Trails: Beaver Brook X-C, Gale River Rd., Gale River, Garfield Ridge, Frost & Twinway
Distance: 13.25 miles
Difficulty: Moderate overall
Conditions: Snow covered but fairly packed
Special Required Equipment: Started with snowshoes & recommend if using X-C approach instead of roadwalk so we can be good neighbors with X-C community. Crampons not needed but steepness of Twinway had me thinking about using them as a slip could send you for a tumble into some good sized rocks.
Trip Report: Left CT at 2:45 AM to get most out of daylight in NH. Started hiking at 7:12 AM minutes before actual sunrise. Water crossings were pretty easy & partially frozen. I expect even better now. Bridge over first crossing a little tricky covered in snow. A blowdown on Garfield Ridge trail (new since my last 1996 visit) gives a great view north before reaching the hut. Good views south from hut & towards Garfield & towards twins/bonds from Galehead viewpoint. Bonds & Franconia Ridge in clouds while Garfield & Twins were in & out of the soup.
I made the steep slog up South Twin to be greeted by cloud cover with an occasional open glimpse of North Twin. No view at all towards Presidentials. I left South Twin at 1:50 and was back at the car by 5:20 It was fairly dark but the moon made some headway through partial cloudy skies & the snow helped some. I probably could have pulled the headlamp out but I was determined (read too stubborn) to get out before needing it. I only saw two couples backpacking the entire day. I was amazed that one of them had come over Franconia Ridge & broken out the entire Garfield Ridge trail & the other from Lincoln Woods past Guyot & heading to the Garfield site. (The 1st couple spent the night at Garfield Campsite while the other at Guyot & were swapping for Friday night.) While fairly common to do overnights at Garfield or Guyot, doing the whole route in winter is a pretty grueling feat.
Images from this Hike.
Submitted by Michael Paggioli
Fri, 4 Jan 2002