3 Days of Winter Hammock Camping, Backpacking, & Snowshoeing in the White Mountains Pemigewasset Wilderness.
This trip was sponsored by Backcountry, who gave me the opportunity to upgrade three of my essential winter backpacking gear items for this trip. A gear list can be found at the end of this post.
FTC Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, which means I may receive a commission for purchases made through my links, at no additional cost to you. Individual gear selections were made by me and all opinions are my own.
For this 3 day, 2 night spring winter camping trip, I’ll be hiking what amounts to a sort of “Half Pemi Loop”. While a full pemi loop consists of the Franconia Ridge on one side and the Bondcliff ridge on the other, my plan was to use the lesser used Franconia Brook trail to go straight up the middle of the loop. This would take me above treeline right near the summit of Mt Garfield, with the option to take either the Franconia Ridge to the west, or the Bondcliffs to the east in order to return to the Lincoln Woods visitor center where I had left my Jeep.
Even during “regular” backpacking season, the White Mountains are a quite challenging area to hike due to notoriously rapid changing weather conditions and steep, rugged terrain. Add in some deep snow, ice, rain, high winds and a freeze / thaw temp range of 40° to 16° F, and things can get even more fun. I had a great time, but it was probably the toughest solo winter backpacking trip I’ve ever done.
No permit is required to camp in the White Mountains NF, but there are rules and regulations regarding backcountry camping. You can find more information on the USFS White Mountains website here. Some parking areas, such as the one I used for this trip, do require a vehicle fee of $5 per day.
Full GPS track data, including campsites, water sources, etc, for this trip and many others can be downloaded on my Trip Data Page.