Our hike of Franconia Ridge today was delayed by a week due to poor weather last week, but fortunately today did not disappoint. But it did begin with a comedy of errors….
I (Chris, the trip leader) arrived at Richmond Park and Ride at 4:45 AM. I soon discovered that I had forgotten my hat, so I sped home quickly to secure another hat and returned to the Park and Ride to find three people waiting for me. We were missing once person so I called to find they were having car troubles and would not be joining us. Without this person we needed to change our plan of having two cars of three to having one car of five. Tom volunteered to drive, so yay that. A few miles into our start the trip leader realized he had forgotten his boots in his car. Tom made a novel change of direction on the interstate to return us to Richmond to secure Chris’s boots.
At this time, Chris misunderstood Tom’s comments about the level of his EVs charge so Liana offered to drive. We made our way to Montpelier (about a half hour behind schedule at this point) to pick up Jill who had been waiting for us. I messaged Andrew at this point who was already in NH to let him know we were running about a half hour behind. With Liana’s car we now found order and made our way to NH to Falling Waters Trailhead to meet up with Andrew who was waiting for us. The chaos was now behind us!
After arriving we quickly took some bio-breaks, donned our gear and were on the trail by 8 AM.
The hike up was relatively uneventful. The snow depth for this early in the season was already substantial, so we had a homogeneous, rock-free hike. As we headed up, the trees were becoming more covered with snow affording a winter wonderland experience. Eventually we broke tree line onto Mt. Haystack and started to feel the temperature shift due to the high winds. We donned our layers and made our way across the ridge.
The hike across the ridge was pleasant. Winds were elevated giving us 10 degree wind-chill, but the cloud ceiling was high affording great views across the ridge and even some intermittent blue skies. We eventually made our way to Mt. Lafayette. We took some time at the summit for photos before heading town to Greenleaf Hut for some much needed food.
After some lunch, we started our final 3 mile descent. Back in the trees, and eventually into the fog, there wasn’t much to see. But the snow covered trail made for a fast and easy exit.
Participants: Liana Edwards, Julie Cimonetti, Thomas Nuovo, Jill George, Andrew O, and Chris Luczynski (Trip Leader).