Elevation Profiles and Distances

It's spring time in the White Mountains, this usually means I'm out getting in some bigger hikes while taking great pictures of the changing snow-white to spring-green scenery.  However, this April has proved to be a difficult hiking month as the usual spring snow, mild temps, and sunshine have been replaced by extremely icy conditions and gloomy weather.  While I've been getting in a few fun hikes, there haven't been too many great photo days, therefore I've been lacking on updating the trip reports.  Instead I'll leave my dorky elevation over miles profile graphs up for now.  Enjoy!

Over the years I have been fortunate to hike some of the more rugged and longer hikes in the northeast.  From well known hikes like Presidential and Great Range Traverses, to my own unique routes that I've created while studying the maps.  After writing the trip reports and posting pictures I often look at the elevation gains and losses on the graph that is produced from my Garmin Forerunner 910XT.  I always like how the elevation profile resembles a roller coaster as it's displayed across the duration of each hike.  Now that I live in the White Mountains, I find myself having anywhere from three to five extra hours of time at the end of the weekend from no longer having to drive back to Rhode Island.  Over the past few months I've started taking these elevation profiles of some of my favorite hikes while adding graphics and points of interest to them.  Below is the final product of several of my favorite 'ultra' one day excursions and one multi-day!

  One of my favorites and probably one of the most brutal unsupported 'ultra' hikes in the country.  Just under fifty miles and over 16,000 feet of elevation gained while attempting to hike the A.M.C. White Mountain hut system in under twenty four hours.  Even though the first half of the hike is over the knee-hammering Presidential Range, the second half is what does in most hikers/runners as the Garfield ridge Trail section can be demoralizing to those not familiar with it.  Oh, and the hike in and out form the first hut (Carter Notch) and the last hut (Lonesome Lake) doesn't count as part of the 'timed' route, so add another six miles and 2,000 feet of gain!  I've attempted this four times, complementing it three times in 18 hours and 48 minutes, 16 hours and 48 minutes, and 15 hours and 14 minutes.  (Click here for most recent trip report)


43ish miles and over 10,000 feet of elevation gained.  This one first came to mind in 2013 and I finally was able to make it happen in 2015.  It is one of the more memorable hikes that I've ever done.  The drop down into the Pemigewasset Wilderness from the edge of Norcross Pond and the subsequent miles over the old logging roads is rich in history. (Click here for trip report)

Winter Trip to Baxter, over four days.  Day one and four we pulled our gear and food in on sled pulks thirteen miles into and out of the park.  Day two we hiked South Turner, breaking trail in a snow storm over four miles.  Day three we got lucky and hiked Hamlin and Baxter peaks on Mount Katahdin, fourteen miles.  A phenomenal winter hiking experience.  I've done tougher and longer hikes but this is the apex of winter hiking in the northeast! (Click here for trip report)

Close to 30 miles and over 10,000 feet of elevation gained. The Maine half of this hike is over very unforgiving terrain, and not just the infamous Mahoosuc Notch portion. The Goose Eye's are worth the aforementioned suffering, an incredible section to hike over. (Click here for trip report)

Very steep and very rough. Some of the nastiest footing in the northeast can be found between Basin and the Wolfjaws. Around 25 miles with over 9,000 feet of elevation gain.  The views throughout the traverse are some of the more dramatic around as steep slides scar the mountains throughout the range. (Click here for trip report)

The classic big traverse in the Whites. Miles and miles of above treeline hiking for hours, wait for a clear day or one with undercast. 24ish miles and close to 10,000 feet of elevation gain.  Use the huts to your advantage throughout this hike, but don't linger too long or you might lose your focus on the goal that lies ahead! (Click here for trip report)

Over 30 miles and 9,000 plus feet elevation gain. This was from a run of the loop I did so West Bond is not on here. If you hike it make sure you add West Bond, well worth it for minimal effort, after all what's another mile when doing over 30! (Click here for trip report)

The only hike I've done where my hips were sore the next day. 26 miles and over 9,000 feet of elevation gained. Imagine hiking up and down Wildcat E Peak from Glen Ellis three times in a row, that's what it was like between Indian Head, the Twins, and Plateau. Exhausting but fun!  This was before I had my Garmin GPS, so this was taken online from a Devil's Path hike, where I manipulated the graph, added the icons and info to create the hike that I did which was the out and back.  I look forward to getting back over to the Devil's Path in the future! (Click here for trip report)

18 miles and over 8,000 feet of elevation gained.  While not as well known as the Presi Traverse just across the notch, it packs almost the same amount of punch as there are more steeper sections mixed in throughout this hike and the terrain is nastier in spots.  Pre-GPS so I created this profile myself. (Click here for trip report)

25 miles and over 7,000 feet of elevation gained. A real beautiful walk through the woods over several miles with pretty great footing for the most part. Most sections are very quiet and secluded, lots of moose activity.  Rogers Ledge has a great view and a perfect last spot to be on before the descent to the end of the hike. (Click here for trip report)

Most of the elevation gain and loss is packed in three short bursts up and down three slides, one of which is an abandoned trail, although still easy to follow for the most part. 20ish miles and about 7,000 feet of elevation gain. (Click here for trip report)

21 miles and over 8,000 feet of gain up and down three of the more steepest ascents and descents in the Presidential Range, one of which is over a trail that was abandoned in the 1960's (Adams Slide Trail).  Knee-hammering rocks is the common theme for this tough hike!  Created this one myself, pre-GPS. (Click here for trip report)

One of the signature hikes in the Adirondacks. Pretty amazing views from the three Dix summits. 15 miles and over 5,000 feet of elevation gain.  On a nice day you can sit and stare at the Great Range and surrounding peaks for Dix Mountain's summit forever. (Click here for trip report)

Close to 26 miles and 7,000 feet of elevation gained. The toughest part is the road walk on the Kanc, watch out for bad drivers! The section through Mad River notch is very quiet and scenic. (Click here for trip report)

MMD 50K 2011.  34 miles and over 14,000 feet of elevation gained.  This was my first taste of the More and More Difficult ultra trail run, and were my pre-running days so I hiked it.  It was a lot of fun, a lot of great views, and very rough on the whole body.  After this I kind of got the sense I might be able to hold my own with some of the strongest hikers/runners in the area.  Pre-GPS (Click here for trip report)

MMD 50K 2013.  So you want to run an ultra in the White Mountains of New Hampshire??  Try running down the Madison Gulf headwall and up the Six Husbands Trail and get back to me!! 32 miles and over 15,000 feet of elevation gained.  The steep ascents and descents over the nastiest terrain in the White Mountains puts this almost on par with a H2H.  Dropping down into and hiking out of the King Ravine twice is extremely difficult but worth it for the scenery! (Click here for trip report)

31 miles and over 15,000 feet of elevation gained.  Nothing beats spending the morning above and below the Franconia Ridge while spending the afternoon above and below the Kinsman Ridge.  The equivalent to being in a pinball machine in Franconia Notch! (Click here for trip report)

My finishing hike to become an Adirondack 46R, becoming the 7,309 person to hike all 46 High Peaks of the Adirondacks.  Finished on a beautiful fall day during Columbus Day weekend in 2011.  I had Big Slide and Sawteeth left so I decided to see if I could combine them while going over one of my favorite peaks, Gothics.  To this day hiking the 46 high peaks in the spring, summer, and fall of 2011 is among one of my favorite adventures.  Pre-GPS. (Click here for trip report)

Rocky Peak Ridge between the summit of Rocky Peak Ridge and Bald Peak is a phenomenal hike with great vistas along the way. 16 miles and 6,500 feet elevation gain as an out and back,  FYI, with a car spot last year my friend Diaz and I hiked from 73 to 9 (Zander Scott Trailhead to New Russia) 11.5 miles and under 5,000 feet of gain. (Click here for trip report)

This was part of a Reconnaissance mission for a future hike down the Lincoln Slide. Since I was solo I had to make it back to my Jeep, so I turned it into a big hike in and out of the Pemi. 25ish miles and over 10,000 feet of elevation gain. I took bits and pieces form other hikes over these trails and slide and smooshed them into this, hence the miles not being correct. (Click here for trip report)


26.3 miles and almost 10,000 feet of elevation gained.  Kind of funny to see Isolation lying so low mixed in with the other peaks.  Very rugged footing for most of this hike and not just above treeline, making for an exhausting but fun day out in May of 2012.  Pre-GPS. (Click here for trip report)

A really enjoyable loop using the abondoned but still highly used Mount Hale Trail (AKA Fire Warden's) to Mount Hale, and looping around Zealand and the Twins. I prefer the clockwise route which offers scenic views over the second half of the hike. 17 or 19 miles (depending on Haystack Road being open) and close to 6,000 feet elevation gained. (Click here for trip report)

26 miles and just shy of 8,000 feet elevation gained over a few lightlly used and beautiful trails in the Wild River Wilderness. Rainbow Trail might just have the most beautiful Birch glades in the White Mountains. If you are a grid hiker definitely check out these trails to mix things up on your way up to the Wildcat-Carter Range. Trails used : Mt. Meader, Basin Rim, Black Angel, Carter-Moriah, Ranbow, Wild River, Eagle Link, and Meader Ridge. This hike was done on a perfect autumn day with Whitney, Denise, and Heather & Kali (Click here for trip report)

I started out at the South Rim and it was 45 degrees, hit 90 plus while heading back through the 'Box' near the bottom of the canyon in the early afternoon. Along with the H2H, this my favorite hike/run I've ever done.  45 miles and over 10,000 feet elevation gain. :) (Click here for trip report)

6 comments:

  1. This is awesome and impressive on so many levels! Thanks for posting and the small blurbs for each. Seems like your ADK experience will live with you forever!

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    1. Hi Phillip, glad you liked the profiles and descriptions. The ADK's has a special meaning to me and I always look forward to hiking there or the Catskills the one or two times a year I get out to NY. :)

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  2. this is amazing and definitely sparking some ideas for my next trip up to the northeast

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    1. Thanks, hope you get to try one of them out and you get a good day to do it. One of the best parts for me is stuffing my face full of food after!

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  3. Great recap of awesome hikes. I didn't know about those ultra races, they look brutal! The slides add interesting twists and huge gain!

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    1. Thanks, Richard. The slides really slow the pace down and can increase a split dramatically during the hikes/runs. This summer I'm hoping to do an ADK "Marshall" loop - Big Slide, Great Range, McIntyre Range that another hiker told me about. I'll let you know if I plan to do it and see if you'd like to join in!!

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