Laura, Kasper, and I returned to the White Mountains of New Hampshire for our CANADA Day celebrations. We decided to start our hiking with a traverse along the Franconia Notch. This is a major mountain pass dominated by Cannon Mountain to the west and Mount Lafayette to the east. This should take a couple days to complete and then we would continue on to do the Presidential Range. We started late (3pm) on Sunday, June 30 and decided to climb from trail head to overnight at Liberty Spring Tent site. We had a great night at Liberty and hit the trail early on CANADA Day Monday as we had a tough 21km trek before our next planned tent site of Guyot. Unfortunately weather reports were taking a turn for the worse and at 1pm we had to shut it down as Thunder and Lightning were in our near future. Being above treeline on a mountain ridge is not the place you want to be in a lightning storm. This really changed our plans and we were only able to complete half of our planned distance. We bunked down in our tent at the Garfield tent site. That evening was the most rainfall I have ever experienced. Reports for over night rainfall amounts were close to 4 inches. Since we are on a mountain, all the rainfall above us … ran into us. This was a major amount of water and it completely changed our agenda. Water was now everywhere, the Appalachian Trail was now a waterfall, and brooks turned into rivers.
Based on how things were stacking up, we decided to bail and plan an escape route and head back up in a couple days after things dry out. Having to stop early put us behind by 10km, and we would have to make up more ground in slow tough conditions. Our 2 day plan through the Franconia Notch linking into a 3 day plan through the Presidential Range took a major detour. We heard on the news of a few deaths in the area because of the tough conditions. One lady drowned crossing a river and another was swept away without being found. A fisherman also drowned as he was swept off his feet.
Here are a few pictures from our Franconia Notch Traverse from Liberty Spring Trail to Galehead Hut.