Top three reasons to mountaineer the Presidential Traverse
Over 23 miles of breathtaking alpine terrain to conquer
Experience the panoramic views from some of New Hampshire’s tallest peaks
Face your fears on one of the most challenging mountaineering routes in North America
While it presents a challenging hike in the summer season, crossing New Hampshire’s Presidential Traverse in the wintertime is an entirely different experience. The iconic 23-mile long mountaineering marathon crests 9 major peaks above 4,000 feet (1,200 meters). The Traverse mostly extends above the treeline, with unyielding snow, sleet, and fierce winds enhancing the rough atmosphere. Expect long, freezing days spent in high winds and total whiteouts. The Presidential Traverse is a journey that shouldn’t be taken lightly, and it requires serious skill and preparation.However, those skilled and brave enough to undertake this journey in the White Mountains will experience some of the most breathtaking untouched wilderness and snow-capped vistas in the US. Not to mention the bragging rights that come with braving one of the greatest mountaineering challenges in this part of the world!
November through April
Portland, ME, is less than 2 hours away
Book this adventure
Mountaineering on the Presidential Traverse
Take on New Hampshire’s biggest mountaineering challenge in this winter tour of the stunning Presidential Traverse! Experience the rugged, but beautiful wilderness in New Hampshire’s White Mountains. Join your experienced local mountaineering guide and push your mountaineering skills to the limit on one of the most thrilling mountaineering routes in the world!
Day 1: Preparations for the climb
Meet your guides and undergo a gear check. Your guides will help you with parking, as well as securing any necessary supplies for your traverse.
Day 2: The Traverse
The Traverse begins! Spend the whole day crossing the harsh winter terrains of the Presidentials. Spend the night at the RMC Grey Knob Hut.
Day 3: End of the Traverse
See big miles across the remaining peaks before reaching the Highland Center in Crawford Notch. Pick up your car and return to your guide’s Bunkhouse upon completion of the tour.
Meet your guide
AMGA Certified Guides
Great experience. The guides are all first-class and super down-to-earth. Staying at the bunkhouse was cheap and easy. Gear is all first-rate. On day one we got the basics down (my brother and I had no winter mountaineering experience). On day two we summitted Mt Washington. Our guide had been up 63 out of his 67 attempts. He knew every inch of that mountain and we both felt totally at ease. An awesome experience! Excited to come back for some ice climbing.
The hike was absolutely amazing. Dakota checked my equipment; he explained the plans for the climb including route, weather, emergencies and our mandatory turnback time. During the hike, Dakota was professional yet personal. He regularly took the opportunity to teach about technique, contingency, snow conditions, past experiences and opportunities for future excursions. His passion for the outdoors was obvious and shared. A great sense of humor but with a keen eye for his role as guide. Several times, he would quietly plant a foot hold and allow me to pass ensuring that, if I tripped up, the fall would be short and humorous- and nothing more. Dakota and I started as client/guide and left as friends. Very happy.
Things to know
Covid measures in the Presidential Traverse, New Hampshire
57hours is committed to providing safe outdoor adventure experiences. We require all guides using our platform to have a COVID-19 safety plan and to make the details of that plan accessible to travelers. In most cases, group sizes will be reduced, guides will avoid overcrowded locations, and other safety measures will be met depending on the location and activity.
We also expect clients to respect local regulations and take measures to protect themselves, their guides, and the communities they’re traveling to. For more information on COVID-19 measures in the Presidential Traverse, New Hampshire, please refer to New Hampshire’s COVID-19 guidelines for out-of-state visitors.
Please contact us if you have any questions or require further information. We are happy to provide you with the most up-to-date information!
What you get on this adventure:
- An experienced, local mountaineering guide with extensive knowledge of the area
- Two full days of mountaineering
- Transportation from Glen to the trailhead and back
What’s not included:
- Transportation to Glen, NH
- Accommodations (available at the guide’s Bunkhouse in Glen, NH)
- Technical climbing equipment
- Food and snacks
How fit do I need to be?
The Presidential Traverse is extremely strenuous, and a serious undertaking for even the most experienced mountaineers. Participants should be in terrific physical shape and have extensive winter hiking and camping experience. Also, the weather above the treeline can be extreme and participants should be prepared for exposure to high winds and arctic temperatures.
What if I’ve never mountaineered before?
This tour is meant for experienced mountaineers. You should already be well-versed in crampon techniques for ascending, descending, and slow travel, basic self-arrest, as well as rappelling techniques. You should also be comfortable using avalanche safety equipment and familiar with optimal avalanche safety skills. Above all, your instructor’s number one priority is your safety. This is a challenging trip that minimizes the amount of time available for education, so you should come prepared.
What do I need to bring?
Here’s a list of the equipment you need to bring:
- Day pack with waist strap (around a 30-40L bag)
- Ice ax
- Warm hat
- Buff or neck gaiter
- Ball hat or sun hat
- Lightweight gloves
- Medium weight gloves
- Heavy insulated mittens
- Light insulating layer or softshell top
- Hardshell jacket with hood
- Insulated parka
- Climbing pants
- Hardshell pants
- Mountaineering boots
- Camera — optional (but recommended)
Most of the required equipment can be rented from your guide’s affiliate at a 20% discount. If you need to rent any equipment, contact us to make arrangements.
Dress comfortably and for the weather in clothes you can move in. We suggest bringing clothing appropriate for the season.
Group sizes and age requirements
Group sizes and prices:
- For this adventure, the usual client-to-guide ratio is 3:1.
- The cost per person decreases as the group grows, so it’s the perfect opportunity to mountaineer with friends and family!
Mountaineering in the Presidential Traverse can be arranged for larger groups. Contact us to make arrangements.
Min. age requirements:
- If you are older than 18, you’re good to go.
- Minors younger than 18 may be permitted to join the tour on a case-by-case basis, but must be in the presence of a parent or legal guardian.
If your group has mountaineers under the age of 18, contact us prior to booking to make arrangements.
Getting there and meeting location
To get to the Presidential Traverse, most people fly into Portland International Jetport. From there, you can rent a car and take a 2-hour drive to Glen, NH, or take a bus to Naples American Legion and take a taxi, which will take you around 2h15min total.
Once you and your guide agree on the details of your itinerary, your guide will suggest the best place to meet, whether that’s at the guide’s Bunkhouse in Glen, NH, or a predetermined location. The guide will choose the appropriate terrain dependent on conditions and the ability of the group.