Labor Day 2008 Trip
Submitted By Michael Virdone
The Mountains & Stats
People On The Trip
Whiteface & Passaconaway
We drove up from Sullivan (on a drive that would soon become very familiar). I accidentally drove past the correct exit on 93 so we had to back track a little ways. We drove on the back roads and eventually got to the trailhead a little late. We took off on the hike ascending via the blueberry trail. The trail climbs steadily for most of the way along nice slabs with some views back into the valley. After the gradual climb it got very steep up to the summit rocks. The climb went over a few fun areas that required some scrambling. Eventually we reached the top trail junction (summit rocks) and enjoyed lunch there.
After eating lunch we hiked to the true summit before traversing the ridge. The ridge walk was pretty nice and the trail conditions were good. Eventually we reached the trail junction to Passaconaway and began that section of climbing. The climb up Passaconaway was pretty steep but we took our time and made it to the summit fairly quickly. At the summit we took another break and enjoyed some snacks. The descent was uneventful although it took a bit longer than anticipated. The only confusing part was a the very end of the trail (where it crosses private property) we were worried we went the wrong way. Fortunately at the gate (that we exited) there was a hikers welcome sign.
Shopping and Rock Climbing
The second day we woke up and continued our familiar drive. This time we took the Kanc from 93 over to North Conway to do some shopping. After obligatory visits to Ragged Mountain and IME (and a nasty lunch from the gas station next to IME) we headed back down the Kanc to try and find the Lost Ledges climbing area. We followed the directions to the parking area and after that we were on our own. The climbing guide we had wasn't much help and we ended up lost right off the bat. We crossed the stream too early, but we ended up bushwhacking in the right direction and eventually Nate found the trail. About 3/4 of the way to the slabs we ran into two other climbers who were done for the day.
Once at the slab Nate found the best protected route he could (it had tons of bolts since neither of us know how to place pro). At first he climbed it, but when he reached the first bolt the moves got sketchier and he was unable to climb above the first piece of pro. He left a biner in the bolt and I belayed him down. Next I took a crack a the climb with the same result.
I was adamantly against leaving a perfectly good biner so I traversed around the slab to the top, and then rappelled off a tree to get to the anchor at the top of the climb. From there I pulled my rope and setup a rappel to get to the biner we had left. Once I descended and recovered the biner Nate suggested we leave the rope setup and do some top rope climbing (which was a great idea).
Once I had the security of the rope I had a lot more confidence and was able to ascend the route (warily trusting my climbing shoes on the friction climb). Next up was Nate, then Nicole (both of whom ascended easily as well). We messed around on that climb for a little while until we became tired and then we hiked out. On the way out we followed the actual trail and it was a whole lot more obvious. Here's the climb we did: http://www.neclimbs.com/index.php?PageName=routes&RouteID=437
We continued our hiking on Sunday with an ascent of the Tripyrimids. The drive into Waterville Valle was uneventful although we missed the turn for the trailhead at first. At the trailhead Nate informed me that the majority of the approach was on a woods road. I decided to wear teva sandals for this portion of the hike (and it ended up being a great decision). Once the road changed to trail I changed into my hiking boots. The trail was uneventful at first but eventually we began to climb the base of the north slide. This is easily one of my favorite hikes ever. The exposure of the slide made the climb far more exciting and the views were exceptional. Eventually we topped out on the slide and continued to the summit. After the summit we hiked over to middle, and after a few pictures and snacks on middle we hiked over to south. From South the descent is pretty nasty (the slide is very loose). We took our time cautiously descending and we were quite happy by the time we reached the bottom. Once at the bottom of the slide we followed what appeared to be an old logging road back to the original road. Here we soaked our feet in a stream for a little while before hiking out. I changed into sandals again for the hike out again.
Drive home and rock climbing at Little Falls
The drive home from Sullivan to Syracuse usually sucks (I hate the section of thruway between Albany and Syracuse). I suggested the idea of stopping in Little Falls if the weather cooperated. Nate called a few people and let them know our plans. Andy met us out there and we got some fun climbs in. It was a great way to break up the ride
The Good and The Bad
|A lot of driving to and from the whites from Keene|