Ascent of Mount Lafayette on 2013-10-05

Climber: Steve Blanchette

Others in Party:Paul Blanchette -- Trip Report or GPS Track
Date:Saturday, October 5, 2013
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Mount Lafayette
    Location:USA-New Hampshire
    Elevation:5240 ft / 1597 m

Ascent Trip Report

Full Trip Summary:
My father and I had planned this as our season finale in the Whites. We parked at Lafayette Place parking lot around 7am and took the Old Bridle Path up to the AMC hut. Had some amazing views of the foliage through Franconia Notch and over towards Cannon Mt. The tops of Lafayette and Lincoln were covered in clouds but we hoped the cloud cover would lift before we got to summit. We got an impromptu tour of the hut by a lady working there and learned how to book a stay online. From AMC hut we got on Greenleaf trail heading towards Lafayette summit. The clouds unfortunately dropped and we stopped at 4500 ft to take some pictures and enjoy the view as we were about to enter the clouds.
The summit of Lafayette had the remnants of a foundation and everyone was relaxing and eating lunch there to avoid the wind. We decided it was a good idea and ate lunch there.
From there we headed down ridgeline trial to, and over, Mt. Truman, Mt. Lincoln, and Little Haystack. We occasionally could see off the edge of the ridgeline down to trees below but never got a good view. As a big part of this loop is the amazing 360 degree views I was disappointed we were socked in. The trial itself was nice and the views up to the clouds were very good though.
Heading down from Haystack you hike along a stream for awhile and come across some nice waterfalls. This mixed with the foliage made for a nice descent. This apparently is a VERY popular hike as we had to have passed at least 300 people, not exaggerating, on this hike. Apparently we were doing this loop backwards, as most people go from haystack towards Lafayette but even so it was rather crowded and we often had to get off trail to let groups of 20-30 people by.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:3555 ft / 1083 m
    Total Elevation Loss:425 ft / 128 m
    Round-Trip Distance:4.5 mi / 7.2 km
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail
    Weather:Drizzle, Cool, Breezy, Low Clouds
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:3555 ft / 1083 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 3470 ft / 1058 m; Extra: 85 ft / 25m
    Loss on way in:85 ft / 25 m
    Distance:4 mi / 6.4 km
    Route:Old Bridle Path / Greenleaf Trail
    Start Trailhead:Lafayette Place  1770 ft / 539 m
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:340 ft / 103 m
    Distance:0.5 mi / 0.8 km
    Route:Franconia Ridge Trail / AT
    End Trailhead:Col to Truman  4900 ft / 1493 m
Ascent Part of Trip: Lafayette Lincoln loop

Complete Trip Sequence:
1Mount Lafayette2013-10-05 a3555 ft / 1084 m
2Mount Truman2013-10-05 b100 ft / 30 m
3Mount Lincoln2013-10-05 c239 ft / 73 m
4Little Haystack2013-10-05 d120 ft / 37 m
Total Trip Gain: 4014 ft / 1224 m    Total Trip Loss: 4014 ft / 1225 m

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