There won’t be many pictures with this one, but it was quite a hike! I joined up with a group of 8 others from the Wednesday Group for a trip to Liberty and Flume.
The plan was to hike from Lincoln Woods, up the Osseo Trail to the Franconia Ridge trail, over Flume and Liberty and down via the Liberty Springs Trail. We all met at the Basin Parking Area to set up the carspot and head south to Lincoln Woods.
The Lincoln Woods Trail had seen traffic, so the first part was not too bad. The Osseo Trail had seen much less traffic, it looked like one person on snowshoes and the prints had started to fill in with snow. The breaking wasn’t too bad to start, but the higher we got, the deeper the snow got, up to 12-18″. We didn’t even know we were on the staircases in the switchback section, except for one little bit of wood that somehow was still sticking out of the snow. We knew the stairs were under there somewhere, but from the surface, it was not obvious at all.
Added to all the snow was the branches loaded with snow blocking the trail. This was especially difficult between Flume and Liberty, where the lead person had to stop, knock off the snow, figure out how to get through and hope to find the trail was on the other side. This is why it took 9 people 2 hours to go the 1.5 miles from Flume to Liberty. Very slow travel, but everyone took their turn leading and breaking out trail.
Both summits were pretty cold, windy and socked in, so no views anyway. The descent was a bit easier – lots of snow still but at least it was downhill, so we could plow through until the snow depth decreased closer to the bottom.
We walked out in the dark, after a long but good day! It was hard work, but the group was fun and everyone shared in the trail breaking.