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Did these last two peaks on Franconia Ridge a week after doing Lafayette & Lincoln. Just like the previous week, I drove up the night before and slept at a nearby trailhead in the back of my truck. Because I finished after dark the week before, even though I started at 3 am, I started even earlier and started on the trail at 2 am. I finished around 3 pm (13 hours). I think I figured out another reason why I am taking longer than I estimate - it's because I am hiking so many hours in the dark and my speed is even slower than usual. No other real option since the days are so short, I'm so slow, and I would much rather be hiking in the dark at the beginning of the hike than at the end.
The problem with this hike is that it is an in and out so I have to summit Liberty twice. I made it easier on myself by stashing my main pack with my snowshoes and crampons at the liberty spring campsite, just below the ridge line, and continued to Liberty and the Flume with just my small bug-out pack and a smaller belly bag. Unfortunately the snow between the two peaks was a bit too deep for just micro-spikes and I probably could have used my snowshoes.
Again there was more people on the trail than I would have expected for a weekday winter hike. Nine or so I think.
This brings me up to 34 of the 48 New Hampshire 4k winter peaks(NH4kW). Since I try not to hike below zero F or high winds (at least on alpine peaks) it will take me few more winters to get through them.
Finally got around to uploading my pics for this hikee, but its been too long for me to recall why I took some of them:
back at the trailhead with time to spare before sunset. 12.5 hour hike