Trip report

Franconia Ridge Traverse

Hiking/Walk DATE: 10/06/2018 - 10/06/2018

Trip/Event Location: Franconia, NH
US

Trip Leader(s): Homesteadman

Max # People: 8

Trip Guiding / Event Fee: No, I will not be asking participants for money

Difficulty Level: Moderate to Strenuous

About 9 miles, we will take the Falling Waters Trail ascending to the ridge at Little Haystack, across the open ridge to Mt Lafayette, descend to Greenleaf Hut and down the Bridle Path Trail to the tr...
Driving directions to the location and spot to meet at: Parking is on both sides of I-93. From the south, trailhead will be immediately to your right when the road narrows to one lane. You will see a sign directing you to take the ramp for the trailhead. From the north, exit at campground for parking and take the pedestrian tunnel under I-93. I have a silver Nissan 4X4 truck. Meet by the sign near the toilets.
Trip Report/Photos
Featured Photo Serendipity and a couple of texts brought 6 of us fairly effortlessly to a parking lot north of the trailhead, from which we walked about 1.5 miles along a paved bike path to the trailhead where two of our party were waiting, but I couldn't reach them to let them know we were coming so they started on ahead where they stayed all day. Beautiful fall colors and multiple cascades were the focus of the first 1.7 miles, then the real climb began and we leapfrogged various groups along the way to the top where there were more people than live in my hometown (about 30). There were a lot more! We snacked on Little Haystack and donned additional layers, windbreaker, and cap and gloves. There was no real sense of height as we set out across the 5000' ridge, though the dense fog was eerily pleasant. No comparison to the stunning grandeur of the mt in clear weather, but still beautiful in its own right. Overall the ridge was mild w/moderate wind, though we did manage to lunch in a spot a bit sheltered from the wind. The fog intensified as we climbed Franconia. No view of the hut below. On the top of Franconia I began to hear rumors (ok, just note...this is being said facetiously) that our group was involved in a harsh attack using a partially consumed apple thrown w/full force against the back of a stranger's head from 2 feet away. I deny any knowledge of such a thing, as do all of the group, or at least that is my recommendation. Nor is it true that we laughed as the story was retold on the descent. Concussions and apples are just not funny, well, I guess it depends on who's doing the telling, but still...moving on....I was always impressed w/the superb attitude of this group and people were talking as we left the top that we should return, totally impromptu, to redo this hike on a clearer day. The hut was not seen until we were probably under 100 yards away. At that sighting a guy in front of me exclaimed w/complete surprise "is that a house?" And when I said "it's the hut," he turned and in complete sincerity asked "do they sell beer?" And I realized I had failed as a leader. I should have urged our group to each carry 1 beer which we could easily sell for $20 or more if auctioned. Indeed, the hut had $3/piece cookies for sale...capitalism shining bright at 4000'. The rest of the descent was uneventful but I don't doubt that there was a continuous stream of hikers from top to bottom and impressively to me, everyone was friendly, courteous, unobtrusive, just happy, as we were, to appreciate the trail, mt, and friends. In fact, twice I just joined into the conversation of the person in front of me and once joined in the 20 questions game of the person behind. And they didnt seem to mind, well, unless they feared I was part of the gang throwing apples, which I wasn't. We continued along the bike path to our vehicles, everyone tired but expressing happiness w/the day and talking of what hike is next. A remarkably companionable group of guys offering a positive attitude, good and varied conversation, warmth and humor. I'm thankful to you all.

  There are 26 photos in Album (Note: Move mouse pointer over larger pic and click on NEXT for better viewing)

Members That Participated

Homesteadman

Outdoor Fitness Level: Moderate to Strenuous


Caratunk, ME


United States
MO

Outdoor Fitness Level: Moderate to Strenuous


Scarborough, ME


United States
phoenix

Outdoor Fitness Level: Moderate to Strenuous


Somersworth, NH


United States
dpbyrnes

Outdoor Fitness Level: Moderate to Strenuous


Ipswich, MA


United States
Scorpione

Outdoor Fitness Level: Moderate


Boston / Cape Ann, MA


United States
baezfred

Outdoor Fitness Level: Moderate to Strenuous


Wiscasset, ME


United States
bap4201

Outdoor Fitness Level: Easy to Moderate


Belgrade Lakes, ME


United States
TIMber64

Outdoor Fitness Level: Moderate to Strenuous


Windham, ME


United States
phoenix Oct 7, 2018 at 11:10 PM

Thanks Andy for leading this classic hike - a 8.75 mile trek with a vertical rise of 3750 feet into the clouds! The real challenge was to find legal parking spots on Columbus Day weekend. Without any preplanning, six of us luckily found parking (and each other) at a I-93 southbound turnout near the lower end of Profile Lake. Then we walked about 1.5 miles on the bike path to the trailhead.

baezfred Oct 7, 2018 at 10:43 PM

if you guys give me your E-mails I can send you the pics I took. I don't think I can send them through here. I tried posting them)

baezfred Oct 7, 2018 at 10:40 PM

if you guys give me your E-mails I can send you the pics I took. I don't think I can send them through here. I tried posting them)

Scorpione Oct 7, 2018 at 9:42 PM

P.S. My own downgrade; certainly not D's.

Scorpione Oct 7, 2018 at 9:29 PM

Grievously separated by adverse fortune from the Group, longing for it, striving in the impossible quest to catch up - very tired at the end and considering …..a downgrade to moderate - we tried to console ourselves by looking at the steady flow of youth in the swirling fog; a lean and mean Canadian with classical Greek/Michelangelesque anatomy for D; a stocky, black-bearded Asian bear for me. Beautiful hike. Thank You Andy. Luciano

TIMber64 Oct 7, 2018 at 5:18 PM

Andy- Thanks for posting one the most iconic hikes in the Whites. You drove quite a distance to make this hike possible and your leadership skills are commendable. David & Luciano - you were surely missed as we looked for you often! Awesome group of guys with wonderful Fall air.

baezfred Oct 7, 2018 at 2:38 PM

Thank you so much for organizing this, Andy. It was such an honor and pleasure to spend the day with a phenomenal group of guys. You all rock! I enjoyed the challenge and the many laughs, although we never got to hear Mo's story about the "weird guy" nor the "gummy bear" story. I am looking forward to next weekend's hike! I am so proud of myself for being able to keep up with everyone and graduating to "moderate to strenuous level" Yippee!

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