|Hiking Trail Conditions Report|
||Mt. Flume, Mt. Liberty , NH|
||Liberty Spring Trail, Flume Slide Trail, Franconia Ridge Trail|
|Date of Hike:
||Tuesday, December 30, 2014|
|Parking/Access Road Notes:
||Plenty of Parking in the Flume Visitor Center vicinity |
||Dry Trail, Wet Trail, Ice - Blue, Snow - Packed Powder/Loose Granular, Wet/Slippery Rock, Ice - Breakable Crust, Standing/Running Water on Trail, Snow/Ice - Frozen Granular, Mud - Minor/Avoidable, Snow/Ice - Monorail (Stable) |
||Light Traction, Traction, Ice Axe |
|Water Crossing Notes:
||A few tricky crossings on both Flume Slide and Liberty. I'm a young guy and I had difficulty/had to take risks |
|Trail Maintenance Notes:
||Few blowdowns, avoidable. One on Flume Slide is significant. |
||I'm sure an experienced trail dog could handle flume slide in it's current condition |
|Lost and Found:
||Noticed the weather forecast last night before I went to bed and decided I had to take advantage of it. Initially planned on ascending Liberty Spring to Liberty. Once I reached the Flume Slide junction I decided to go for it since I ascended via Liberty Springs a couple weeks ago and wanted a change of scenery. My knowledge of the flume slide trail was limited as I had never hiked it before. I was aware that it was considered a relatively challenging climb and I was prepared to turn around if necessary. The first couple miles were smooth and easy. I was actually beginning to wonder when the trail would steepen when it began to do just that. I had been moving at quite a fast pace and wasn't really expecting anyone else to be reckless enough to attempt Flume Slide. As I approached the first really steep part I heard something behind me and was surprised to see another young guy around my age charging up the trail. We stopped and chatted for a bit and then he continued raging up the trail. When he stopped to put on his microspikes we chatted a bit more and ended up ascending the steep part of flume side together. In retrospect, if he (Dylan) hadn't shown up I probably would have turned around for safety's sake. As i mentioned, neither of us had ice picks or real crampons and there were a few sections which many would call "ice climbing". My pack was over 25 pounds and he had to pull me up an ice shelf at one point but we didn't run into any severe trouble. |
The ascent of the steep part of the flume slide was truly incredible and I will never forget it. I really wish I had worn my gopro but we were both so focused I didn't want to stop. When we reached Mt. Flume there were incredible views in every direction and it was very cold and windy but not bad at all. I didn't need a face mask, wore a pair of "wind-resistant" mechanixwear work gloves without liners for the entire hike (had mittens didn't need them), and used my Salomon summer hiking boots (waterproof).
Heading from flume to liberty was fast and enjoyable and the views at Liberty were spectacular as well! We encountered a few singles heading up to Liberty via the Spring trail. We both found it funny that we had just finished ascending the Flume Trail and were by far the least equipped out of everyone. Mountaineering boots/Ice axe would be great for Flume Slide but massive overkill on Liberty Spring.
I left my car at around 8 and was back by 1:15. Can't wait for another beautiful day this!
Disclaimer: Reports are not verified - conditions may vary. Use at own risk. Always be prepared when hiking. Observe all signs. Trail conditions reports are not substitutes for weather reports or common sense.