Ascent of Mount Lafayette on 2020-07-25

Climber: Map Man

Date:Saturday, July 25, 2020
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Mount Lafayette
    Location:USA-New Hampshire
    Elevation:5240 ft / 1597 m

Ascent Trip Report

On our third ascent of Mt. Lafayette, we chose to try out the crowd-free northern approach from the Skookumchuck Trail. Overall, though less scenic than the Falling Waters Loop, it was well worth avoiding the insane parking area (which hundreds of hikers are now illegally walking down the highway from the Boise Rock pulloff to access). At the beginning, the trail leads across mostly easy grades before turning up the Skookumchuck Brook Valley and following the brook for a while. On this mid-summer day, the brook was still flowing well and was cool and refreshing. After a long section along the brook, which could easily get muddy in the spring, the trail takes an abrupt turn uphill and climbs a nicely built stone staircase. The trail climbs along the ridge through very scenic forest in a long and moderate approach to Garfield Ridge. Except for one blowdown patch, the trail is in the forest for the whole ascent until it breaks out into the alpine zone and intersects Garfield Ridge Trail. The junction with Garfield Ridge is at a really nice open shoulder with a different view into the northern valley of the Pemigewasset Wilderness. The last 0.7-mile segment over the north peak has spectacular views and plenty of alpine scenery; it's just as nice as the Franconia Ridge Trail coming from Falling Waters. This section of course was much busier than Skookumchuck Trail. Whereas we only encountered one group there, there was constant traffic here. We saw several hikers who were on their way for the Pemi Loop. The summit was the most crowded of all, so we didn't stay long. There were so many hikers crammed into the small summit space, you could smell the sunscreen in the air. They really ought to impose a parking fee for that trailhead. We hung out on the north peak for lunch break, which has nearly the same view as the summit. The descent was quick and easy, and we headed home late afternoon.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:3740 ft / 1139 m
    Total Elevation Loss:3740 ft / 1139 m
    Round-Trip Distance:10.2 mi / 16.4 km
    Quality:10 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail
    Weather:Hot, Calm, Clear
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:3640 ft / 1109 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 3540 ft / 1079 m; Extra: 100 ft / 30m
    Loss on way in:100 ft / 30 m
    Distance:5.1 mi / 8.2 km
    Route:Skookumchuck Tr/Garfield Ridge Tr
    Start Trailhead:Franconia Notch Bike Path  1700 ft / 518 m
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:3640 ft / 1109 m
        Loss Breakdown:Net: 3540 ft / 1079 m; Extra: 100 ft / 30m
    Gain on way out:100 ft / 30 m
    Distance:5.1 mi / 8.2 km
    Route:Garfield Ridge Tr/Skookumchuck Tr
    End Trailhead:Franconia Notch Bike Path  1700 ft / 518 m
Ascent Part of Trip: Lafayette via Skookumchuck

Complete Trip Sequence:
1Mount Lafayette-North Peak2020-07-25 a 
2Mount Lafayette2020-07-25 b3740 ft / 1140 m
Total Trip Gain: 3740 ft / 1140 m    Total Trip Loss: 3740 ft / 1140 m
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Map Man
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Note: GPS Tracks may not be accurate, and may not show the best route. Do not follow this route blindly. Conditions change frequently. Use of a GPS unit in the outdoors, even with a pre-loaded track, is no substitute for experience and good judgment. accepts NO responsibility or liability from use of this data.

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