Madeleine Ryan and I run ridges. We traversed Kilkenney last year for 22 miles, 8k elevation and now set out to cover 5 mountains across Franconia Ridge. We weren’t even tired when we were done! We dropped my car at the Lafayette Campground Mon night and Tues morning drove to Lincoln Woods Trailhead off of Kancamangus Highway. A mere 9:35 hours, 14.3 miles and 5489′ of elevation later, we popped out by my car!
We passed up and over Mt Flume, Mt Liberty, Little Haystack, Mt Lincoln and Mt Lafayette! Four of those add to my NH48 passport book – big day.
Loved the trails up (Lincoln woods and Osseo) and disliked the Bridle Path trail down post Greenleaf Hut. Really washed out and technical – it was slow going. Loved the part along the ridge and the best views so far in the Whites were those of the Pemigewasset region. On the other side of RT93 below, Cannon actually looked small!
A look in the rear view mirror where we had come from – the 4 mountains behind us.
Nothing scary the entire route with amazing views.
On the ridge, we learned about the chocolate chip cookies they made at Greenleaf Hut….the thought of THE COOKIES sustained us down Lafayette to the hut. We were not fans of the Bridle Path (very long) trail but were very happy with our day!
10.4 miles, 7:24 hrs, 4541′ elevation, Pace 42:43/mi, Moving pace 26:53/mi
I was supposed to go halfway with a group doing the Presidential Traverse and get picked up on Mt Washington by my coaches wife, Leslie; however, plans went awry when the clouds/wind rolled in while we were on Mt Madison.
As usual, I was the slowest one and the main group went ahead to Mt Madison hut. I would have been alone on the ridge in the fog, cold, wind and decided to try Mt. Adams and then head back to car. It was crazy how fast the clouds came in.
You can see the Mt. Madison hut and then moments later the cloud cover. I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to navigate back and see the cairns. What a pile of rocks – slow going and you can see how clear it got by the time I turned around and came down!
LL: Bring compass and note direction on top of these mountains. Also had this fear on Mt Washington as clouds can be thick.
Mt Adams is just next door and after some attempt, the rock pile won (See Mt Adams below)…. This was a good day for me with a pretty good distance and some major elevation I hadn’t done yet. Longest flat run was 13 miles former week where I had to walk the last hour and only other real mountain ascent had been 5/29 Cannon at 4.3 miles, 2283′. Happy with a good step up in training!
On the way down, I was passed 3 times by folks from the Hut with heavy loads on their back. I don’t know how they go so fast! Was a little depressing. Started on trail at 4am and ended up around 11am so headed over to Littleton to Schillings for the best pizza in the world!
Other lessons learned:
Bring more substantial food if hike is >5 hours
Always have wind jacket, rain jacket, extra clothes in NH. I was OK with a light smartwool and wind jacket , temps ground level around 70F and had expected to possibly get to high 40s at top so had extra midweight smartwool if needed. BRING EXTRA PACK
I was scared (as usual) bug did Cannon last weekend – first big mountain and another of the NH48 this year! Steepest hike (elevation/distance) I’ve ever done. I actually passed people!! This hike has the best viewed I’ve seen so far with a wonderful (not scary) flat trail around the top that is just great.
Started around 9am and finished at noon (45″ ahead of the alltrails estimated time). This trail had 4 unique sections:
gravelly to start
Rocky – very wet trail. I would NOT do this hike if there was any freezing possibility with the wet/steep rocks. Not really an issue with Long Peak treads. No exposure.
More Pine soft paths
A short rocky part to get to tower and another flat trail at top
Took 1.5 hrs to get to overlook, became flatter around 1818′. Then a short scramble (not scary) to peak.
Beautiful day from the 70s to 80s. Ate 2 cliff bars and side water bottles. Poles useful but not for entire path (a little tricky in parts and needed hands). Note there was no parking fee for the lot by the tram unless you took the tram. Hiking entrance is the far left of the parking lot thru the dirt lot.
Definitely recommend this hike but it is runnable only for short distances at top and near bottom. Fantastic views! Was out of breath going up but not tired at all when done – encouraging.