Thursday, June 13, 2013

Mount Liberty and Flume 6.1.2013

Via Flume Slide Trail

Our hiking season started off with a snowy bang on Memorial Day for Mount Moosilauke, where we were greeted with fresh snowfall, snowdrifts of six inches, and massive mud puddles. Truthfully-- that's the kind of crap I like-- the sort of unexpected weather (while being prepared that is!).

Liberty and Flume 2013

The following weekend we decided to trek up two other familiar favorites-- Liberty and Flume. Last year Mount Liberty and Flume were numbers 10 and 11 on our 4,000 Footer list. At that time, we had elected to do an out and back hike, mainly because it was shorter (by around .5 miles- so minuscule) but also because I'm scared to death of heights these days.

Liberty and Flume 2013

Liberty and Flume 2013

So this time, in order to try challenge ourselves we elected to hike the Flume Slide Trail, which would give us a nice loop over the two peaks. Summer weekends can have these two popular mountains packed with vacationers and day hikers, so getting back up to see the amazing views before the crowds was an excellent idea.

Liberty and Flume 2013

Flume Slide Trail is a stellar, killer hike. I've read all sorts of different trail reports-- for some people it's not that steep or challenging and for others it's a haul. For us, we found it to be rugged and a challenge, but not what I like to call "a suffer fest." Many sections of the trail were extremely wet despite the relatively dry weather prior to our hike. I would only expect with the recent tsunami-like rain we've been getting in New Hampshire that the trail conditions continue to be wet and slick.

Liberty and Flume 2013

Looking at Mount Flume

Liberty and Flume 2013

The Top of Mount Flume

Liberty and Flume 2013

Mount Liberty from Mount Flume

The trail winds through a nice forested area, crisscrossing over a small stream several times. Our hike was accompanied by humid and hot weather, so it was nice to dip our faces and heads into the cool water. The trail later turns into a rocky scramble up sheer rock. It's manageable with footholds and handholds, but really tricky when wet.

Liberty and Flume 2013

Liberty Under a Cloud Shadow From Mount Flume (this is one of those peaks that looks ridiculously far away after you just killed yourself up one mountain)

We stopped near the top to down our sandwiches and bumped into a friendly hiker with his two dogs. I think the dogs handled the scrambles better than me! It's always great to see how even the smallest amongst us can handle tough terrain. This hiker and his dogs are roughly at around the same number for 4,000 footers after just starting last year and since we both saved many of the longer hikes for last-- we may be seeing more of each other!

Liberty and Flume 2013

Hikers on Top of Flume

Liberty and Flume 2013

Mount Flume with Waterville in the Distance

Liberty and Flume 2013

The views atop Liberty and Flume are absolutely amazing. I never get over the way the clouds cast shadows on top of the mountains and while I love the feeling of isolation in the middle of the wilderness, I'll take this busy, but scenic view any day...

Liberty and Flume 2013

Liberty and Flume 2013

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