Another Hike on the Franconia Ridge

Date of Hike: 4/14/12

Falling Waters Trail: 3.4 miles
Franconia Ridge: 1.6 miles
Greenleaf Trail: 1.1 miles
Old Bridle Path: 2.9 miles
Bald Mountain/Artist's Bluff Loop: 1.2 miles
Total Miles: 10.2 (4,500 elevation gain)
Click here for Trail descriptions

Trip Report:
- Last Saturday I was able to get up to Franconia Notch and hike the 'Classic Franconia Ridge Loop.'  Skies were sunny and temperatures were well above freezing with winds around 10-15 mph.
- It had snowed two days earlier so I wasn't surprised to see snowshoe tracks past the last river crossing above the falls all the way up to the ridge above treeline.  Luckily I was on the trail earlier enough were the snow was still firm and held my weight so I was able to speed up with microspikes on.
- I overpacked for this hike, I brought snowshoes and crampons which stayed on the pack the entire hike, after Saturday's hike and the recent weather (I'm writing this a week after the hike) those will no longer be needed.
- I had the entire Franconia Ridge and the amazing views to myself, ararity for a Saturday.  I took my time going across the ridge looking down into the Pemi at places were I might try and explore this summer or fall.
- I find hiking from north Little Haystack to Lincoln-Truman-Lafayette tougher than coming over from Lafayette but I like the views descending Lafayette better than ascending it.
- On Mount Lafayette's summit I got out of the wind and had lunch while sitting in the snow and taking in the views before heading down to Greenleaf Hut.
- As soon as I started descending I ran into the first of a couple of dozen hikers I would pass on the way out.  I took a break at the hut before taking off my microspikes and continuing on, I immediately took two nasty falls and decided not to be an idiot and put back on my microspikes until the ledgey outlooks and then it was back to barebooting down the mountain.
- Towards the end at one of the switchbacks I continued strait and followed the original path for the Old Bridle Path, it was still well worn down and easy to follow as I've seen the hut crew use this path before, it probably saves a couple of tenths of a mile if that.
- Back at the trailhead I jumped into the car and headed over to the Bald Mountain / Artist's Bluff Loop Trail for a quick hike before heading home.  This little loop is a great hike for beginners with incredible views  of Cannon Mountain, Franconia Notch, Echo Lake, and Mount Lafayette.

 View from Bald Mountain
 Stairs Falls
 Mount Lincoln
 Franconia Ridge Trail
 Mount Lafayette
Eagle Lake and Mount Lafayette

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