Revisiting the Lincoln Slide...Via Flume, Liberty, and Lincoln

Date of Hike: 8/30/14

Lincoln Woods Trail: 1.4 miles  /  Osseo Trail: 4.0 miles  /  Franconia Ridge Trail:  4.1 miles  /  Lincoln Slide Bushwhack:  2.5 miles  /  Lincoln Brook Trail: 4.2 miles  /  Franconia Brook Trail: 1.6 miles  /  Lincoln Woods Trail: 3.0 miles
Total Miles (GPS):  20.75 miles (5,075 feet elevation gained)

Trip Report:
-  On Sunday, Kelsey invited me to do a long out n' back of Mount Lafayette from Lincoln Woods.  I told her that sounded good but let's make it a little more interesting by dropping down the Lincoln Slide once past Mount Truman (a sub summit between Lincoln and Lafayette) and looping back to the car via the slide, bushwhack, Lincoln Brook Trail, Franconia Brook Trail, and Lincoln Woods Trail.  Kelsey, always the adventurer was up for the wild descent deep into the Pemigewasset Wilderness.
- This hike would be Kelsey's 'Welcome Back to the White Mountains Moment.'  As she had not hiked in the mountains since January because of nagging injuries.
- We Started hiking around 7:30am and made the quick flat walk to the start of the Osseo Trail by way of the Lincoln Woods Trail.  On the Osseo Trail we made the gradual climb to the steep ladder section and took a break to enjoy the views from the downlook before making our way up to Flume Mountain's summit.  The summits were in and out of the clouds between Flume - Liberty - Little Haystack where as luck would have it the clouds blew off and made for some really incredible views.  Kelsey and I have now been lucky enough that on our two mega-hikes together we had undercast while Presi Traversing followed by Saturday's clearing off while on the Franconia Ridge above treeline.
- Once we made our way to the summit of Mount Truman I dropped us off the ridge and took us on the easiest path to the top of the slide.  Basically, if you know the right spot to head to the slide you only have to go through a short fifty foot in the scrub section.  However, I've heard that if you don't know where to go the whack over to the slide can be hellish even though it's a short one.  Luckily, I know where to go so I never had to experience this.
- The Lincoln / Truman Slide is massive at the top, then funnels down into a drainage, and ends where a brook begins.  The slide is easier to descend then ascend because of all the loose rock and gravel.  It's similar to the South Tripyramid slide in steepness but the footing is worse.  At no point do I find the slide dangerous, however, it can be tedious if you are not a fan of lose rock that moves in the gravel.
- Once past the wide open upper section the slide narrows and travels through a boulder field with rock ledge.  It becomes a rock hopping affair for a few tenths of a mile as water starts to flow through the slide and eventually the slide ends and the brook proper begins.
-  Here is where the fun ends and the bushwhack begins.  I have done this route twice before, the method to my madness is stay in the brook and rock hop through the brook as much as possible.  However, most hikers do not feel comfortable doing this because it's slippery and there are spots where the brook becomes steep.
- I decided to try and take Kelsey out of the brook but every time I did this the whack was thick and relentless.  I remember last year finding much more open woods both times I had to leave the brook.  So I kept dropping us back to the brook then back out.  It was slow going, and this being Kelsey's first bushwhack it got old fast for her.  I felt bad as I was unable to get us a decent bushwhack in the woods that I was able to do for Denise and Whitney last October on Whitney's wild 48 finish.
- Eventually we made our way to the Lincoln Brook and crossed it and hit the Lincoln Brook Trail about one hundred and fifty feet up an embankment, about 0.7 miles north of the unofficial path up to Owl's Head.
-  Lincoln Brook Trail had some new minor washouts in a spot or two, and was a muddy mess in the usual spots.  Kelsey caught a second wind about two miles before hooking onto the Franconia Brook Trail and we trail ran the last six miles back to the trailhead.  It was a lot of fun to run with Kelsey, she is an ultra-runner who is able to finish strong even after a tough couple of hours spent trudging through the middle of nowhere.
- Kelsey needed to be back to the car by 4pm and we made it there by 3:45pm, perfect timing!  It was great to see Kelsey again, she's enthusiastic and her positive attitude is contagious.

Walking along the Lincoln Woods and Osseo Trail
Osseo Trail to Flume Mountain
Owl's Head
 The Bonds
 Clouds clearing off of Mount Liberty
Mount Liberty from Flume Mountain
Hiking along the Franconia Ridge Trail to Mount Liberty
Franconia Ridge Trail to Little Haystack
 Kelsey on the Franconia Ridge
 
Owl's Head and the Pemigewasset Wilderness
The top of the Lincoln Slide
Descending the top of the slide
Looking back up the Lincoln Slide
Slowly heading down the slide
Owl's Head from the Lincoln Slide
 Looking to the Bonds and Carrigain  Notch
Dropping down into the drainage
The Lincoln Slide drainage
 Kelsey navigates the boulder section
The slide narrows and start to turn into a brook
Kelsey at the start of the brook
Brook bushwhack
Full on bushwhack
After a gnarly whack it's back to the trail, the Lincoln Brook Trail
The Lincoln Brook Trail
Running the Lincoln Brook  and Franconia Brook trail
Lincoln Woods Trail
Mountain Stats
The route down the slide and the bushwhack

Route for the day, click here for more details


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