Boot Spur/Slide Peak Gay Pride Loop Hike
Hiking/Walk DATE: 06/14/2014 - 06/14/2014
Trip/Event Location: Pinkham Notch, NH
Max # People: 15
Trip Guiding / Event Fee: No, I will not be asking participants for money
Difficulty Level: Moderate to Strenuous
Celebrate Gay Pride by wearing your rainbow colors and pride beads with a hike up of two of Mt. Washington's sub-peaks: Boot Spur [5,492'] and Slide Peak [4,760']! We'll unfurl the...
From North Conway, follow NH 16 through the towns of Glen and Jackson. Park at the Pinkham Notch Visitor Center, 11.7 miles north of the junction of US 302 and NH 16 in Glen. We'll meet you at the porch of the Visitor Center wearing GO hats.
This was my first time hiking above treeline this spring/summer season. Standing among the cairns under brilliant blue skies, dwarfed by immense piles of rock and dust, there are few things that I find more exhilarating than a glorious climb up a big hill.
Jon, Tim, Rick and myself yesterday went up two of Mt. Washington’s subsidiary peaks, Boott Spur (5492′) and Slide Peak (4760′). Starting at Pinkham Notch Visitor’s Center, we climbed the Boott Spur Trail which ascends ~3500 feet in 2.5 miles and forms the southern wall of Tuckerman Ravine. From there, we headed south on the Davis Path, and descended via the Glen Boulder Trail passing over Slide Peak, to the Diretissimma Trail which leads back to the Pinkham Notch lot. Total distance 8 miles/3700 feet/7.5 hours.
The weather forecast was not ideal with a chance of showers until 1pm and we would be in the clouds all day. We were not expecting to get much views. As we drove to Pinkham Notch, our wiper blades were turned on as showers were hitting the truck. Our enthusiasm was not all that great. But once we reached Pinkham Notch the showers stopped and we saw patches of blue sky above us! In fact, we never once had to take out our rain shells the entire day, we spent a good portion of the day in the sun with periodic clouds swirling around us, and the summit temperature was around 60 with little wind so we able to hike in shorts and t-shirt the entire day!
This was our Gay Pride hike so Jon and I wore rainbow headbands and we wore pride beads. We then swished up the trail. Do you think anyone noticed we were gay?
The climb up to Boott Spur is quite steep and is extremely exposed above treeline. It is magnificent though with great views of Tuckerman [with snow still in the bowl] and Huntington Ravines, the Wildcats and Carter Moriah Range, as well as the southern Presidentials. Because we were in the alpine zone in mid-June, many alpine flowers were in bloom. We only saw one couple the entire time we ascended the peak so it's not crowded. I think the Boot Spur Trail is now one of our favorites in the Whites! To give you an idea, Jon took a record 335 pictures of our trek and it took some work to trim it down to half.
Why Boott Spur? Jon has marveled at this ridge many times when hiking up Mt. Washington from either Tuckerman Ravine or Lion’s Head and always wanted to climb it. This section of the Davis Path (below the Camel Hump Trail) also provides an excellent alternative path to Mount Isolation rather than the long hike in from Rt 302.
As we approached the summit of Boott Spur we found this remarkable knob on the right above Tuckerman Ravine Bowl for a group shot of us holding the rainbow flag. It took us a few attempts to get this shot but it came out pretty good. Do you think anyone noticed we were gay?
The summit of Boott Spur is not much to look at – just a small chunk of rock right before where the Boott Spur Trail intersects with The Davis Path. If you head north on Davis you walk past the Tuckerman Ravine headwall and to the summit cone of Washington. Tim has never been up to Mt. Washington so it was a real tease to be so close. We still had some serious swishing to do.
Heading south again, we swished down the Davis Path to the junction to the Glen Boulder Trail. The views were great: we could see all of the southern Presidentials from their southern aspect, a view that a lot of people never get to see. The sun was shining and the clouds were swirling inside the Gulf of Slides bowl.
At the trail junction, we headed east onto the Glen Boulder Trail which is named after a huge glacial erratic precariously balanced below Slide Peak that be seen from miles away. Slide Peak is right on the trail so we just had to continue down, dropping elevation rapidly as we made our descent.
As we swished towards Slide Peak I tripped over a rock, went up in the air and used my left arm to protect my face as I landed into the rocks. I ended up getting scraped up on my left arm with some blood and I felt like a dizzy queen. I had to take a break to clean up my wounds and regain my composure.
After a few minutes were set off on our trek once more passing over Slide Peak and seeing a patch of snow in the Gulf Of Slides bowl. From here the trail descended steeply down an open ridge crest to Glen Boulder. We started talking about this handsome dude from either a Maytag or Whirlpool commercial and started feeling weak at the knees at the thought that he came with the merchandise. It was difficult focusing on our steps at the thought of him. We found another location for a great group shot of us holding the rainbow flag. Do you think anyone noticed we were gay?
At Glen Boulder, we took a close look at its base. It’s amazing that this boulder has yet to topple over. The view is wide, from Chocorua arount to Mt. Washington, and Wildcat Mountain.
After the hike, we changed and drove to Red Fox Grill in Jackson, NH for a well-deserved dinner. I wore my black GO hat and T-shirt with my pride beads. Tim proudly wore his new GO hat and Rick wore his beads. Do you think anyone noticed we were gay?
All round another great day in the Hills. Our Boott Spur Gay Pride Hike was a blast! Happy Pride everyone!
~ Mike Boisvert
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What Members Are Saying About This Trip/Event
- What a magical experience! The color explosion of the alpine gardens was extraordinary. The sky morphing w/sun, clouds and mist - an awe inspiring day with great friends and a beaming rainbow. - JDNnh