Hut-2-3-4: First Draft

I spent some time looking at the map, and if we're really serious about the Hut-2-3-4 we're in for some damaging mileage, backbreaking ascents and brain-frying sleep deprivation. Here's a first draft at a main route with some variations.

The route is from East to West, essentially from Carter Notch Hut to Lonesome Lake Hut. Cars will be spotted at:

  • Crawford Notch AMC Lodge (middle of trip bailout).
  • Lafayette Campground Parking Lot (end of trip).

The tentative starting point is the Nineteen Mile Brook trailhead on the east side of Rte 16.

Miles.......Hut Stage
3.8.......Ascend Nineteen Mile Brook tr from Rte 16 to Carter Notch Hut.
10.2.......Ascend and traverse then descend Wildcat Ridge back to Rte 16. Cross rte 16. Ascend Glen Boulder. Davis Path to Camel Trail to Lake of the Clouds Hut.
5.7.......Crawford Path to Mizpah Springs Hut.
8.1.......Crawford Path to Crawford Notch, cross 302. Ascend Avalon Trail to A-Z trail to Zealand Falls Hut.
------- [Optionally add side trip for tMail to tag Mt. Tom. Add 1.2 miles.]
7.0.......Twinway to Galehead Hut.
------- [Optionally add side trip for tMail to tag North Twin. Add 2.6 miles.]
------- [Optionally add side trip for tMail to tag Galehead. Add 1.0 miles.]
7.5.......Garfield Ridge to Greenleaf Hut
6.7.......Greenleaf to rte 93 (note that with this route we do NOT take the Bridal Path trail to the Lafayette Campground. See map.). Ascend Cannon via Kinsman Ridge to Lonesome Lake Hut.
1.8.......Descend back down to Lafayette Campground.

This horrific hike is 55.6 miles long with side trips mentioned (Mt. Tom, North Twin & Galehead). In it's long form it would take a minimum of 30 hours and hit the following 14 4kers:
Carter Ridge: Wildcat, Wildcat D
Southern Presis: Monroe, Eisenhower, Pierce
Willey Range: Tom
Twinway: Zealand, Guyot, South Twin, North Twin
Garfield Ridge/Franconia Notch: Galehead, Garfield, Lafayette, Cannon

A shorter version excludes the three side trips (to Tom, Galehead & North Twin) and instead of Kinsman Ridge to Cannon, just crosses Franconia Notch and ascends the Lonesome Lake trail to the hut where we can either crash or drop back down to the cars from some reason. This trip, including the drop back down to the car is 48.6 miles (46.8 if we crash at the Lonesome Lake Hut).

Trip Options w/ mileage:
  • Shortest Option (crash at Lonesome Lake, no side trips, no Cannon): 46.8
  • Add descent to end at cars (+ 1.8 = 48.6 miles)
  • Tom (+1.2)
  • Galehead (+1.0)
  • North Twin (+2.6)
  • Cannon (+ 2.2 + 2,100 ft steep ascent)
Because this trek will take more than 24 hours, we will have at least a full night of hiking. On Sept. 8th, we'll have no moon (a thin crescent only 8% illuminated in the early morning) and a full 10 hours of actual dark night (from evening twilight to morning twilight). Because sunset-to-sunrise is about 12 hours and we'll be in some deep valley's at times, we may have to count on 12 hours of headlamp hiking. Start time is tough to guess. We'll have to do some thinking on that (I'd rather not be on Monroe in the dark ... Lafayette isn't much better).

Oh yeh, and we'll have big packs to accomodate food and clothing. We could have freezing rain on Lafayette - but I'm not doing this in shitty weather.


  1. So the fire is still there. I went on a small hike 6 miles on Lake George, Black Mountain. 3 miles up, 3 miles down...fitness is still there as well I couldn't believe it. Ran up for what I could run ran down the entire way and took the best digger right two rocks got up and didn't miss a step. I am pumped about the HUT 234...aka death march, which may turn into cannibalism, Blair Witch Project, abduction by aliens and who the fuck knows what.

    The shortest option is 46.8 so close to training for a the Vermont 50 so if you want race right you have to train right....we go long go the distance I vote 50+ that way you can say 50 is cake after you have gone 55+....makes perfect sense right?


  2. See tmail's pics at http://picasaweb.google.com/TimFinocchio/BlackMountain - looks like a great view!

    If we do the long 55 mile version, how do you feel about doing them west-to-east vs. east-to-west?

    The timing is a huge question.... gotta work on that ...

  3. I would say go West to East...you think it would even matter if we do get winds on summits may be better to have it at our backs? Kind of simple point I know it can come from all directions but instead of constantly getting pounded by it heading in the southwest direction we will be going....

  4. Just a thought....does it make any sense to start this hike during the night on September 7th?

  5. Starting at night is certainly an option. In the next few days (maybe this weekend) I'm going to lay out an elevation profile so we can guess where we'll be. A key question is always: where's the worst place to be in the dark if the weather is good/bad, and then plan around it.

    Another thing to consider is that hiking at night for 12 hours at the end may be more psychologically damaging. Here's an idea for a W-E timeline: If we start in the morning, hit Cannon, Lafayette, Garfield, etc. in the light, we will probably be in the Twinway at sunset - maybe to Zealand Hut - and then Crawford Notch and the Crawford Path in the dark - maybe Monroe by sunrise? We'll have to stare at the map for a bit.... hmmm ....