Discover the White Mountains of New Hampshire
by Jerry & Marcy Monkman (Appalachian Mountain Club Books)
© Jerry & Marcy Monkman/Appalachian Mountain Club Books. All Rights Reserved.
This trail is EXTREMELY strenuous. Yet it is magnificent. Are you an extreme hiker? With poles and superior hiking gear? Then you could do this hike in 5-7 hours. Are you an occasional hiker, loves the outdoors and are relatively fit? Plan on 9 even 10 hours. (And plan on hurting for two days afterwards!) This includes stops for lunch and resting and careful scaling of the rock ledges. Take note: coming down is as precarious as climbing up! But you will not be disappointed. The views are incredible and no one is on the trail. I would suggest taking a dip in Emerald pool (we didn't have the time as we were leaving the woods around 6:30p). We picked a beautiful day -- clear, warm, not a cloud in the sky, Sept 13 so the kids are in school and # of vacationers have significantly dwindled. We started way too late -- 10:20 -- and got back to our car at 6:45. We really should have started at 7 or 8. Bring bug spray.
My family (10 and 16 year old boys, wife and me) hiked Chocorua from Kankamangus Highway via Champney Falls Trail on June 17, 2006. The trail itself was in great condition. The falls were beautiful. We saw lots of flowers, but were especially thrilled to see wild orchids in bloom. Views from the summit were terrific. The round trip took us 5 hours including about 45 minutes on the summit.
The trail was exactly as expected. There was a little snow and ice in spots near the top but easily avoidable. The ground was wet in many areas but, again, pretty easy to go around. It took us about 5 hours and 45 minutes with a stop for 30-40 minutes for lunch.
I climbed Chocura in the winter of 2002/2003. It was amazing. The mountain is in my opinion a perfect size for intermediate winter climb at 3475 feet tall. The trail was not crowded at all and it was a blast. I had a 35 pound pack including my snowblades and my dad and his cousin had packs that weighed in at arond 45 lbs. We used snowshoes the whole way up which is a bad idea unless the crampons underneath your snowshoes are very large and sharp. The trail was so packed down that we should have thought to use our actual crampons earlier instead of just on the way down. On the way up we stopped at champney falls and did a little ice climbing, we didn't bring rope or harnesses so we just messed around on the ice faces went up about 15 feet then across and back down, and it was just more of a trial for those of us who hadn't done it before. It was a blast and I suggest you try it if you ever have the chance. We continued up all the way to the summit and it was amazing, the view was worth twice what we had climbed. All 360 degrees of the view was mezmorizing and I wondered how it would look in the fall with the foliage. I snowbladed my way down the mountain just right in the trial, while the rest of the group used crampons. I had wished I had my real skis because then I could go offtrail with out sinking but with my blades i just stayed right in the 3 foot track and bombed down. Braking was a little difficult but I would just dive in the powder off trail or grab a tree. This trip was awesome and I couldn't wait to climb another New Hampshire mountain.
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