View Full Version : The Prezolution Traverse

01-13-2011, 02:42 AM
<span style="font-weight: bold">The Prezolution Traverse, White Mountians N.H.</span>
Alan Cattabriga &amp; Gabe Flanders 1/11/11

Gabe on Webster &amp; the rest of the Southern Presidential Range

I had been wanting to see if it was possible to link up, on foot, the ice climbing along the Presidential Range for some time. After doing the Triple Trifecta a few years ago, I knew this was something that could go down. Maybe not in it's entirety, for it's much bigger, but with the right conditions completing the ridge with some of the ice goals was reasonable.

Tagging every summit along the way, though really cool in thought, was not part of my agenda. While some summits one has to go over, most can be avoided via a loop trails. I would take them one at a time depending on how I felt &amp; time. Mt. Washington was one that I was not interested in topping on at all no matter how I felt, it's summit is totally covered with buildings and therefore undesirable.
As I got my pack ready the night before, I was going alone and was very concerned on how I was to get back to my car after finishing..... Then an unexpected thing happened, Wackamole (Gabe) got in touch with me about different link-up, I ran my idea past him and he was in!

<span style="font-weight: bold">The Plan</span>

For flow, a south to north traverse worked best with Mt. Webster being the start. After climbing Landslide the other day and finding super good conditions I decided on that route as my start rather than Shoestring.

Next is the long hike to Huntington Ravine over Mts. Jackson, Clinton, Eisenhower, Monroe &amp; around Washington to the top of Diagonal Gully. This is ~14 miles. The only real concern with this section was the snow depth on the first three peaks as they are below timberline, to keep the packs light, snowshoes were not coming.
Now it's down Diagonal then up ether Yale (easier) or Damnation Gully, then over the auto road to the Great Gulf. If all neve, a descent of the east side then up Wait Until Dark Gully (west side) to Clay was a thought. But the main goal at this point was to make the col between Adams &amp; Madison, descend to the ice climb Point, climb that, then get out via the Valley Way or Air Line trail to Randolph.

<span style="font-weight: bold">The Day</span>

By 3am I was on the road for Randolph where I met Gabe &amp; we left a car at the Appalachia parking spot. By 6 we were leaving my car at the Willey House and on our way.
Climbing Landslide Gully by headlamp was great fun and as we got to the finishing slot it was getting light.


The top of Landslide

A short spruce plunge above the gully got us to the trail which had a few deep drifts but nothing too bad. The trail to Mt. Jackson was fairly easy going and in &amp; out of the sun.

Along Webster's ridge

Once past Jackson the trail conditions kept getting better and before long we were on Clinton then on to Eisenhower where we had a short break.

Leaving Eisenhower, from R to L, Monroe, Washington, Clay &amp; Jefferson

We decided to take the loop around Monroe's summit and get to the top of Huntington, it was 1pm and we still had some distance to travel.
Near the ravine's lip, Gabe headed over to a guy that had just climbed Odell's and got about half a qt. of water (thanks!) We were getting pretty dehydrated by this point and eating snow &amp; ice was, as I found in the past, super harsh on the throat.

After a snack and a sip we left the packs and booked it down Diagonal. The snow conditions were great and once down we took the easier line of Yale Gully up. Part way up we drank our fill of water that was running just under the ice. Leaving the packs felt good for fast movement but it would have been nice to have filled our water bottles.

Gabe descending Diagonal

Yale Gully

Once back to the packs the game was up, it was 3:30 and time to just take the fastest way to ether the Airline or Valley Way. We put on on the micro spikes and headed up to the auto road, it was totally covered in water ice. We stayed on the glazed road 'till even with the lip of the Great Gulf and then across to Clay. Again this whole area was covered in ice and very cool.

On the auto road with Jefferson &amp; Adams behind. Our descent trail is behind Adams!

The sun was setting as we took the loop around Clay's west side, it was totally beautiful.

View to where we started...

Just as we got to the loop around Jefferson it got dark, this loop trail is on the eastern aspect of the mountain, the snow was not so good and some knee deep snow was encountered.

On Jefferson

By the time we made Edmunds Col we were both quite hosed and very dehydrated. We talked of taking Lowes Path down and hitting up Gray Knob for some water, as appealing as that sounded we would have some road to walk back to the car and maybe the caretaker was not even there...

LED lamps are nice but don't throw light very far and we kept getting off the trail though not concerned with getting lost the footing off path was rougher than on. Once past Thunderstorm Jct. staying on course was easier.

Knowing the Valley Way was the most popular trail around this area and therefore would be well tracked we skipped the Air Line and did the few extra clicks to it. Once on that trail we got some energy just from heading down and did almost all that descent at a jog.

We arrived at the car at 8pm. 14hrs. C to C... The ground conditions all around were incredible and the weather could not have been better, total bluebird and no wind!

Though we bagged out on Madison Gulf, the day was something special and for me, very similar in a mental way, to it's drier, big brother out west.

And Gabe.... It was awesome man!

01-13-2011, 02:51 AM
Again another great wriet up Alan.

01-13-2011, 07:18 AM
Fantastic early morning shots! Pretty cool adventure...

01-13-2011, 08:12 AM
Absolutely awe inspiring!

01-13-2011, 10:25 AM
Freaking outstanding Alan, thank you for the great trip report!!!!

01-13-2011, 12:58 PM
F'n Awesome - I'm digging out the 18 yr old tonight and toasting your Awesomeness! F'n off the HOOK!

01-17-2011, 09:12 PM
wow.. what a day! i have been waiting on writing until i had some good words to reply with but i'm still pretty awestruck at both your day and these incredible pics!

these reports are awesome as they help get my own mind going on plans i have for myself. rock on.

01-18-2011, 05:37 AM
Rad trip. Nicely done, fellas. <<GRAEMLIN_URL>>/cool.gif

02-25-2011, 06:02 PM
incredable!!! nice photos man!!!