Liberty/Flume Trip - ??/Aug/97

By David Metsky

In our never-ending quest to get more 4000'ers for the Brenda, Lafe and Allison we decided to grab the southern two peaks in the Franconia Ridge. With two cars we were able to do a straight line trip, which makes these peaks more interesting. We dropped the first car at Lincoln Woods, our end point, and drove around to the parking area just north of the Flume Visitor's Center. It's about 1 mile of hiking parallel to the highway before you hit the real Liberty Springs trail. Then we started the real trail. We stopped for a water break about a mile later, just where the snow started on my previous trip up this trail. It gets somewhat steep after that, but nothing that will kill you.

We made it to Liberty Springs Campsite about 1.5 hours after we left the cars. Here we filled up waterbottles for the rest of the trip. I wandered around the campsite taking pictures, while back at the view, Lafe and Allsion were taking their own peculiar brand of photos. Of course, I ran into someone I know at the campsite, a common occurance these days. From there it's only .3 miles to the ridge, and .3 more to the summit of Liberty. The views into the Notch weren't bad, but the weather was a little threatening. We lounged a bit before pushing on to Flume, our next destination.

During the ridge walk to Flume, the clouds started gathering and we even felt a few sprinkles. I was expecting the worse, but everyone else was taking a much more relaxed attitude, and besides, we all had rain gear, extra food, and plenty of daylight. Of course, they were right and the rain never really came to the southern end of the ridge. We made it to the summit and then settled down for lunch. The rest of the ridge was looking a bit darker than us, but it was all staying north. The summit of Flume is narrow and rocky but a good place for a rest, with nice views back to Liberty. After a bit of silliness we continued on. The trip down goes south along the ridge, then drops steeply down the Osceo trail. There are some impressive ladders on the top sections, and Lafe felt the need to run up and down them a few times just for fun. The trail keeps descending, swithing back on occasion following old logging railroad grades for several sections until hitting the Wilderness trail, a straight flat route out. A short while later we were at the suspension bridge that crosses the Pemigewasset River at the trailhead.

After a brief swim in the Pemi we gathered the cars and hit the Common Man in Lincoln for a fine meal and reflected on our sore legs. There's a lot of descent on this trip, steady and steep. After spending the night at the Moosilauke Ravine Lodge we hiked up Moosilauke the next day.

Back to White Mountains home page