Ascent of Little Haystack on 2012-07-18

Climber: Spencer Corcoran

Date:Wednesday, July 18, 2012
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Little Haystack
    Location:USA-New Hampshire
    Elevation:4760 ft / 1450 m

Ascent Trip Report

After a month or two of planning, I finally did the famous Lafayette-Lincoln-Little Haystack loop.

My Dad and I left the house at about 5 AM, stopped at a Dunkin's, and arrived at the trailhead parking lot about two hours after we left. (I don't remember start, summit, and end times, so I'll indicate times roughly.) We put on our packs, walked under I-93, and then got going.

The first 0.2 miles, which I think is the Old Bridle Path and Falling Waters Trail co-signed (correct me if I'm wrong), was easy and passed through shady woods and by a river. There was also a large pit to the side. We quickly reached a junction. At this point, the OBP went left and the FWT went right. If you read/voted on/commented on my post asking about which direction to take the loop, you might have found that the input was a little mixed. Anyway, I mentioned to my Dad that the FWT is rough to descend, and that we could stop at the Greenleaf Hut at the end, so we went up the FWT, therefore doing the loop clockwise.

The Falling Waters Trail started off relatively easy. It went through the same shady woods and continued to pass by the river. There were a few parts that were more moderate, but they were nothing. The trail dipped down a little in spots, but quickly regained the lost elevation. There was also a water crossing early on, which was one of many along the trail. After that, the trail steadily got more moderate, and it later passed by the first of a few waterfalls. After that waterfall, the trail had a few steeper parts, but was still generally moderate. Soon, we came to another bigger waterfall. I quickly took a video, and my Dad took pictures. We then continued on the trail, which went to the side.

The trail still passed by the river, and it reached the biggest waterfall. We took more video and pictures, and went back on the trail, which ascends rather roughly beside the falls.

After that steep spot, the trail got less steep and more constant and went away from the river a little into woods. It then went over another water crossing and then went away from the river into different shady woods.

This next section of the FWT started off easy and then made the first of many switchbacks. The grade was mostly moderate, and the woods through which it went were very dark and shady, with the occasional beam of sun and view. Overall, this section was uneventful until after the trail to Shining Rock.

After that, the trail got steeper, rockier, and more slick; however, the views got better. Soon, we got above treeline, and the views were wide, and the trail was rocky. We shortly reached the junction with the Franconia Range Trail, which is also co-signed with the Appalachian Trail. We were pretty much at Little Haystack's summit, so we checked it out a little.

Little Haystack's 4,760 ft. summit was wide and open, and the views were 360 all around. Notable points were Cannon Mtn, Mounts Liberty and Flume, and Mount Lincoln. After sticking around for a few minutes, we continued to Mt. Lincoln.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:3000 ft / 914 m
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail
    Weather:Cool, Windy, Partly Cloudy
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:3000 ft / 914 m
    Distance:3.2 mi / 5.2 km
    Route:Falling Waters Trail
    Start Trailhead:Lafayette Place  1760 ft / 536 m
Descent Statistics
Ascent Part of Trip: Franconia Range

Complete Trip Sequence:
1Little Haystack2012-07-183000 ft / 914 m
2Mount Lincoln2012-07-18400 ft / 122 m
3Mount Truman2012-07-18120 ft / 37 m
4Mount Lafayette2012-07-18360 ft / 110 m
5Greenleaf Knob2012-07-18 
Total Trip Gain: 3880 ft / 1183 m    Total Trip Loss: 3550 ft / 1082 m

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