Sat, July 21: We hike the backbone of the Presidential Range from Lakes of the Clouds Hut to Madison Hut via the Westside Trail and the Gulfside Trail. The potential summits include Mt. Clay, Mt. Jefferson, and Mt. Adams. This day has glorious views in good weather, but is hazardous in cold temperatures and high winds so we will be prepared. We have two options: the summit route (9 mi. – ~9 hrs.) and the bypassing route (7.3 mi. – ~8 hrs.).
Sun July 22: There will be a short graduation after breakfast. We will offer several choices of hikes including the chance to bag Mt. Madison before we descend. Some will head down the Air Line with great views of King Ravine while others may choose the Valley Way. All of these routes will take us past some good swimming holes and give us the chance to clean off one more time before we meet our bus at the Appalachia parking lot around 2:30 pm for the ride back to Pinkham. You should be ready to go home by 3:30.
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