When we mentioned the inquiring guest wanted a companion on a hike following the Appalachian Trail (AT) through the White Mountains of New Hampshire, Redline Guide Arlette Laan asked curiously if she had any experience. We replied: “She’s hiking to the Glencliff trailhead from Hanover during the four days leading up to the backpack, so yes!” Arlette was suitably impressed. We knew right then that this would be an epic. It was sort of quarantine hike because guide and guest spent 15 days together throughout this thing, distancing, naturally. This, of course, led to a friendship. You know how hikers can be. Contagious with their enthusiasm.
Hiking Mt Moosilauke (and many of the other 4000-footers) and then crossing Route 112 to the Kinsmans was the start of their journey together. This was followed by their weathering a severe thunder storm while staying at the Liberty Springs tent site. This was thankfully followed up a splendid day on Franconia and Garfield Ridges. After another day or two they popped out onto Route 302 to collect their first of two re-supplies. Mike met them with their care packages at the AMC’s Highland Center.
Then, hoping to catch a good day for the Presidential Range they “flipped” to do the Wildcats and the Carter-Moriah Range first. Once done, they flipped back and got themselves into position to wait out the heavy rains which flooded the trail to Osgood tent site. Finally their Presidential Traverse day had arrived and it was magical. Clouds were swirling and it got clearer as the day went on. They found a tiny tent space (“site” is too generous a word) below treeline and spent the nite. Having room for only one tent, Arlette slept on some rocks. Yes, you read that right. Talk about dedication and putting the needs of our guest ahead of her own. Arlette knew she would be fine and toughed it out.
They finished up the Presidential Range the next day. Then it was off to the relentless but shockingly wild and beautiful Mahoosuc Range as the final segment. But those Mahoosuc miles are no ordinary miles. The second day was particularly challenging but they eventually arrived at the Full Goose shelter now well into the State of Maine. They were in the position to take on the infamous Mahoosuc Mile in the morning (credited as being either the “most fun” or “hardest” mile of the AT depending on who you ask).
With more than two weeks of backpacking behind them (even more for our guest), and with the entire State of New Hampshire traversed, they positioned themselves for that final push. Overnight rains, however, made the Notch a slippery, dangerous place so they decided to bail. Will they be back to finish up and come out onto Route 26 as it passes through Grafton Notch? Stay tuned. For, now, check out these select photos of their amazing backpacking trip through New Hampshire.
Great lead, Arlette. What a fun and rewarding effort. Thanks for choosing Redline Guiding.