Leave No Stragglers: How to Hike the White Mountain 4000 Footers

4000 Footer Patch
4000 Footer Patch

My friend Joe has this saying, “Leave No Stragglers”, which is his mantra for hiking the White Mountain 4000 footers in a time and energy efficient way. He’s working on his second 4000 footer Grid (see The Grid, Gridiots, and the Gridiocracy), where you hike all 48 of the four thousand foot and higher peaks in the White Mountains each calendar month of the year (576 ascents), so he’s an expert at this game.

The 4000 footer list rules allow you to bag multiple peaks on the same hike, so you should try to summit all of the peaks close to one another on the same hike. That’s what Joe means when he says, “Leave No Stragglers.”

For example, hiker typically try to put together the following combinations of peaks into one hike. Longer combinations are possible, but these are fairly standard:

  • Lafayette, Lincoln
  • Liberty, Flume
  • North Kinsman, South Kinsman
  • Whiteface, Passaconaway
  • Osceola, East Osceola
  • South Hancock, Hancock
  • Tom, Field, and Willey
  • Washington, Monroe
  • Jackson, Pierce
  • Wildcat A, Wildcat D
  • Middle Carter, South Carter, and Carter Dome
  • Galehead, South Twin, North Twin
  • Hale, Zealand
  • Bondcliff, Bond, West Bond
  • Madison, Adams
  • Middle Tripyramid, North Tripyramid
  • Jefferson
  • Washington
  • Eisenhower
  • Canon
  • Moosilauke
  • Carrigan
  • Isolation
  • Cabot
  • Waumbek
  • Garfield
  • Moriah
  • Owlshead
  • Tecumseh

Of course, you should only hike these peak combinations when weather conditions and your abilities permit, but this is how serial peakbaggers and Gridiots manage to blow through the White Mountain peak lists so quickly.

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