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View Full Version : Lincoln/Lafayette Franconia Ridge loop hike



Addicted
08-29-2010, 02:34 PM
We had an incredible day on the ridge! I'm so glad we decided to do this hike and glad we did the loop. We couldn't have asked for better weather! We headed up the Falling Waters Tr and it was great. We did have to work to get to the summit of Little Haystack, but it was worth it. It was only the last mile or so that was a real climb, and the rocks along the waterfalls.

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It was nice that the scrub just spit us above tree line and on the summit of Little Haystack. We had views in every direction! I took a lot of pictures and then we added a longsleeve and headed across the ridge. It wasn't cold by any means, but there was enough of a breeze that an extra layer was nice. The trip over to Lincoln was fairly easy, scrambling over some rocks, but there were great views down into the slides and back down to the Notch, Cannon, and Owl's Head and the Bonds on the other side.

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We summited Lincoln but didn't stay too long. We wanted to wait till Lafayette to take a nice long break. It was cool to look ahead and see the long ridge and the mountain waiting.

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We made it over to Lafayette, pretty tired but excited to make it. It was loaded with people, as I knew it would be on a day as perfect as today! We saw a silent 'glider' plane doing loops around the summits which was cool. Freaky cause it didn't make a sound and then all of a sudden it would be right over our heads. At times it was down below us even. There was a guy sleeping in his sleeping bag on the summit, and a hiker in a kilt. Lots to look at and watch. I took lots of pics, took a break, then we headed on down to the Hut.

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There was a long line of hikers heading to the hut, and a long decent of rocks. It was nice that they were in 'step' form, so it was like a hike down a really long flight of stairs with great views!
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We made it to the hut and were ready for another break. Still lots of great views from here. Glad we did the loop CCW, as I think the views would have been different (and maybe dishearting at this point!)

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I took a last couple of shots of the Greenleaf Hut and the mountains looming behind/above it.

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We headed down over the lumps, our knees starting to feel the pain. There were some tough rock sections on the way down (especially with bad knees) but the Old Bridle Path was really nice in the end, which is when we really needed a break from the rocks. Our knees slowed us down a lot,and we were passed by just about everyone we saw on the trip that day.
Although we were in a lot of pain coming off the trail, it was still an amazing trip and I'm sure I'll be back again. I couldn't stop taking pics and stopping to take in the views. Had I done this as a solo hike I'm sure I could have turned it into a 12 hour adventure.

mtruman
08-29-2010, 07:16 PM
Great TR and pics! What a fantastic day for Franconia Ridge (and just about anywhere in the Whites) yesterday. I was thinking about you while we were on Tripyramids and wondering if you were having as perfect a day as we did. Obviously the answer is YES! I know what you mean about making it a 12 hour adventure - it's really hard to tear yourself away from those views on the ridge. Just want to wander around up there taking it all in. I also know what you mean about your knees - this one can give them a bit of a pounding. I'm sure that you're right about doing it again because now that you've been there you're obviously, uh, Addicted. :D Thanks for taking us on the journey. I'm sure that those planning to do this next weekend are now even more anxious!!

Snow Miser
08-30-2010, 07:47 AM
Very nice trail report and photos! What a beautiful day you had to be up on the ridge.

I'm planning this hike for next weekend and you have certainly given me something to really look forward to.:) Thanks for sharing your adventure with us.

Addicted
08-30-2010, 09:14 AM
Hope you guys have as great weather as we did! Jefferson is up next (Flags on the 48) and although I've done it before, I'm going with a couple first timers to that mountain and hope the weather is good. I'm starting to wonder just how lucky we can get! I'm looking forward to a nice 'short' hike!

KSearl
08-31-2010, 08:38 AM
Great trail report and photos. Looks like you guys had a fantastic day. What was your overall time for the loop?

You've got me excited because my wife and I are doing this same trek on Thursday. I'm a bit worried about the weather though. It is supposed to be pretty hot and this is the longest hike we will have gone on yet. I'm hoping the temp drops a bit as we go above treeline. I'm sure it will be a tough hike for us regardless. A trail report like this on, is just what I needed!!! Thanks for sharing.

Karl

Addicted
08-31-2010, 12:20 PM
Our total loop time was 9.5 hours, which is a little long. I average 1 mile per hour usually, breaks included, so I rounded up to 9 hours. The knees REALLY slowed us down on the decent. Even on the bottom part of Old Bridal Path where it's really just a nice walk in the woods, we looked like a couple of crippled old ladies! We got passed by just about everyone, and I imagine their times were much better. My friend is also a little more cautious than I on the rocks, so I had to wait for her some. But it's a great hike.

My hands were cold at the top when I was taking pics, so there was quite a temp difference. The winds should cool you down some, although it is going to be HOT! I say start out really early, since there's no breeze on the way up, but you do have one for quite a ways on the way down. It'll be hot on the way down, but you can stop at the brook on your way out (it's almost at the trails end) and cool off! Good luck!

Trailsend
09-08-2010, 10:23 PM
Addicted I also did the same hike on that day and yes I have to agree that the views were awesome. Like you I hiked the same loop up Falling Water and down Old Bridle it took me 7 1/2 hours in total. We must have cross path because I saw the glider and the Thru Hiker in the sleeping bag as well.

Addicted
09-09-2010, 11:03 AM
How funny! I'm sure we did cross paths, cause we saw a lot of the same people all day long. You probably passed us on the decent. We were the lamed up looking ones that were letting everyone pass!

Trailsend
09-09-2010, 10:17 PM
How funny! I'm sure we did cross paths, cause we saw a lot of the same people all day long. You probably passed us on the decent. We were the lamed up looking ones that were letting everyone pass!

Yes I do remember you guys on the decent!!!!!
I was coming down with two other guys mid afternoon and when I passed what I assumed was you and your group. Small world!!