We organized Charlie’s desire to do the Flume Slide in winter. We did it in two groups, not the planned one group, when I parked in the wrong parking lot and we missed our connection with Richard and his buddy. They preceded us up the Flume Slide Trail and got back over an hour before us. We found out after the hike that the footprints we saw on the trail were theirs.

The 6 stream crossings were a challenge—after 3 days of record high temperatures. The pictures show the accomplished stream crossers in action. Remember to get fine detail with double clicks on the images.

It took about 5 hours to get to the top of Flume Slide, with the last 1500′ of elevation on the steepest trail I can remember. I was beat. Charlie arrived before Steve and I got up. At the top were 3 youngsters who had caught up to us. With a bit of relaxation, one of them headed off with Charlie while Steve and I recuperated. However, the other two youngsters waited until Steve and I were ready to head off—and they said they’d accompany us to the top of Mt Flume and over to Mt Liberty. What nice kids—Olin graduates.

Our final 2 hours was going down the Liberty Spring Trail. We got back at 5:20, saw the sunset against the Franconia Ridge, and drove home. I was pooped, but it was a good hike. That Flume Slide is a dilly.

On the way home, Charlie divulged his enlistment of the young hikers to protect his companions after their becoming exhausted on the Flume Slide. I can only say that we felt SO comforted by this support. Nobody should say The Beef is not a nice guy.

Summary: 9.6 miles, 3910′ elevation rise, 9:00 hrs, All pics

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