Mt. Flume Hike via Osseo Trail
Hiking/Walk DATE: 04/29/2017 - 04/29/2017
Trip/Event Location: Lincoln, NH
Trip Leader(s): Gandalf
Max # People: 15
Trip Guiding / Event Fee: No, I will not be asking participants for money
Difficulty Level: Strenuous
The Osseo Trail ascent of Mt. Flume has to rank as one of the “easier” 4,000-foot climbs in New Hampshire’s White Mountains.
The trailhead is at the large Lincoln Woods parking area, with ranger station and restrooms, is on the North side of Kancamagus Highway [NH 112], 5.6 miles East of Exit 32 off I-93 in Lincoln. We will be driving a blue Toyota Tacoma truck.
Our first spring 4K hike! We got summit temps at the 50s and valley temps in the 60s.
Phil started out a half hour ahead of us in case he slowed the group down. Overall, we were a group of ten. We started the hike crossing the large suspension footbridge over wide, rocky, raging East Branch of Pemigewasset River, one of the premier wilderness streams in the White Mountains! On the other side we had easy walking along the wide Lincoln Woods trail; a level bed of J.E. Henry’s East Branch and Lincoln Railroad [1893-1948], with many hemlock ties astride the trail.
About a half hour into the hike we took a left turn onto the Osseo Trail that follows the Osseo Brook. After the rock steps, at around 3,000 feet we began to encounter snow so we put on our MicroSpikes. Some of us with shorts brought our gaiters in case we postholed into the snow and we were glad we did! For the guys who didn’t, they ended up cutting up their legs. We did well keeping to the middle of the monorail but sometimes we postholed off the sides of it.
We encountered Phil before reaching the ladders who decided to turn around after seeing postholes that swallowed hikers up to their waist. We encouraged him to continue since there was safety in numbers.
The ladders were covered with sinking snow; grip wasn't a problem.
At the top of a long ladder we had a memorable view into the Pemi Wilderness, including Mt. Flume’s summit close by, Mt. Garfield, the great crouching mass of Owl’s Head, Galehead Mtn., North Twin, South Twin, Mt. Guyot, West Bond, Mt Bond and the great craggy Bondcliff!
We reached the upper, flatter portion of the trail. The snow was soft and deep, and it was a struggle to get through it since the monorail was not all that evident. Our pace slowed. Phil was thinking of turning around with all the postholing but I lent him one of my poles to gain his confidence. I told him to take his time and keep on truckin'. The day was warm and as a group we were going strong!
We made it to the intersection with the Flume Slide Trail and continued toward the summit.
I think this was the first time some GO members reached this peak!
There are dramatic views across the face of crags to upper Franconia Ridge peaks and an impressive look down scree-filled gully!
It was lovely and breezy above treeline. We sat, conversed, ate lunch, and admired the views. Eventually, we picked ourselves up and made our way down.
Progress on the flat bits between the Flume Slide Trail and the Osseo ladders was, again, slow – we had to move carefully so as not to constantly sink.
Life became much easier once we got to the ladders. Once we got to the bare sections of trail, walking no longer became an issue.
As we crossed the suspension bridge at the finish, we were treated by kayakers paddling by. We made it back to the trailhead around 4:45pm. Back at the Mad River Lodge, we relaxed on the deck, enjoyed a delicious meal cooked by Jon and wrapped up watching a movie up in the loft.
Many congrats to GO members who summited Mt. Flume for the first time. Many, many thanks to all for their good company on the trail!
Trip Report by Mike Boisvert
Photos by Jon Normand
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Scorpione May 1, 2017 at 5:24 PM
One more lost occasion to keep my mouth shut: "Are microspikes really necessary or just for added drama?" And I was punished. Thank You all for a great day. Luciano
TIMber64 Apr 30, 2017 at 6:53 PM
Mike & Jon- Another epic adventure! Never sure what is more pleasurable? The awesome views and fresh air of every hike or just the great camaraderie and great friendships that develop from GO. A sincere “thanks” for making this group possible. Tim