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Mt. Flume Beta...

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  • Mt. Flume Beta...

    Has anybody been up the Mt. Flume Slide trail recently? We're heading up to VT/NH to climb on Monday. I want to go up the Flume Slide Trail when we get to NH, but I hear if it's wet it can be fairly tricky and there isn't much option for turning around as you get higher. Is this just a bunch of hype like the Saddleback Cliffs, or is it a legitimate concern?

    We will have spikes and crampons with us in case of ice, but I don't want to get in a situation we can't get out of. Our alternate route is just going up the Liberty Spring Trail. I do like a challenge, but not when it is reckless. Thoughts?

    Steve
    46/46 - #9464
    7/46 W
    NE115 - 53/115

  • #2
    Not recently, but I climbed it a couple years ago in winter. From what I recall, the steep part was only about 500 feet vertical. I found the climb a lot of fun, but if there is no snow and just ice, proficiency in crampon and axe technique is probably waranted. We had fairly deep snow, so it was mostly a wallow. Here was our trip report:

    http://web.ncf.ca/mbowler/hiking/wm4...e_liberty.html

    Cheers,
    Mike

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    • #3
      Bib and I were there in September: Franconia Ridge Traverse: Flume to Lafayette.

      ​The upper portion of the Flume Slide Trail involves ascending along steep slabs of smooth granite. The rock isn't as coarse as the anorthosite in the High Peaks and even when dry, you'll notice the difference. I've never descended it but I can see why hikers are warned to be wary of choosing to descend it in wet or icy conditions. If you bring traction, I don't think you'll have trouble ascending but if choose to descend it as well, my guess is it won't be a quick pace!

      ​Here's a sample of what I'm talking about. As usual, photos don't do the incline any justice. Nevertheless, you can see the slope angle is sufficient to cause concern if the rock is slick.


      Ascending one of several steep slabs along the Flume Slide Trail. by Taras D, on Flickr

      I suggest ascending via Flume Slide Trail to Mount Flume, continuing to Mount Liberty, and then descending via the (far busier) Liberty Springs Trail.
      http://caltopo.com/map.html#ll=44.10...4309&z=15&b=oo
      Looking for Views!

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      • #4
        I have done the NH48 in all four seasons, including Flume Slide a couple of times. It is not worth the effort to climb it this time of year. At least in part it will have thin ice glaze which is difficult for any traction devices. You will be a lot faster (and safer) climbing Liberty Spring and over the Flume Mt and back. You could also go up Osseo which is steep up high but has ladders.

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        • #5
          Excellent...Thanks for info Mike, Taras and Joe. I was afraid the time of year may be a poor time to choose the Flume Slide Trail. Timing is everything right? We'll likely go up the Liberty Springs Trail to be on the safe side. While I'm on that subject...how are the tent pads holding up at the Liberty Springs Tentsite? We may hit Liberty and Flume and try to squeeze in Lincoln and Lafayette, or maybe just camp out there and go after those two first thing in the morning. We'll be up there for a few days so camping out is inevitable anyway.
          46/46 - #9464
          7/46 W
          NE115 - 53/115

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