I lead a beginners backpacking trip to 13 Falls in the whites this weekend. The streams were a bit high, and the noobs found it a bit of a challenge crossing them, but overall, the trip was easy and fun for all. We had myself, Nancy, Cindy, Pauline, Gil, Tristan, Diana and Trixie the dog.
The drive up to the trail head certainly had me worried that the trip was going to get rained out. It was pouring down rain. But once we got to the trailhead, the weather was just a bunch of clouds, and the ground was dry.
We left the trail head about 8am. 8.5 miles and seven stream crossings later we hit camp, about 1pm. Once at the site, the first sign we see is “Bears visit this site”. Yeah, comfort level dropped several notches. Was nice having a communal cooking area though, as I got to meet and talk with several people. There as a couple guys from Rhode Island, girl from Vermont who because she was from Vermont didn’t go on the Long Trail. A boy scout troop was there as well. I was told by the ranger when I called, several times the week before, that there wouldn’t be that many people, and no big groups. Way wrong! The site was full within an hour of us arriving.
I only woke up a couple times during the night. The others in the group slept from very well, to remarkably well for the sleep they didn’t get. A couple of them were a bit cold. Gil, the most experienced of the group offered up his Nalgene bottles full of hot water to two of our group members, and that was by far, the most popular backpacking tip of the trip. You can even wrap your wet socks around the bottle to dry them, as Diana discovered. We all got up about 8am and eventually congrigated for some breakfast and talk with folks from around the site a little more. Once our bellies were full, we topped up water, gathered the group, and headed out.
Finally got to stop off at Franconia Falls. The last couple times we have been through there we hadn’t felt up to it. Nice place actually. A lot of water, several levels, but not all that tall.
Numbers are approx.
Number of Points: 7,054
Start Time: 2013-09-14 08:11 AM
Finish Time: 2013-09-15 3:27 PM
Total Duration: 11h 29m 51s
Total Distance: 19.63 mi
Average Speed: 1.71 mph
Maximum Speed: 10.62 mph
Average Elevation: 1641.64 ft
Minimum Elevation: 907.15 ft
Maximum Elevation: 2260.72 ft
Distance Climbed: 3102.08 ft
Distance Descended: 3557.46 ft
Average Climbing Gradient: 3°
Maximum Climbing Gradient: 36°
Average Descending Gradient: -3°
Maximum Descending Gradient: -28°