The Franconia Ridge
One negative about a counterclockwise circuit is that if you find yourself in the maw of a storm blowing out of the northwest it can be a long hike from Lafayette summit to the hut and you must plow ahead directly into the face of it. Traveling clockwise, you reach the relative shelter of the trees quickly and high on the ridge near Little Haystack. Another benefit of a clockwise circuit is that when you reach Little Haystack, depending on the vagaries of the day and the group, you have the option of continuing on the ridge to Mt Liberty before descending. I never found it a problem to get a lift back to my car from Liberty Spring trailhead. All things are relative and after you have made the circuit several times in each direction the distinctions fall away; it is a great hike in either direction.
Myths can't be translated as they did in their ancient soil. We can only find our own meaning in our own time. -Margaret Atwood, writer (1939-)
ok so we did the counterclockwise loop of it on Sept 30th. sunny at the start (8am). by the time we got to Little Haystack we could really hear the wind blowing from the west. i looked off towards Cannon and though "uh oh, clouds on the way in". by the time we got to Lincoln we were socked in with cloud and winds gusting 40-55mph. no view at all. :-( we didn't get out of the cloud until we were almost at Greenleaf Hut. the views on the Bridal path were awesome though. that was our first experience with hiking in the clouds and it made me a little nervous seeing as it was our first time on that loop. i gotta say it was still easier than the Tuckerman ascent/Boott Spurr descent we did 2 days prior.
Congrats on Franconia Ridge #1. Sounds like you got the full spectrum treatment. Now that you've been there you have to go back. Each time has something unique (and wonderful) to offer.
oh we'll definately be back. we had a great week in the Whites. we got hikes of Chocoura, Washington, Franconia Ridge and Willard in. weather couldn't have been better for every one but 1 hr of the Franconia Ridge.
Originally Posted by mtruman
I'd cast another vote for counter-clockwise, although I have to admit I haven't done it clockwise. I like hanging out, if only for a few minutes, at Greenleaf on the way down, looking back up at Lafayette, and thinking "yeah, I did that!".