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Santas, Clockwise or Counterclockwise?

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  • Santas, Clockwise or Counterclockwise?

    Does anyone have an opinion on which order to do the Santa loop and why?

  • #2
    My preference is counterclockwise (Panther - Couchie - Santa). The herd path going up is less steep for going up. But what I really like is that when you get back down to the marked trail, you have a quicker exit because you're that much closer to the road. That being said, I've done the loop both ways, and probably will do it both ways in the future.

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    • ndru
      ndru commented
      Editing a comment
      Ha! I did it clockwise (Santanoni - Couchsachraga - Pather) for the opposite reason. I prefer steeper ascents and more gradual descents. I like to gain elevation early and take it easier on my knees later in the day.

      It's all a matter of personal preference though, so there ya have it!

  • #3
    I just did it last weekend counter clockwise. I too, usually prefer steep ascents and gradual descents if possible. But I thought the Bradley pond trail going up was beautiful, and am sure I enjoyed it even more while fresh and starting out.

    Also to note, the infamous Couchsachraga bog was nowhere near as bad as I was led to believe, and it had rained a lot the previous days of our hike.

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    • WeHikeForMike
      WeHikeForMike commented
      Editing a comment
      About how long did the range take you if you recall? Pace?

    • ndru
      ndru commented
      Editing a comment
      It took me about 9.5 hours last July. It was at the end of a dry spell and that "bog" was not a problem at all. The mud at the base of Cliff was far worse.

  • #4
    I prefer counter-clock for this one. I typically prefer to get the really steep stuff out of the way so I can enjoy a more gradual hike after, but something about going up via Bradley Pond and down via the Express trail just feels right.

    Similar to the experience khubilai had, the Couch bog wasn't all its cracked up to be the first time and was practically dried up hard-pan the second.
    My mind was wandering like the wild geese in the west.

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    • #5
      Thanks all.

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      • #6
        Perfect timing for this post so thanks to all. Iím planning this circuit for my next foray down to the High Peaks (probably second week of July - waiting on some new boots) and glad to hear the dreaded big is manageable at least as of last week. Hoping to get Allen the following day, or perhaps give myself a rare day off in between. Thisíll be my first trip to the southern edge of the peaks so keen to see whatís in store.

        ... and ditto to ndru re:knees going downhill. And yes, interpret that however you read it.

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        • #7
          I did counter-clockwise. I always prefer doing farthest peak first, I liked starting out light on water, then filtering halfway up Bradley Pond Trail (the express doesn't have a reliable water source), and I thought Santanoni had the best views so it was nice to end with that one. I don't really know if that way is best - I'm not about to do it again the other way to compare I had the thought at the time that either way has its merits, but I had no complaints about counterclockwise. And the bog is a fun mud-puzzle, I thought. Bring your poles.

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