Our hiking season started off with a snowy bang on Memorial Day for Mount Moosilauke, where we were greeted with fresh snowfall, snowdrifts of six inches, and massive mud puddles. Truthfully-- that's the kind of crap I like-- the sort of unexpected weather (while being prepared that is!).
The following weekend we decided to trek up two other familiar favorites-- Liberty and Flume. Last year Mount Liberty and Flume were numbers 10 and 11 on our 4,000 Footer list. At that time, we had elected to do an out and back hike, mainly because it was shorter (by around .5 miles- so minuscule) but also because I'm scared to death of heights these days.
So this time, in order to try challenge ourselves we elected to hike the Flume Slide Trail, which would give us a nice loop over the two peaks. Summer weekends can have these two popular mountains packed with vacationers and day hikers, so getting back up to see the amazing views before the crowds was an excellent idea.
Looking at Mount Flume
The Top of Mount Flume
Mount Liberty from Mount Flume
The trail winds through a nice forested area, crisscrossing over a small stream several times. Our hike was accompanied by humid and hot weather, so it was nice to dip our faces and heads into the cool water. The trail later turns into a rocky scramble up sheer rock. It's manageable with footholds and handholds, but really tricky when wet.
Liberty Under a Cloud Shadow From Mount Flume (this is one of those peaks that looks ridiculously far away after you just killed yourself up one mountain)
We stopped near the top to down our sandwiches and bumped into a friendly hiker with his two dogs. I think the dogs handled the scrambles better than me! It's always great to see how even the smallest amongst us can handle tough terrain. This hiker and his dogs are roughly at around the same number for 4,000 footers after just starting last year and since we both saved many of the longer hikes for last-- we may be seeing more of each other!
Hikers on Top of Flume
Mount Flume with Waterville in the Distance
The views atop Liberty and Flume are absolutely amazing. I never get over the way the clouds cast shadows on top of the mountains and while I love the feeling of isolation in the middle of the wilderness, I'll take this busy, but scenic view any day...