Franconia Ridge Dayhike - 12/Oct/96

By David Metsky

Here's a map of the route we followed.

Just two weeks after doing this trip with some folks from work, my friend Terry and some people from her work wanted to do the same trip. This was on Columbus Day weekend, so there would be large crowds, but the weather and company were nice so Brenda and I decided to drive up on Saturday morning and join them.

We decided to do the trip in reverse of the previous trip, up Falling Waters and down Old Bridal Path. The ascent was pretty uneventful, but there were far more people then two weeks ago. About half way up, Terry and her friends elected to go slowly, and probably return back the way they came up. Brenda, Joe, and I continue up, running into hoare frost and ice as we approached the ridge. When we got to the top of Little Haystack, there were views in all directions; north to Lincoln, south to Liberty and Flume, and west to Cannon. There were about 2 dozen people up there as we ate an early lunch, and a steady stream of people coming off the ridge.

Then we headed north along the ridge. You could see people standing on the summit of Lincoln from Little Haystack. We got to the top in less than 30 minutes. It was Brenda's sixth 4000' so we commemorated it on film. The view of Lafayette was spectacular. There was also very nice views south along the ridge to Little Haystack, Liberty, and Flume. To the east you could see Mt Washington behind the Twins and Bonds. On the rocks near the summit were wonderful patterns of ice on the rocks. After one more photo of Joe and I we headed on to Lafayette.

The trip to Lafayette was uneventful, but still wonderful. There were bunches of people heading south on the ridge, but it was fine. When we got to the summit we had to take another picture of Brenda on her seventh 4000'. There were more great ice formations and one more shot of Joe and Brenda with Mt Washington in the distant background. Franconia Ridge was still inviting, but it was time to head down.

From the summit to the hut was frosty and clear and had lots of people headed in both directions. It was a little icy but easy to negotiate. Near treeline there were some nice views back up to Lincoln and down to the Old Bridal Path. The hut was complete jammed with people, at least 100 were inside or resting in front. I talked to the hut croo, including some folks I'd met the previous trip. This was the last weekend of operation and lots of friends were coming up to help for the closedown.

The view back up to the summit was one of the nicest I'd ever seen up there. We reluctantly packed up after a snack and rest and headed back down the Old Bridal Path. At the Bus Stop, a rocky ledge half way down, I stopped for the final pictures of the day; Lincoln and the Old Bridal Path. We made it to the parking lot, still mostly full, and headed out to meet the rest of the group for dinner. A wonderful time above treeline on a beautiful clear day.

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