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Thread: Mt. Lafayette & Mt. Lincoln 9-11-2010

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    Default Mt. Lafayette & Mt. Lincoln 9-11-2010

    I wasn't in any of the groups flying the flags, but I did hike for the event to get 2 more 4Ks done and get some great pics of the event.



    Mt. Lafayette & Mt. Lincoln
    9-11-2010

    Old Bridal Path --> Greenleaf Trail --> Franconia Ridge Trail --> Falling Waters Trail

    Distance: 7.387 mi.
    Elevation Gain: 3,557 ft. or 3,787 ft combined round trip
    Time: 3:04 (base to Lafayette)
    0:42 (lafayette to Lincoln)
    5:51 (total hiking)

    The trail starts off nice and gentle getting you warmed up. It is mostly smooth and heads uphill only slightly. As you continue though the trail gets steaper and more rocky. It isn't all that hard going but if you do need a break there would be plenty of rocks to sit down on.


    Early part of the trail

    As the trail continues on it doesn't seem like you have gone very far before you finally start to get some views. At first they are little glimpses thru the trees of the tips of other mountains over the trees. Just a little higher though and you are treated to great views of the summit and the ridge leading up to it. As the trail continues there are multiple nice spots to stop and admire the view.


    View thru the trees


    Better view just a little higer

    From the views here it looked like the first of the "agonies" would be a hard part of the climb. As the trail gets closer it is pretty easy going and not overly rocky. When you get to the "agonies" The trail immediately gets steeper and rockier. After a section of this you get a nice view point that finally lets you see out to the West towards Cannon Mtn. the rest of the "agonies" don't really make the hike any harder since it seems like the trail skirts around them some with no major ups or downs until you get to the Greenleaf hut.


    Steep section of trail


    Cannon Mtn

    From the hut it still looks like you have quite a ways to hike by looking up the ridge. But you do since it is just over a mile and 1000 ft of elevation gain. From the hut the trail doesn't start off too bad. It isn't too rocky and doesn't go to steep. But as you get to the alpine zone you get more rocks and a steeper trail. This was probably the section for me that made my legs the most tired. You are also the most exposed to the wind on this section of trail.


    View of Lafayette from the hut


    The trail up Lafayette near the summit

    Once you do reach the summit you are rewarded with great views in all directions. When I got to the summit there was already a flag flying even though it was around 11am. I heard later that someone had been flying the flag all night at this spot. Before noon it was taken down so the group that had this peak would be the only one flying. It was great to watch the group raise up their flag and also nice to see them sing God Bless America once it was up. Everyone gave them a round of applause when they were done.


    Early flag at the summit


    Panoramic from the summit of Lafayette


    Putting the flag up

    The hike from Lafayette to Lincoln was easy as the trail as is easy to follow (lined with rocks on both sides) and it wasn't overly rocky. The climb up out of the dip isn't bad either. But you may not notice how hard it is with the great views in all directions. Since it was after noon, the flag was already flying at the summit of Lincoln. The group flying the flag here also brought a larger flag to fly for the last 30 minutes of the 2 hour period as they weren't sure if their pole would take the large flag in winds for the entire time. It was good to see them raise this up as I got to see a flag go up on two summits in the same day.


    The group that brought the flag(s) up Lincoln

    Once the flags had come down it was time to star the trek to Little Haystack Mtn and the trail back to the truck. This section of trail was also not too bad and goes around what would have been the hardest part of the ridge.


    Looking back up the ridge from Little Haystack

    The trail coming down the mountain starts off pretty steep and rocky, but is still not too bad when descending. You just need to take your time and plan your steps ahead of time. There aren't really any views while coming down the trail. As the trail does get a little further down the mountain it does get less steep and has fewer big rocks. And when you get to the lower sections you get to pass right next to and in front of multiple waterfalls. This section of trail seemed busier (even on a busy hiking day) due to the people only hiking up to the falls.


    One of the waterfalls on the way down

    All in all this hike was a great one with great weather. Even though it was a little windy to start. The views from the ridge are spectacular and make it hard for you to want to leave and go home. I especially like the fact that you can look out to the Eastern side of the ridge and see no signs of civilization and only nature at it's finest.

    For all the pictures from the hike, just go HERE

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    Thumbs up

    Adam,
    A terrific photographic essay of your hike to Lafayette and Lincoln.
    It is so easy to take many, many photographs on such a picture-perfect day.

    Donna

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    Great pics. Love the blue sky in all the pictures!

    What did you think of the clockwise loop, up Bridle and down Falling Waters? Everyone urged us to do it the opposite way, up Falling Waters and down Bridle due to steepness. Going down the Greenleaf and Bridle, I didn't feel there was much difference. I thought going up the Bridle may have actually been a better way. Of course, you don't know until you try it. Also, once you hit treeline on the Greenleaf, I'm sure the hike becomes very long because it is exposed for a very long way. What did you think?

    Thanks,
    Karl

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    Great report and great pics of a great late summer day in the Whites! Thanks for sharing!

    KDT

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    My God, what a gorgeous day that was!! Simply amazing pictures of my favorite place in the Whites. The flags flying from the summits make it perfect. Your picture looking back from Little Haystack along the ridge is about as good as any I've ever seen. Takes my breath away as always. Thanks for taking us along.
    Mark

    Keep close to Nature's heart...
    and break clear away, once in awhile,
    and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods.
    Wash your spirit clean. - John Muir


    Hiking photos: http://picasaweb.google.com/mtruman42
    Hiking Blog: http://theramblingsblog.blogspot.com/
    Seek the 2011 Peak page: Mark Truman's Pledge Page

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    Great TR and photos! The flags look so nice flying on such a perfect day. This loop is next on my list - can't wait after seeing your photos. Thanks for sharing.
    Bob

    I never want to see a day
    That's over forty degrees
    I'd rather have it thirty,
    Twenty, ten, five and let it freeeeEEEEEEeeze!

    My Seek the Peak 2013 Photo Set

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    Quote Originally Posted by KSearl View Post
    Great pics. Love the blue sky in all the pictures!

    What did you think of the clockwise loop, up Bridle and down Falling Waters? Everyone urged us to do it the opposite way, up Falling Waters and down Bridle due to steepness. Going down the Greenleaf and Bridle, I didn't feel there was much difference. I thought going up the Bridle may have actually been a better way. Of course, you don't know until you try it. Also, once you hit treeline on the Greenleaf, I'm sure the hike becomes very long because it is exposed for a very long way. What did you think?

    Thanks,
    Karl
    Having not done it the other way I can't do a fair comparison, but I can share my thoughts. I did it this direction so that I could get the higher peak done first. This way it would seem like less climbing in the second half. I can see why people wouldn't be as eager to go down the falling waters trail since it is steep and rocky at the top. But as long as you plan your steps and don't go too fast, you should make it down without problems just fine. After hiking the direction I did, I don't think I would like it as much in the other direction. Going clockwise you get multiple views on the way up that keep you climbing letting you see what you are going for. The falling waters trail seems like you wouldn't have a view until you got up to Little Haystack.

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