Hope Springs Eternal (Mount Little Haystack, Lincoln, Lafayette)

Date of Hike: 4/3/10

Falling Waters Trail: 3.4 miles
Franconia Ridge Trail: 1.6 miles
Greenleaf Trail: 1.1 miles
Old Bridle Path: 2.9 miles
Total Miles: 9.0 (4,200 elevation gain)

Trip Report:
- I was going to take the week off from hiking but seeing the incredible forcast for Saturday I couldn't pass up a chance to get up to the mountains for a quick hike of one of the most popular loop hikes around...the classic Franconia Ridge Loop
- What a difference a week makes! Last Saturday I hiked in total winter conditions, frigid weather, ice, deep snow, steep slopes, wind etc...this week 60 degrees, slush for snow, powerful sun, no wind, postholing!
- Left RI at 4:40am, on trail just after 7:30am, finished around 1:30pm.  Temperature at trailhead were 42 degrees and rising fast, warmed up to about 60-65 degrees on the ridge!  Clear skies made for 75 plus miles visibility
- Trail consisted of mud, rocks, monorail snow, postholing snow, chopped up slush snow, rotting snow, slippery snow, and ice snow, every kind of snow except for powder snow!.  I brought all my winter traction and ice axe but other than wearing my microspikes up to Little Haystack the other gear never left my pack.
- All the water crossings on Falling Waters trail were running high and slick, every crossing was half rock-hopable half you're going to get your boots wet but not to difficult
- At the second crossing I made it across mostly unscathed and was thrilled, I wanted to take a picture and my camera wasn't strapped to my pack, I had left it about .2 miles down trail at the prevuois crossing...needless to say as I re-crossed the brook my right foot went in up to my knee!  My toes got pretty cold but with the warm temps I knew by the time I got into the sunshine on the ridge and a change of socks I'd be fine
- Popping up out of treeline and stepping onto the Franconia Ridge Trail never gets old, the views are some of the best and no matter how many times I've hiked this section of the trail I always find myself stopping over and over again to take in the views!
- The walk across the ridge was great as usual, most of the trail was mud and bare rocks, except for a few sections between Lincoln and Lafayette that had slippery snow with one or two pretty gnarley dropoffs
- I saw about a dozen people on the ridge, all kinds of hikers out and about and as I desceded the Greenleaf trail I ran into two guys, one with ski's one with a snowboard.  They were headed to a small, steep, insane vertical looking shute between Lafayette and Lincoln
- The hike from Greenleaf hut to the car was slower than usual because the trail is beat to crap, plus I fell and smashed my upper back into a boulder.
- Ran into three more skiers who had aborted their hike up the mountain, they tried telling me the were going to ski "Tuckermans" as in Tuckerman Ravine on Mount Washington, wrong guy to try to pull that one over on dudes! I should have responded with "Yeah and I just took a piss off Lunch Rocks!!"
- All in all a great day on a great hike that never gets old!

Pictures: Click here for all pictures

Mount Lincoln
Mount Liberty and Flume from Mount Lincoln Summit
South Twin Mountain with Mount Washington
Looming in the background
Franconia Ridge
Eagle Lake and Mount Lafayette


  1. Hey Chris,
    Great pics and a great day. We were up on Flume about the same time as you. We went up Osseo which was half clear and half rotting snow. The ladders were, um, fun?
    We were surprised to be able to sit on Flume in the heat and enjoy the summit with out seeing a single other person all day!

  2. Fantastic pictures! I'm jealous. Can't wait to get up there!

  3. Dan and Meenakshi,

    Those ladders on Osseo are deffinitely a trip! They remind me of the ladders coming down from Mount Willey which are fun as well!

    Gald you two had a a great trip up to Flume and had the whole mountain to yourself! The pics you took of the narrow trail along Flume summit looked a little scary!

  4. Oh yeah! That was the slowest 100 yards we ever hiked! Every step had to be kicked out - a posthole up there could send you right over the edge!
    And yeah, I don't want to go anywhere near the Willey Steps in spring time!
    Your pic of Lincoln is amazing by the way.

  5. Great pictures and report. I'll be out there middle of next week so hopefully the traffic will be light. Looking forward to my first time above treeline.

  6. Don I hope you get some terrific weather, enjoy your hike and the awesome views from above treeline!