Pemi Loop (Clockwise)

Date of Hike: 7/2/11

Lincoln Woods Trail 1.4 miles 
Osseo Trail 4.1 miles
Franconia Ridge Trail 5.0 miles
Garfield Ridge Trail  6.6 miles
Twinway 2.8 miles
Bondcliff Trail 0.4 miles
West Bond Spur 1.0 miles
Bondcliff Trail 6.5 miles
Lincoln woods / Wilderness Trail 4.7 miles
32.5 miles
9,500 elevation gain

Trip Report:
- With excellent weather forecast it was time to head to the Pemigewasset Wilderness and do a one day Pemi Loop.  Originally I was going to go counter-clockwise but having done half a pemi loop on Memorial Day in that direction I decided on a clockwise loop (with a stop at West Bond of course!) like I did last year.
- The weather was warm from the beginning but luckily I beat the heat as I traveled along the Lincoln Woods Trail and up the Osseo Trail to Mount Flume.  On my way up I passed a group of three hikers and saw another four hanging around Flume's summit all attempting a Pemi Loop as well.
- The views were great with all of the summits in the clear with some passing clouds around Cannon Mountain and Washington could be seen to the north but it was hazy and in and out of the clouds.
- The hike along the Franconia Ridge between Little Haystack and Lafayette was great as usual and it was still early enough that the swarms of hikers had not arrived for the the day yet.
- I took a fifteen minute break at the summit of Lafayette before heading down the dreaded Garfield Ridge Trail. I have been kicking it's butt recently but that all changed today as once I dropped below treeline the trail was still wet and the rocks were not drying off with the humidity making for some slips along the way as I just couldn't get a good pace going.
- On the final approach to the summit of Mount Garfield I took a gnarly fall and cut up my leg a little bit and busted the view finder on my rebuilt camera that I fixed after last weeks fall during the double Presi Traverse!  Luckily the view finder was only cracked but the camera still worked fine.
- I took a much need rest on top of Mount Garfield and took in the awesome views of the Pemi Wilderness below me with everyone's favorite Owl's Head in the middle looking like a big lump.
- Now it was off to the Galehead Hut, footing was a little better on this section of the Garfield Ridge and I now was running into swarms of people hiking to and from the hut.  Along the way I ran I ran into a few hikers I knew (one of which was Pat who I hiked with him and Alton over the Carter and Cats in late May)who were doing a counter-clockwise Pemi Loop.
- I ran out of water within steps of the hut, where I relaxed and filled up on water before heading up the Twinway to South Twin.
- From here on out I made excellent time, as I always try to bust my A$$ up the steep section of the Twinway (0.8 miles, 1,150 feet elevation gain) to the South Twin summit.
- Eventhough the trail is rough and rugged the footing was much better for quick hiking as the rocks weren't saturated and slippery.
- On top of South Twin I stopped and had lunch and relaxed for about fifteen minutes until the little bugs started bothering me.
- Back on the Twinway I had two miles until hooking onto the Bondcliff Trail, this section is tame and is in the woods with good footing until you pop out above treeline just before the Bondcliff Trail junction.
- Views from here and then up and over Mount Guyot were fantastic!
- A little later I headed to West Bond but unfortunately as soon as I got to the summit I was chased off by those big A$$ bee's so I only took a few pics while dodging them then headed down off the summit and relaxed on a rock where there were great views over to the Twin Range.
- The hike from West Bond to Bond and then down and up to Bondcliff was great, I ran into a few hikers along the way but not many. Some were heading to Guyot Tentsite, some over to the hut, all having a blast.
- On Boncliff I relaxed and refueled before dropping below treeline for the final long 9.5 miles back to the car.
- The hike down Bondcliff went faster than I expected but the final five miles along the Lincoln Woods / Wilderness Trail was boring as usual.
- I was really tired but kept a good pace along the mind-numbing flat section until I would stub my toes on the railroad ties which hurt like hell.
- When I finally made it back to the car I was amazed to see the parking lot full, there were a couple of hikers around but mainly tourists in jeans roaming around the bridge and what not.
- It was a long day but lots of fun, I think I was still a little sore from Monday's Double Presi Traverse but I hiked it forty-five minutes faster than last year but had more slips and near falls this year.  Views of course were great which made for a perfect hike of the Pemi Loop!

- On trail at 5:20am, Flume 7:20am, Liberty 7:55am, Lincoln 9:15am, Lafayette 9:40am, Garfield 11:20am, Galehead Hut 1pm, South Twin 1:35pm, West Bond 2:55pm, Bond 3:25pm, Bondcliff 4pm, Wilderness Trail 5:40pm, finished 7:05pm.

Pictures: Click here for all pictures

Mount Liberty and Flume from the Franconia Ridge Trail
Start of the Garfield Ridge Trail
Greenleaf Hut and Cannon Mountain
Galehead, South Twin, and North Twin Mountain
Mount Lafayette and Mount Lincoln
Owl's Head and the Franconia Ridge
Twin Range from West Bond


  1. I look at hikes like this (and the double Presi from a week ago) and all I can do is shake my head. Just can't fathom this in a day. The amazing part to me is that you even got a great set of pictures along the way. Really enjoy following these epic hikes. Great stuff!

  2. Chris, Incredible string hikes you've had going lately! Great inspiration to us mere mortals.

  3. Man, you're tough on the cameras! Under 14 hours, that's amazing. I had planned a Pemi Loop for the 3rd (shooting for 14-15 hours) but called if off because of rain. Congrats.

  4. Thanks for the comments guys...hopefully on my next hike I don't fall and smash the camera again!


  5. Wow, incredible hikes and awesome reports. Thanks for sharing as I'd like to climb all of the 48s at some point.

    Any thoughts on trying to set records doing this sort of thing? I stumbled upon this site where the current record for the Pemi Loop is 6hr46mins.


  6. I know a few people who are going to try and set the records this summer running it. As for me I'm going to stick to hiking it, hopefully next time if the Garfield Ridge doesn't do me in I can get down to 13 hours and then after that include Owl's Head into the loop via the Lincoln Slide and bushwhacks! I don't think I could break the record running it anyway because 99% of the time when I see people coming the other way I step to the side of the trail and let them I'd run up over to West Bond because I love the views from the summit to much and I need to eat my pb&j sandwiches sitting on the summits of South Twin and Bondcliff!


  7. Chris is being modest...whatever he hikes it in, cut that in half and that's what he could run it in if he wanted to. This past spring he did a boot camp interval training here in FL in 90 degree along with world class athletes and he kept getting stronger and stronger as the day went on, incredible endurance!

  8. Thanks Eva, but "I choose not to run" =)