Liberty & Flume above the clouds
Submitted By Michael Virdone
The Mountains & Stats
People On The Trip
For Presidents weekend, Mike and I decided to go up to New Hampshire for some hiking. We got to the trailhead for Flume and Liberty around 8am and started down the road at about 8:30. While walking, we were told to look to the left for a bushwack which would provide us a shortcut to the trail, but we missed it and followed the trail signs to the Flume Liberty split. We had decided earlier that we would take the flume slide trail up to the top and, despite warnings of fellow hikers in the parking lot, decided to continue with our plans.
The trail that led us to the base of the mountain was nice and flat, giving us an excellent opportunity to move quickly and save time for later. When we got to the slide we took short break and had a snack knowing that we would need fuel to get us up the steepness of the slide. The slide was relentless. There were little to no flat sections to provide a place to rest, but the snow was in excellent shape and snowshoes gripped wonderfully. The slide had been used by a bare-booter probably a day or so before so we followed his footprints (and postholes). Just when we thought that we might be getting to the top, we would turn a corner and there would be more steepness ahead. When we got to one of the only flat sections, Mike actually asked at one point if it was safe to take down his heel risers, I quickly replied “no” as I looked ahead and up and the next section that we were going to go up. I should really stop complaining, while it was steep, it was actually a great time and provided us with a sense of adventure that is usually lacking when you take the conventional trail up to the top.
We finally topped out and hit the trail, stopping for some lunch and making our way the .1 mile to the top of Flume. We met our friends from the parking lot and were very happy with the time that we had made going up the slide. After some pictures we started towards Liberty. We looked back on Flume and realized that we were making significant progress towards this as well. We looked back on Liberty and talked ourselves into believing that we were going up towards a false summit, but we were on the actual summit! It really was a short col between the two mountains. Our feet and quads were very thankful. On the summit we dressed for our descent, shells, gore-tex pants, hats, mittens, and our latest acquisition, sleds. The sleds were actually a big hit and people asked where we had gotten them from. We said goodbye to the friends that we had met and started our way down. We made excellent time going down with our fancy seated glissade style and made it to the shortcut that we had missed on our way up. We made it back to the car by 3 and headed back to the New Hampshire house.
The Good and The Bad
The awesome views above the clouds
The relentless climb up flume slide
|Uneventful, did some shopping in concord on the drive home|