Ascent of Mount Liberty on 2018-02-10

Climber: Floyd Greenwood

Others in Party:Outdoor Pursuits Winter 2018
Date:Saturday, February 10, 2018
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Mount Liberty
    Location:USA-New Hampshire
    Elevation:4459 ft / 1359 m

Ascent Trip Report

Entered 3/17/2018. This day hike was done with Outdoor Pursuits Winter 2017-2018.

Intended to be an overnight, we decided to change it to a day trip for logistical reasons. We realistically couldn't camp in the snow and affordable motels in the nearby towns of Lincoln and Franconia were sparse or non-existent. We drove up to the Flume Visitor Center. It was closed and only a small portion of the parking lot was cleared of snow. There had to be at least 10 feet of snow cover. There were a couple of other cars in the lot. We then put on our snow shoes and hiked a little less than a mile along the flat Whitehouse Trail to the Liberty Spring Trail. The Whitehouse Trail is a popular snowmobile route and several groups passed us, especially on the way back. We then climbed up the Liberty Spring Trail, merging left to bypass the Flume Slide Trail. We were "leap-frogging" with a couple of groups on the way up and several passed us coming up and down. It was a busy day on the mountain. We passed by the Liberty Spring Campsite about a quarter mile from the Franconia Ridge Trail. The Liberty Spring Trail was much steeper than I thought and members of our group had to pause frequently. It was a relief for the group when we reached the Franconia Ridge Trail since it was relatively flat. When we emerged from the trees we immediately felt large gusts of wind, similar to that of the failed attempt of Mount Chocorua earlier that season but a little less intense. About half of the group stayed back at the treeline and the rest including myself hiked another 100 yards to the summit of Mount Liberty. The cliff face at the summit was a key sign of the summit due to the extremely low visibility that day. We agreed that we would attempt Mount Flume if we had the time but we didn't so we turned back. I took a rock from the summit as a souvenir. I partially regret not bringing a butt sled because the Liberty Spring Trail was perfect for it! We followed the same route down. We made it back with daylight left and returned to Andover around 6:30PM.

Mount Liberty was definitely one of my favorite hikes in the Whites so far excluding the lack of views. Although we didn't make it to Flume, it gives me an excuse to try the Flume Slide Trail.
Summary Total Data
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Snow on Ground
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles, Snowshoes
    Weather:Snowing, Cold, Very Windy, White-out
light snow, no views at higher elevations
Ascent Statistics
    Route:Whitehouse, Liberty Spring, Franconia Ridge Trails
    Start Trailhead:Flume Visitor Center  
Descent Statistics
    Route:Franconia Ridge, Liberty Spring, Whitehouse Trails
    End Trailhead:Flume Visitor Center  

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