Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Winter Hiking NH's 48 4,000 Footers

The Game: Hike all 48 4,000+ foot peaks in NH in winter.

The Stats: According to the Appalachian Mountain Club, while 10,098 people have reported finishing the White Mountain 4000-footers, only 550 have done them all in winter. Only 65 people have done all 48 4,000 footers in one winter. However, that's exactly what Myles Chase and I are attempting to do: hike them all in the 2012-2013 winter and we have until March 19th to do it.

The Rules: The rules are very simple: You must climb to and from the summit of each peak of the 48 peaks in New Hampshire that are 4,000 feet or higher and at least 200 feet higher than any ridge connecting it to a higher neighbor. In winter, skis and snowshoes are both allowed. To officially hike them in winter for the 2012-2013 season, it started at 6:12AM on December 21 and ends at 7:02AM on March 20.

The Mountains, Elevations:

1 Washington 6288
2 Adams 5774
3 Jefferson 5712
4 Monroe 5384
5 Madison 5367
6 Lafayette 5260
7 Lincoln 5089
8 South Twin 4902
9 Carter Dome 4832
10 Moosilauke 4802
11 Eisenhower 4780
12 North Twin 4761
13 Carrigain 4700
14 Bond 4698
15 Middle Carter 4610
16 West Bond 4540
17 Garfield 4500
18 Liberty 4459
19 South Carter 4430
20 Wildcat 4422
21 Hancock 4420
22 South Kinsman 4358 23 Field 4340
24 Osceola 4340
25 Flume 4328
26 South Hancock 4319
27 Pierce 4310
28 North Kinsman 4293
29 Willey 4285
30 Bondcliff 4265
31 Zealand 4260
32 North Tripyramid 4180
33 Cabot 4170
34 East Osceola 4156
35 Middle Tripyramid 4140
36 Cannon 4100
37 Hale 4054
38 Jackson 4052
39 Tom 4051
40 Wildcat, D Peak 4050
41 Moriah 4049
42 Passaconaway 4043
43 Owl's Head 4025
44 Galehead 4024
45 Whiteface 4020
46 Waumbek 4006
47 Isolation 4004
48 Tecumseh 4003

Bolded mountains are the ones I've climbed thus far this winter(Myles is a few behind me but will catch up when I go to Puerto Rico with Amber in March.
The Epic Hikes: While it looks like we have our work cut out for us(and we do), we are planning a few epic days to cover multiple peaks. Our proposed main three are:
1)Presidential Traverse: Madison->Adams->Jefferson->Washington->Monroe->Eisenhower->Pierce->Jackson
    This will certainly be the most challenging due to the elevation and potential weather but I suspect it will actually be easier than in the summer because the snow/ice will be covering the scree... we will see.

2)Bonds Traverse:still somewhat in the air but thinking: Bond->West Bond->Bondcliff->Zealand->Hale
     The other option would be Bonds and the Twins but I'm thinking about doing the Twins with Galehead and Garfield which will be a mini-epic day in itself.

3)The Wild Wildcats: Wildcat D->Wildcat->Carter Dome->South Carter->Middle Carter->Moriah
   We have already been turned back once from this guy. It will certainly be our hardest day and we'll try to plan it later in the winter with more daylight.

Other long days will be hiking Owl's Head(always long), Isolation, and Carrigain due to the closed winter roads which make long hikes even longer.

Myles and I are always looking for people who want to join us. We like to run ridge lines and make use of our butts for any slides steep enough(see the Tripyramids). Let me know if you want to come out and play!
Looking forward to a fun winter wonderland!


  1. Good luck guys. You have your work cut out for you. Those epic hikes look mighty tough. I've done all of them during the summer where there was plenty of light and the huts were open to get more water. So they might have been a little easier from that point of view. But with the snow it levels out the trails and can make the going a little faster. Especially if your sliding down on your butts. Good luck. I look forward to reading the reports and hearing the stories from Myles.

    1. Scotty: What do you think about the Bonds traverse? Does hitting Hale and Zealand make more sense than the two Twins?

    2. Danny, We did it a few years back. First time did it in 30 hikes. Second time 27 hikes. Being retired we had to option of hiking any day of the week. Usually went in on Monday/Tuesday after the weekend hikers had the trails broken out. You can get an idea of what we did by clicking under my name on the 48 in 1 winter web site: http://www.48in1winter.com/members3.php
      Good luck,
      Gary Reuter

    3. Thanks for the link. That is a great resource. I hope I make it to 67(I'm assuming Chase, Myles will come ahead of Ferreira, Danny) :)

  2. If the trails are un-broken (fresh unpacked snow) the effort level goes way up. The popular winter routes seem to be broken out every weekend. Other trail/routes see little (or very little, or no) winter use. You might want to follow recent trip reports to see what is broken out.
    See http://trailsnh.com/New-Hampshire-4000-Footers.php. Consolidated listing of NH 4000 trip reports from 100+ sites.

    Good luck!