Flume Slide to Liberty Spring

A repeat of last year’s identical hike. This year: Richard Bissonnette, Charlie Abert, Bryan Barnett, and Fred Knight. And Mike Pineault, starting at the same time, doing Liberty Spring up and down with a full overnight pack.

On Flume Trail Charlie exiting Flume Slide Richard Near Liberty

The big news for me: a confirmation of last week’s inkling that a big breakfast (or maybe two big breakfasts) with lots of carbs is key to surviving a hike. “Well, duh!” was the response from Richard and the Beef. Everybody knows that. Well, I finally am believing what everybody knows: trying to fill your glycogen storage (“to maximise the storage of glycogen (or energy) in the muscles and liver.” as wiki puts it.) is important for a long, sustained hike. And the way to do that is eat as much as you can within the few hours before a hike and, according to Charlie, load up on carbs even days before the hike.

So Charlie was fed initially at home, then added more at Burger King at Exit 24. Richard and I stocked up at Flapjack’s in Lincoln, NH. And I should have eaten more earlier when I woke up. Also, what I have traditionally done is cook for eating during the hike, which is not the way to go—you have to stock up on the glycogen before the hike.

Well, the two large pancakes, scrambled eggs, sausage and bacon, toast, and hash browns that I ate at Flapjack’s at 7:30 am helped me get to the top of Flume Slide and not feel exhausted like last year.

Overall, the hike went well, with warm temperatures, easy brook crossings, a Flume Slide with less ice and pretty good snow covering, not too much wind except at Mt. Flume, and a fine meal after the hike.

Exiting Flume Exiting Liberty Cascade Brook

A few tidbits.

  1. We had an 8:30 start from the trailhead. Richard Bissonnette, Charlie Abert, Bryan Barnett, and Fred Knight were doing the Flume Slide-Mt Flume-Mt Liberty-Liberty Spring loop, and Mike Pinaeult was going up and down Liberty Spring to test his new gear.
  2. The streams were indeed easy to cross. Last week’s inflated creeks from the warm temperatures had abated.
  3. We split up into pairs on the slide. Richard and I reached the top in 4 hours; Charlie and Bryan were well ahead of us. The slide was again agonizingly long for me, and Richard’s incorrect announcement that we were near the top at the jog didn’t help any, but I was doing fine at the top. I used my ice ax and crampons on the Slide but used microspikes otherwise.
  4. The only significant wind was on Mt Flume, where it was blowing.
  5. The crossover from Flume to Liberty took an hour. Snow conditions all day were packed; the trails were padded and well worn.
  6. The temperature stayed just below freezing; the skies were gorgeous. The sun was out for a good portion of the hike. Slightly above freezing near the bottom of Liberty Spring with some ice balling under microspikes, but I kept mine on. Seemed to go below freezing again near the bottom.
  7. We all got back by 4:00—Richard and I well behind Bryan and Charlie. Good post-hike dinner at Truants Tavern.

Distance 9.76 mi
Time 7:30, book time: 6 hr 50 min
Elev Gain +3909 ft

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