Ascent of Mount Lafayette on 2020-09-21

Climber: Gustav Sexauer

Others in Party:Katrina
Date:Monday, September 21, 2020
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Mount Lafayette
    Location:USA-New Hampshire
    Elevation:5240 ft / 1597 m

Ascent Trip Report

From Lincoln it was a short hike down to the saddle and up to Lafayette. The elevation loss didn't really matter, we were just so happy with the day. There were maybe four groups enjoying the summit when we arrived, but one person in particular set his poles on the highest rock and took longer than necessary to text someone and walk away while we were waiting for the summit. The benchmark was not at the top, but right in the trail next to the summit boulder. There's a large windbreak that looks like a building foundation and other rocks make good shelters as well. We spent some time snacking and looking around. Most of Vermont's Green Mountains are visible and of course Mt. Washington, too. All of the great hikes between here in the Presidentials that I could see the summits of seemed to pale in comparison to the peak we were on today.

On the way down we had a fun perspective of Cannon Mountain and the tram being far below us. I pointed at the Cannon parking lot and said that's about how far away the base of Jackson Hole is when you're about to ski from the summit. The large cliffs that loom above you on the interstate look so small and far below. We passed the lodge at the junction to turn onto the Old Bridle Trail, but didn't go in. We enjoyed a view of the lake next to it, though. Then it was down to the trailhead, but to our surprise we ended up on a somewhat exposed ridge a few more times and had good views of the slides on Lafayette and Lincoln. This way was functionally steeper than the Falling Waters Trail and didn't have hardly any steps. The trail is more eroded as well. Regardless, the way the views are presented make counterclockwise the preferable way to hike this loop. When we got back to the car we were basking in the afternoon sun and it was T-shirt and Chaco weather for the last full day of summer.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:511 ft / 155 m
    Total Elevation Loss:3815 ft / 1162 m
    Round-Trip Distance:4.1 mi / 6.5 km
    Grade/Class:Class 1
    Quality:10 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail
    Weather:Cool, Calm, Clear
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:431 ft / 131 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 151 ft / 46 m; Extra: 280 ft / 85m
    Loss on way in:280 ft / 85 m
    Distance:0.4 mi / 0.7 km
    Start Trailhead:Mount Lincoln  5089 ft / 1551 m
    Time:20 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:3535 ft / 1077 m
        Loss Breakdown:Net: 3455 ft / 1053 m; Extra: 80 ft / 24m
    Gain on way out:80 ft / 24 m
    Distance:3.6 mi / 5.8 km
    Route:Greenleaf - Old Bridle Trails
    End Trailhead:Falling Waters TH  1785 ft / 544 m
    Time:3 Hours 7 Minutes

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