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[at-l] Re: Hut system in The Whites

In a message dated 97-05-25 17:16:10 EDT, bogey1@worldlynx.net writes:

<< 1. Day-packing the Whites, how far can we expect to hike each day?
    note: we averaged almost 2 mi./hr. in Nantahala to Hot Springs w/full
2. Are ten mile day-hikes in the Whites too optimistic?  >>

I was doing 18-20 mile days up to the Whites last year. My longest days
through the Whites were about 10 miles, with a full pack. I might have done
more if I had a lighter pack, or none. If you are in good shape, and packless
you will probably find 10 a good number. Start easy and see how you do.

<< 3. Has anyone out there day-hiked the AT in the Whites using the hut
 4. If so, which huts did you use and did you have any problems reaching
 them  before dark?  >>

The huts are spaced so that you can pretty much go from hut to hut each day
along the AT. That is assuming you start at US 112 at the base of the Beaver
Brook Trail coming down from Mt. Moosilauke. If you start on the other side
of Moosilauke you will have to spend at least one night in a shelter (or a
tent), depending on how fast you move. Once you get over Kinsman to Lonesome
Lake hut, the huts will take you almost all the way to Gorham.

<< 5. What gear would you suggest to carry in the day-pack?>>

Certainly bring the Basic 10, plus any food you like.

<< 6. How much do the huts cost per night per adult non-member?>>

I don't know the exact price, but if you include meals I believe it's around
$40 for non AMC members and $32 for AMC members. (don't quote me). See the
AMC website for exact numbers. I believe there is also a self serve option
where you get a bed, but provide your own meals, for much less $$$.

<< 7. Do you have to make reservations?  How soon ahead?>>

Yes. As far ahead as possible. Especially on holiday weekends they can fill
up way in advance.

<< 8. Are some of the huts really far off the AT?>>

The hut that is farthest off the AT is the Greenleaf Hut near Mt. Liberty. It
is almost a mile off the trail, although you can see it from the trail, which
runs along the crest of the Franconia Ridge, one of the most scenic place on
the AT, and where I formally proposed marriage to my wife!

<< 9. How about the logistics of campsites/huts if we decide to backpack all
of it?>>

It took me about two weeks, but I also had a three day layover at Mizpah Hut
due to rain. It was mid October and I still wanted to complete the entire
Presidential range rather than blue blazing down Tuckerman's Ravine. So I
waited for the weather to clear and was rewarded well for my wait. I
resupplied in North Woodstock after Moosilauke, went from 112 to all the way
to Gorham without resupplying again only because I got a lot of food from the
huts. I was fortunate, at that late date, to be able to work for stay when I
wanted. I also stopped at at some in the late morning, and helped myself to
cheap (honor system -- 50 cents or $1, AYCE) or free leftovers and baked
goods. I used up some cash, but conserved my food supply this way. The hut
croos are generally helpful and will work with you as much as they can, as
long as you don't cop an attitude. This is more true if you're a paying
guest. They are pretty strict about work for stay policies, as they should
be. And, each hut croo is a bit different due to variances in personality.

Don't forget the hostel at Crawford Notch, which is self serve, as an option.
It's not a hut, but offers a good chance to find shelter if you need it. It's
few miles north of the AT.

The combination of packing and hutting worked well for me, allowing me good
flexibility, and a chance to meet some nice folks. I look back on it as one
of my favorite stretches of AT.

<< 10. Everyone tells us we'll love the Whites.  Are they that great?  >>

You will not find more spectacular scenery on the trail. You will not find
more rugged trails. You will not find more crowded trails either. I was told
that the WMNF sees more visitors each year than Yosemite and Yellowstone
combined! Most of 'em stay on the asphalt, but a whole lot of 'em make up
above treeline (and on Mt. Washington they still manage to stay on the
asphalt). Don't expect solitude. I'm a native NH'rite, and I love that state
above any other. But you'll be seeing a lot of tourists, goofers (local term
for unprepared day hikers), packers and outdoor enthusiasts of all kinds.
Fortunately, that's why God gave us Maine. I loved NH, but Maine had the best
all around hiking of the trail.

You will have a great time!

Dave Denis
Yankee Highlander GA-->ME '96
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