Mt Liberty and Mt Flume

Charlie Abert (aka Beef) and Fred Knight (aka tarpy)

Panorama from View atop Mt Flume (click for higher resolution) (or all the pics)
(or a panorama movie)

We were the only takers finally for a good hike with balmy temperatures and fantastic views.

After a not-so-Alpine start, an easy drive, a slight backtrack after an oops at the closed Exit 33 on I93, and finally reaching an almost-empty Cascade/Pemi Trail parking lot, we started at 10:10 on the 0.9-mile walk to the Liberty Spring Trailhead. We were only the third car in the parking lot, so we expected little traffic on the trail. We continued without any hint of snow past the Flume Slide Trail junction and across the major and minor stream crossings, until we finally got to the start of a monorail and snow, say above ~2800′ elevation. Donning microspikes (Fred) or crampons (Charlie), we continued up the Liberty Spring Trail for a total of ~2 hours to reach the Franconia Ridge Trail. On the way we greeted a couple other hikers, including one from Denmark—an avid hiker who came up Old Bridle Path, did the entire Franconia Ridge to Mt Flume and was coming down Liberty Spring Trail. (I was glad we hadn’t done Mt Lafayette, because the crowded parking lot indicated many hikers there.) It was just 0.3 miles to Mt Liberty and a 360-degree vista with gorgeously clear weather.

This Hike 16 March 2013

From both peaks we enjoyed superb vistas, warmth from the almost 60-degree temperatures and gentle breeze, relaxation, and some sitdowns. We could see all the Whites, including the fresh snow on Mts Lincoln and Lafayette, the Presidentials, and Mt Moosilauke. All our snow was old but solid enough not to need snowshoes, as long as we stayed on the monorail. Only a few postholes through the entire hike. We ate lunch on Mt Liberty and then did the 1.5 miles to Mt Flume, where we had another snack. We had the company of a few other hikers doing Osseo (RT) and Flume Slide (up or down). We briefly considered going down the Flume Slide Trail; that’s briefly, very briefly. At 2:38, we started back, reaching Mt Liberty in 45 minutes. Then it was back down Liberty Spring, finally reaching the car at 5:55. The entire day was clear, wonderfully warm but with stable snow—a very pleasant hike.

All the pics. and


10.1 miles, 4270′ elevation gain in 7:45 on a warm day with lots of snow remaining.

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