Friday, April 14, 2023
Start/End: The Basin TH
Elevation gain/loss: 5098′
Peaks: Flume, Liberty, Little Haystack, Lincoln, Lafayette
I headed to the Basin trailhead in the afternoon, and then headed out towards Flume. The first few miles of trail were snowfree and quite pleasant, with some roaring water crossings. But as I traveled deeper into the Flume Slide ravine, the snow quickly became knee-deep with water running underneath it. Some sections were up to my hips. I put on my snowshoes for the float as well as the heel lifts and slogged up the slushy waterfall that was the Slide. It was very slow going and some of my least favorite conditions, though at least it was quite warm (low 80s at the trailhead).
Eventually, I made it to the summit of Flume and then quickly did the down, up, and over to Liberty, all in snowshoes. I left them on for the ~2mi section between Liberty and Little Haystack, since I knew the snow would be deeper and less consolidated due to less winter traffic and more shade from the trees. But once I popped above treeline on Little Haystack, I stowed my snowshoes and enjoyed barebooting all the way across the ridge. There was one section with slippery snow, but overall, it was easy going. The first mile descending from Lafayette was snow free, and then it was back to snow – but this was very well packed down so traction was all I needed. I was delighted to make it back to the Falling Waters TH and then hoof it as quick as I could along the Presidential rail trail for the 2 miles back to my car. I made it back a bit after 10:30pm, ready for dinner and bed.