White mountain and gear question

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Re: White mountain and gear question

Postby Hockey Ref » Sun Apr 07, 2013 7:20 pm

I often wear a pair of cycling gloves when using trekking poles. The padded palms eliminate any abrasion on long hikes and leave my fingers free to manipulate my camera.
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Re: White mountain and gear question

Postby mikie » Sun Apr 07, 2013 7:54 pm

The Pres Transverse is a fabulous hike. Especially with the hut-to-hut "camping". Make sure you train on dirt trails. Hiking on concrete or asphalt is very hard on your feet, knees, and back. Also check out the Mt Washington Observatory cats: http://www.accuweather.com/en/weather-blogs/clarkb/my-favorite-pictures-part-4-summit-cats/83106

As for the summer hikes on the Pres Range be prepared for temperatures slightly below freezing. Bring rain and wind gear. Winds can get quite high there.
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Re: White mountain and gear question

Postby perzeetorres » Sun Apr 07, 2013 7:59 pm

What is "wind gear?"
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Re: White mountain and gear question

Postby mikie » Mon Apr 08, 2013 8:59 am

"Wind Gear" is anything that the wind will not blow thru. It can be a waterproof or water-resistant shell jacket or PVC coated rain gear. Wind can blow thru breathable rain gear. The wind blows right thru Gortex fleece. If it starts to rain or snow along with high winds, it is very hard to stay dry and warm. Even in the summer. It might be 70 degrees and sunny in the valley and 35 degrees and snowing on top of Mt Washington.

Most of the mtn on the east coast are 3-4k high. With Mt Washington and the Pres Range at 6k, the jet stream can dip down and you can get very high winds. Winds have been recorded over 200mph on Mt Washington. Mt Washington is considered one of the windiest places on earth. Every time I have been there, the winds have been at least 30-40mph. It does get calm, so don't expect windy conditions all the time. But, if the jet stream dips down, expect 75+ mph winds. Some people underestimate the weather risk. New Hampshire is very intolerant to SAR missions for unprepared hikers.

Chances are not high that they will experience hurricane force winds, but they need to be prepared.
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Re: White mountain and gear question

Postby perzeetorres » Tue Apr 09, 2013 4:07 am

mikie wrote:"Wind Gear" is anything that the wind will not blow thru. It can be a waterproof or water-resistant shell jacket or PVC coated rain gear. Wind can blow thru breathable rain gear. The wind blows right thru Gortex fleece. If it starts to rain or snow along with high winds, it is very hard to stay dry and warm. Even in the summer. It might be 70 degrees and sunny in the valley and 35 degrees and snowing on top of Mt Washington.

Most of the mtn on the east coast are 3-4k high. With Mt Washington and the Pres Range at 6k, the jet stream can dip down and you can get very high winds. Winds have been recorded over 200mph on Mt Washington. Mt Washington is considered one of the windiest places on earth. Every time I have been there, the winds have been at least 30-40mph. It does get calm, so don't expect windy conditions all the time. But, if the jet stream dips down, expect 75+ mph winds. Some people underestimate the weather risk. New Hampshire is very intolerant to SAR missions for unprepared hikers.


Thanks Mikie, so do I need to use something besides a marmot precip? That's what I currently have. I HATE to be sweaty... (At least more than necessary). Also, I was planing to bring a light weight North Face fleece, with layers under of course...

I'm not doing the Presidentals, but will be in the same area. I believe the huts mentioned were Galehead and Zeeland Falls, and Crawfords Notch. This is our "luxury hike" since we don't need to bring all the food, or tents...

Am I deluding myself that this path will be "easier" than the presidentials?
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Re: White mountain and gear question

Postby mikie » Tue Apr 09, 2013 7:11 pm

I think your Marmot shell jacket along with your NF fleece is fine. You always have your rain suit for additional wind/rain protection in case you encounter high winds.

If it is cool or cold out, try to layer your cloths so that you are slightly cold. You want to avoid sweating if it is cool. This can lead to hypothermia and dehydration. If it is hot, you can't avoid sweating. Just try to keep hydrated.

I think that your route is fine. Without food, tent, stove, etc, your pack will be much lighter, and the hike will be much easier.

You should have a great time.
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Re: White mountain and gear question

Postby griffin » Wed Apr 10, 2013 1:31 pm

perzeetorres wrote:
mikie wrote:
I'm not doing the Presidentals, but will be in the same area. I believe the huts mentioned were Galehead and Zeeland Falls, and Crawfords Notch. This is our "luxury hike" since we don't need to bring all the food, or tents...

Am I deluding myself that this path will be "easier" than the presidentials?


That is a lovely hike! Personally, I do find Galehead-Zealand and out to be easier than the Prezzies. There's less exposure, and the footing is generally more forgiving. Most of the Presidentials are above treeline, hiking on what amounts to piles of shattered rock. It's stunning in good weather, but that can be rough on your legs.
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Re: White mountain and gear question

Postby perzeetorres » Wed Apr 10, 2013 8:02 pm

griffin wrote:
That is a lovely hike! Personally, I do find Galehead-Zealand and out to be easier than the Prezzies. There's less exposure, and the footing is generally more forgiving. Most of the Presidentials are above treeline, hiking on what amounts to piles of shattered rock. It's stunning in good weather, but that can be rough on your legs.

Thank you! That's what I was hoping to hear! Still getting into shape!
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Re: White mountain and gear question

Postby tuna » Thu Apr 11, 2013 6:49 am

Take a sleeping bag liner with you for the backcountry huts in NH. The blankets, pillow cases and such are not laundered between guests. The Highland Center in Crawford Notch is like any other hotel with laundry service, etc. so you wouldn't need a sleeping bag liner for that place.
The hike to Zealand Falls is one of my favorite hikes in the Whites. The hike from Zealand Hut to Galehead Hut starts with a pretty severe hill but the view at the top is awesome.
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Re: White mountain and gear question

Postby paul » Thu Apr 11, 2013 9:09 pm

Hockey Ref wrote:
perzeetorres wrote:I just thought of a "newbie Plow question".

"Do you extend them when going down hill?" I was told to adjust them so that my arm was parallel to the ground. That put me close to the 120 mark. My poles only go to 125.... Or do you just bend your arms? I'm going to practice on a sled hill at our local park later... There aren't many hills in my area!

I believe the "arm-parallel-to-the-ground" thing is an overall guideline for flat land. I don't adjust mine going up or down hill as I'd be stopping and starting too much. Seems to work just fine that way for me.

Also, someone above mentioned "sausage fingers," and poles definitely help prevent those.


I extend them going downhill and shorten them going uphill. I don't adjust them too much however. Usually the time to adjust is when starting up or down a pass. I find that the length adjustment is very important for how much effort I use. If the poles are too high, I'll be working my arms more than I need to.

I also have black diamonds and find them very good.
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Re: White mountain and gear question

Postby RippleStillwater » Thu Jul 25, 2013 10:28 pm

Hi perzeetorres,

Don't know if you are still checking on your post or if you've done your trip to NH yet. I live in RHode Island so NH is my go to place when I am looking for elevation. I took my first ever trip out to Glacier during the middle of June and followed it up with a week in Yellowstone with a side trip to GTNP. What a great two weeks. I can tell you from experience that you will definitely appreciate having poles hiking in the White Mountains. I found most of the trails in GNP and YNP wider and a lot less rocky than I suspect you will find the climbs in NH to be. The poles will help a lot on both the ascent and descents. If you notice the pole handles are generally rounded over at the top of the handles. That is so you can palm them on the way down. The trick is to plant them below you and step down with the poles easing you down. I find the poles keep me in a straighter alignment while trekking flats or slight inclines and when doing the distances you will be doing hut to hut it really helps ease the wear on the hips and knees. I would also encourage you to get a set of rubber tips from the bottom of your poles as they are much more secure on all the granite you will likely encounter.

Though I have never done a hut to hut hike yet up there I have hiked to several of them and I'm trying to convince my wife that we should do such a trip. I can tell you from experience that the weather in the area around Mt Lafayette, Cannon, Washington and the other Presidential's is quite changeable. I would highly recommend that you invest in a good set of waterproof outerwear. When we submitted Mt Washington several summers ago it was 75 degrees in Pinkham Notch when we left for the top and 40 degrees with wind speeds of 45 mph and sleet in mid July. I would encourage you to pack some lightweight wool gloves and a warm hat as well as synthetic or merino wool layers to be able to stay comfortable and prepared for whatever the Whites can toss your way.

I hope you have or had a great experience hiking in NH and I would love to hear how you liked the hut to hut experience so that I can get an idea as to the enjoyment factor. If you need any further info or advice on your trip east feel free to PM me.
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Re: White mountain and gear question

Postby Sue Z » Fri Jul 26, 2013 1:58 pm

FWIW, I've been very happy with the Black Diamond Ultra Distance Z-poles. Very lightweight and packable. (They unlock and fold in thirds.)
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