Lafayette to Lincoln Woods: Franconia Ridge Traverse

Date of Hike: 4/27/13

Old Bridle Path: 2.9 miles
Greenleaf Trail: 1.1 miles
Franconia Ridge Trail: 5.0 miles
Osseo Trail: 4.1 miles
Lincoln Woods Trail: 1.4 miles
Total Miles: 14.5
4,750 feet elevation gain

Trip Report:
- Originally we (Alton, Kelsey, and I) were going to hike up the Flume Slide to Flume Mountain and over to Mount Liberty.  However, with incredible weather forecasted we decided to head back to the Franconia Ridge again but this time hike the whole ridge.
- Conditions were almost exactly the same as last Sunday for the first part of the hike, a lot less snow in places but still some packed but soft snow in the shaded woods.  Views were even better than last Sunday and more enjoyable as the temps were higher and the wind was just audible.
- We took a break at Greenleaf hut before heading up to the summit of Mount Lafayette.  Even though we had been here last week it was still just as phenomenal hiking above treeline up to Franconia Ridge and summit Lafayette.  The views back down towards Greenleaf Hut, Cannon Mountain, and the Kinsman Ridge to the west are only topped by the view to the east of the Garfield Ridge, Twin Range, Guyot, and the Bonds creating the horseshoe that makes up the Pemigewasset Wilderness.  Sitting in the middle of these great peaks is a small bump called Owl's Head, the most remote peak of the 48 - 4,000 footers.  We enjoyed these views for quite awhile until heading south along the ridge.  We took another break between Mount Lincoln and Little Haystack to take in the views before heading back into the woods.
-  Once we passed Little Haystack it was back in the woods for part two of our hike.  I knew there would be snow left between Little Haystack and Mount Liberty but not like this.  The trail was very choppy and the snow was still high that we had to constantly dodge branches looking to poke out and eye or scratch up our arms.  Alton and I bare booted while Kelsey whore her snowshoes to stop from post holing.  Hiking in these conditions takes some time to get used to, focusing on foot placement so you don't miss step and post hole is challenging.  Even so, with the weather so warm eventually you punch through a little on the packed track making for a fun white wash!
- When we made it to the summit of Liberty we took a well deserved break before heading down and up to Flume Mountain.  Conditions were the same and it was a little bit of a slog but still a lot of fun and when we made it to the summit of Flume Mountain we found a nice spot on the ledges, laid down in the sun and took in the views of Franconia Notch for a good half hour.  It was a great feeling just sitting there after ten miles covering all types of terrain and trail conditions; dry, wet, roots, rocks, mud, ice, slush, snow, old post holes, tree branches, blowdowns, etc., 
-  Unfortunately we had to finally descend and even more unfortunately there was still lots of snow coming off the Osseo Trail, especially the ladder sections, which were still buried.  We slipped and slid our way to the Osseo Trail downlook, took in the views of the Pemi Wilderness one last time and continued on our way.  The snow finally ended around 3,000 feet or so and we started to trail run for a bit.  However, Alton sprained her ankle pretty badly.  She toughed it out and walked out with no noticeable limp even though it was starting to swell up on her.  Even more impressive / crazy was she went biking up the Kanc with Kelsey after getting back to Lincoln Woods!
- The rest of the hike back out along the Lincoln Woods Trail was the same as it ever is and we were all happy to see the suspension bridge ending a super day of hiking in the White Mountains!

 Lincoln Woods
Ranger Station
 Old Bridle Path
 Kelsey making her way up a steep section
 Old Bridle Path
 Greenleaf Hut
 Eagle Lake
 Lonesome Lake and the Kinsmans
 Mount Lincoln
 Greenleaf Trail
 Cannon Mountain and the Kinsman Ridge
 Alton ascending the Greenleaf Trail
 Greenleaf Hut and Cannon Mountain
 Cannon Mountain Ski Area
 Greenleaf Trail
 Greenleaf Trail
 North Lafayette
 Greenleaf Trail
 Mount Washington
 Franconia Ridge
 Mount Garfield
 Presidential Range
 The Bonds
 Owl's Head
 South Twin and the Presidential Range
 Franconia Ridge
 Mount Lincoln
 Mount Lincoln
 Alton and Kelsey on the Franconia Ridge Trail
 Mount Lafayette
 Mount Washington
Owl's Head
 A couple and their dog heading down from Mount Lincoln
 Dogs on Franconia Ridge!
 Franconia Ridge
 The Bonds
 Mount Liberty and Flume
 A hiker enjoying the views from the top
 Little Haystack
 The Bonds
 Mount Washington
 Little Haystack, Liberty, and Flume
 Mount Lincoln
 Little Haystack summit
 Mount Liberty and Flume Mountain
 Franconia Ridge Trail
 Liberty Springs / Franconia Ridge Trail Junction
 A hiker approaching Mount Liberty's summit
 Franconia Ridge
 Cannon Mountain
 Alton relaxing on the summit of Mount Liberty
 Cannon Balls
 Flume Mountain
 Owl's Head
 The Bonds
 Pemigewasset Wilderness
 The Bonds
 Loon Mountain
 Owl's Head and the Twin Range
 Presidential Range
 Franconia Ridge and Mount Garfield
 View from Mount Liberty
 A hiker and her dog enjoying the views
 The Twin Range
 Owl's Head Slide
 Alton descending into the col between Mount Liberty and Flume Mountain
 Franconia Ridge
 Mount Liberty
 Franconia Ridge
 Dogs on Flume Mountain!
 Mount Lincoln and Lafayette
 Alton and Kelsey taking a nap
 Relaxing on Flume Mountain
 Franconia Ridge
 Descending the Osseo Trail
 Osseo Trail
 Ladder section on the Osseo Trail
 The Bonds
 Pemi Wilderness
 The Bonds
 Hero Tree!
 Posing by the super hero tree!
 Osseo Trail / Lincoln Woods Trail Junction
Lincoln Woods Trail