Ascent of Mount Lafayette on 2011-09-11

Climber: Matt DiFrancesco

Others in Party:Chris Nastasi
Date:Sunday, September 11, 2011
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Mount Lafayette
    Location:USA-New Hampshire
    Elevation:5240 ft / 1597 m

Ascent Trip Report

Second hike with old friend Chris Nastasi. Did Franconia Ridge this time, on the day of the 10th anniversary of 9-11 attacks, so lots of flags being flown in memory.

Ascent via Falling Waters Trail went quickly at first, slowed dramatically after the final waterfall. Stopped for a while at Shining Rock, before dragging up to the summit. Nice views across the notch to be had there. Didn't note the time taken, but it was near 4 hours to ascend I think.

Windy along the ridge, though a little less so than yesterday on Moosilauke. Good views to be had below the cloud deck, though Lafayette was completely in the clouds. Put on fleece at the top of Haystack, we arrived at the summit just in time to see Lincoln, Liberty, Flume, and Cannon Flags go up around noon. Traversed to Lincoln and ate lunch there. Group of boyscouts manning the flag for this summit, they were cooking hotdogs in the lee side of the rocks on the summit, they gave a couple extras to a pair of thru-hikers passing through North. Getting late to finish the AT guys!.

Made way over to Lafayette, which was still mostly socked in. Got there just before 2PM, when they pulled down the flag. We didn't stay long, we made our way down to the hut, there before 3 at which point the ridge cleared completely of all clouds! Figures. Rested for a little and picked up some water in the hut, then headed down. uneventful trip down, back at car around 5 I think.

Trails were in good shape except the lower 0.2 miles of the Old Bridle Path, which was eroded about 3 feet deep in spots and looked more like a stream bed than a trail, so much in fact that we though we were in the wrong spot for a moment or two.

Don't remember the climb up FWT being that long! The trail itself is fine, but after the last waterfall the grade picks up heavily and is basically 2 miles of rock stairs.

#2 (Lincoln) and #3 (Lafayette) on the NH4K for Chris.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:390 ft / 118 m
    Total Elevation Loss:3510 ft / 1069 m
    Round-Trip Distance:4.9 mi / 7.9 km
    Quality:5 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail
    Weather:Cool, Breezy, Low Clouds
Ridge in-and-out of Clouds, Lafayette socked in
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:340 ft / 103 m
    Distance:0.9 mi / 1.5 km
    Route:Franconia Ridge Trail
    Start Trailhead:Lafayette/Lincoln Col  4900 ft / 1493 m
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:3510 ft / 1069 m
        Loss Breakdown:Net: 3460 ft / 1055 m; Extra: 50 ft / 15m
    Gain on way out:50 ft / 15 m
    Distance:4 mi / 6.4 km
    Route:Greenleaf Trail, Old Bridle Path
    End Trailhead:Lafayette Campground Parking  1780 ft / 542 m
    Time:3 Hours 
Ascent Part of Trip: Franconia Ridge 9-11-11 (0 nights total away from roads)

Complete Trip Sequence:
1Little Haystack2011-09-112980 ft / 908 m
2Mount Lincoln2011-09-11459 ft / 140 m
3Mount Lafayette2011-09-11390 ft / 119 m
Total Trip Gain: 3829 ft / 1167 m    Total Trip Loss: 3829 ft / 1167 m

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