The weather was atrocious for the first 20 miles of this route. Once we made our way up Flume (a really pleasant climb!) we faced 30-50mph winds along Franconia Ridge. We fought winds across the whole ridge before descending into the relative calm of the Garfield Ridge Trail. Although this is the most notorious section of the route, we enjoyed it quite a bit since it gave us a break from the wind. Despite the temptation of warm food, we didn't stop at the Galehead hut and opted to take a quick break before heading up South Twin. That climb was the low point of the trip and we didn't feel fully recovered until Bond. To our pleasant surprise, the clouds opened up as we approached Bondcliff and we had some stunning views. Despite the view, the wind picked back up as soon as we left the trees and we made slow progress up to the summit of Bondcliff. Once we got to the trees on the other side of Bondcliff, the descent was a breeze and we made good time along the Lincoln Woods Trail to get in before 9 hours.
We each carried about 2L of water which lasted us the whole trip. In addition, we each had a large supply of food including gu, shot blocks, and clif bars.