The North Shore of Hiking: A Presidential Range Traverse Adventure

By:  Sam
September 16, 2009

Like most of my adventures in the Whites, this hike was conceived last minute and planned in a mad rush. I had a few days off work at EMS which happened to correspond with a unique (for this summer) period of very high pressure that was holding over Mount Washington, so I decided I’d better make use of it, lest I regret it later. Having through hiked the Long Trail and been all over most of the mountains in norther VT, I was more inclined to do something over in NH. The weather was looking great, so I decided to go do the Presi Traverse in a day.

Initially Greg wasn’t free to hike that Wednesday, so my plan called for driving to the parking area on 302, parking the car, getting on my bike and biking the 28 or so miles to one of the northern trail heads. From that point, I’d hike back to the car. Greg was intrigued by the plan and decided it was now or never. He called in sick to school and signed on to the hike.

Carbo-Loading the night before.

Our original group plan (the plan changed many times), involved getting up in Montpellier at 11:30 PM, driving to the whites and hiking through the night by moonlight. After that massive dinner, I was in bed and fully asleep by 830PM, at 9:30, Greg woke me up to tell me that he was having trouble sleeping and would rather get up at 3 and have a more normal early morning start. Then something very unusual happened: “Yes!” I thought to myself, “I can sleep till 3, what a relief”

We woke up at 3 and were on the road almost immediately. In the pre-dawn hours we made very very good time over to 302 where we left Greg’s car. We then took mine over the Jefferson notch road and parked at the Pine Ridge Trail head. 3.5 hours or so and only 3 moose sightings on the way over!

Pine ridge is aptly-named and warrants little further description.

Your shirtless narrator reaching treeline:

From whence we came:

It was shaping up to be a good morning, the sun was super bright on my casper-like complexion though… (yes we are hiking all the way over there Sam…)

Greg leading past the Madison Hut. 2- hours to this point.

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Read about the author:   Sam
Enjoy this TR? Read another: TR: North Face of North Twin


  1. Greg
    wrote on September 16th, 2009 at 2:37 pm  

    DAM! that was a hundred year high pressure system. glad we totally slayed it!

  2. K_C
    wrote on September 16th, 2009 at 2:57 pm  

    Nice hike and all but def bring the volleball equipment next time- cant believe you guys forgot that and you still call the hike a success. pshhht.

  3. lionelhutz
    wrote on September 17th, 2009 at 10:46 am  

    a) Great trip.
    b) Amazing weather – shared some in the ADK last week
    c) Next year…Great Range Traverse in the ADK…what says you?

  4. Greg
    wrote on September 17th, 2009 at 11:04 am  

    says: we already don’z it! hit that up back in June… maybe Sam and i should go through his pictures and write that up too

  5. lionelhutz
    wrote on September 17th, 2009 at 12:52 pm  

    Yea…you prob. should. It would be sweet.
    Which was harder btw?

  6. Butch Chamberlain
    wrote on September 17th, 2009 at 1:00 pm  

    That is more than impressive, that is some kind of Ripley’s stuff. I don’t know what the official fastest time is but, in my book you guys were bookin’. Super pics as well. Next time if you can, get a picture showing down pipeline! That would be awesome. As well as looking down from the top of the lip at Tux. Just plain Kool! Thanx

  7. Greg
    wrote on September 18th, 2009 at 10:38 am  

    Thanks Butch! Hey check out the “Deep Cover Anthropology” writeup in the trip reports section of the website… oleoduc is french for… you guessed it…

  8. Joanne
    wrote on September 24th, 2009 at 8:25 pm  

    I hiked the GG trail last week and looked up Pipeline… We’ve had so little rain recently that the run is completely dry! Imagine Pipeline without an ice bulge :-o

  9. Greg
    wrote on April 12th, 2010 at 12:15 pm  

    What can we do for this summer’s pain trains?

    • Sam
      wrote on April 12th, 2010 at 12:20 pm  

      the long trail? … oh wait…

    • K_C
      wrote on April 12th, 2010 at 2:50 pm  

      Start hiking the prezzie traverse from Montpelier

    • Sam
      wrote on April 12th, 2010 at 5:36 pm  

      I’ll start in Burlington.

  10. Greg
    wrote on May 2nd, 2010 at 7:52 pm  

    This trip is beyond absurd. I keep coming back to it as summer creeps nearer… and I keep laughing my a$$ off. The entire thing reeks of horrible wasabi peas (I thought were candy that I bought for nourishment and nearly vomed each time I ate), sweaty socks, and cog smoke.

    Completely hilarious.

  11. Sam
    wrote on June 13th, 2010 at 6:19 pm  

    100 year system man, all the best hikers in the world were there.

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