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Ascent of Mount Lafayette on 2017-07-21

Climber: Kevin Spillman

Date:Friday, July 21, 2017
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Mount Lafayette
    Location:USA-New Hampshire
    Elevation:5240 ft / 1597 m

Ascent Trip Report

Completed the Franconia Ridge Trail Loop from the parking lot right off of I-93. Left right around 9:15am and took the Falling Waters Trail to the summit of Little Haystack Mountain. There were a few incredible looking waterfalls right away that were a lot of fun to hike next to. The hike was much more difficult that I had anticipated. Not hard in a technical sense but just a steady incline the whole way - I was exhausted by the end! Took me 2 hours to reach the top of Little Haystack from the trail.

The views from the top of Little Haystack and for the rest of the trip were 100% worth the tough 2 hour hike to get to the ridge line. The vistas from the top are amazing and it is really awesome to see the ridge line you will be taking from Little Haystack to Lincoln (Lafayette is obscured behind Lincoln). Of all of my hikes thus far this was by far the most impressive.

After a quick stop at the top of Little Haystack I made my way across the ridge to the top of Mount Lincoln which only took 30 minutes. My muscles had tightened a bit after the brief stop so the climb up to the next peak was a little tough. The view from the top of Lincoln was even better as you could look at both the summit of Little Haystack and Lafayette.

At this point it was 11:30am and the route was very busy with a lot of day hikers and even a few AT thru-hikers. I ran into a little bit of a traffic jam heading up the final stretch to the summit of Lafayette but I made it there by about 12:00pm. Again the views from the top are out of this world - I really recommend this peak. I was able to get a good look at my route down the far ridge line past the AMC Greenleaf Hut.

I stayed on the summit to grab lunch and to enjoy the view while I had it. I left right at 12:15pm on the Greenleaf Trail to head to the hut. I had places to get to back in CT that night or I would have stayed a bit longer on the top. Once I got down to the AMC hut I refilled my water and snapped a few pictures. The vantage point halfway down the mountain was amazing - looking at the towering ridge line above is awe-inspiring.

After the hut I took Old Bridle Path down to the trail head. Every once in a while the trail would pop back out from under the tree coverage to offer more incredible views of the mountains above. Definitely made the trek down that much easier! Once I was under the cover of trees for good it was a long road down - very rocky that made the going slower than I would have preferred. I was able to make it to the car right around 2:15pm making the entire loop a 5 hour trip.

The path up was really tough and the last few miles down were a little annoying to deal with but the trip was incredible and made me fall in love with the White Mountains. If you are reading this, do the Franconia Ridge Loop! You will not regret it - I know I will be back.
Summary Total Data
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Scramble
Ascent Statistics
    Time:3 Hours 0 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Time:2 Hours 0 Minutes
Ascent Part of Trip: Lafayette

Complete Trip Sequence:
OrderPeak/PointDateGain
1Little Haystack2017-07-21 
2Mount Lincoln2017-07-21 
3Mount Lafayette2017-07-21 



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