Mount Lafayette and Mount Lincoln (#3 & #4)

Date of Hike: 12/24/09

Old Bridle Path: 2.9 miles
Greenleaf Trail: 1.1 miles
Franconia Ridge Trail: 1.7 miles
Falling Waters Trail: 3.0 miles
Total Miles: 8.9 (3,9000 elevation gain)

Trip Report
- On trail at 7:45am, finished at 1:15pm.  Weather at trailhead was 20 degrees, stayed in the 20's for most of the hike with wind chills in the teens above treeline.  Winds were out of the North at 30-40 MPH.  Temps rose to mid 30's near the end of hike
- Excellent views to the north, east, and south.  Views to the west had an undercast at about 3,000 to 3,500 feet creating a wave of clouds crashing into Cannon Mountain
- Used snow shoes until greenleaf hut, then switched to microspikes, then put crampons and ice axe for last half mile to summit. Kept crampons on until Little Haystack which was an overkill, they weren't needed at all
- My fingers got chilly from hut to summit until I switched over to my mitts which for the second strait day worked wonders!
- Views on ridge were ridiculously awesome, Pemi was snow frosted over above 3,500 feet. View of presidential range rising above the South and North Twin were crystal clear
- Passed three hikers on ridge doing the loop from the opposite direction, one of them (Rocket21) gave me a card for the website New England Trail Conditions (click link to view!) which has trail conditions and much more!
- Descended Falling Waters Trail very qucikly as snow covers all the rocks on the trail that slow you down in the summer
- Forgot one of my mom's old hiking poles at Lafayette summit, not to bummed about it as they always seem to get in the way!

Pictures:  Click here for all pictures

View from Old Bridle Path

Lonsome Lake, North and South Kinsman

Greenleaf Hut and Mount Lafayette

Undercast wave of clouds crashing into Cannon Mountain

View of Galehead, Twin Mountains, & Presidential Range

Franconia Ridge

Mount Washington

Owl's Head and the Bonds

West Bond, Bond, and Bondcliff

Presidential Range from Little Haystack Mountain

Greenleaf Hut

Mount Lincoln from Little Haystack


  1. Chris, this is the first season I've tried winter hiking, so I'm "gearing up". Under what trail conditions are full crampons required? So far, snowshoes and microspikes have been adequate, but I've been hiking at lower elevations.

  2. Hi Ethan,

    This is actually my first winter hiking as well so I am learning as I go as well, especially yesterday. I could have kept the snowshoes on the whole way up to Lafayette summit but when I switched to microspikes at the hut I figured the conditions would be a little more ice and rocky above treeline to the summit when in fact it was a packed hard crusted snow. My microspikes are old and worn and they became useless about a half mile from the summit, so I figured I tried out my new crampons eventhough snowshoes would have been fine, the crampons were awesome for that last half mile. However I should have taken them off on Franconia Ridge because there were lots of spots where there was very little snow and ice and conditions weren't "hairy" enough to leave them on and the parts where I had to walk on bare rock were a pain.

    What I find helpful is to read other people trail conditions and trip reports on websites such as views from the top, rocks on top, new england trail conditions

    hope this helps, Happy Hiking!