Thursday, August 12, 2010

Franconia Ridge (NH) 8/7

Karin and I hiked a favorite "loop" in the White Mountains this past weekend, that being the Franconia Ridge, high above Franconia Notch. We made a steep accent up the Falling Waters Trail at a steady pace, but taking time to enjoy the scenic water falls in route.

This small waterfall is within a 1/2 mile of the trailhead....

...this one just a bit further up the trail.
Despite the temperatures being in the low 40's (f) overnight and still remaining very cool for August, it didn't take long to work up a good sweat! But, after just under 3 miles of steady climbing that "sweat equity" began to pay dividends, as the next 2 miles of trail are above tree line along the spectacular Franconia Ridge, which passes over Mts. Lincoln (5069') and Lafayette (5260').
The view of Cannon Mtn., just as we broke above the tree line.

Looking west at the peaks of South Kinsman Mtn (left) and North Kinsman (center) and Lonesome Lake (about dead center).

Looking northwest down onto Cannon Mtn. , I 93 can be seen left just below center.
Looking east, the Presidental Range (far horizon), "The Bonds" (next middle ridge line) and the north "slope" of Owl's Head (the low closest ridge).
The view south from Mt. Lincoln, the trail "follows" the ridge, the two cone shaped peaks are Mts. Flume (L) and Liberty (R), you can see a little of the upper slopes of Loon Mtn. Ski area between the two.
Not only is this area extremely popular for hikers, but sailplanes can been seen riding the ridge lift and thermals off these mountains.
Still hooked on, but soon to be set free.
The plane below cruised by below eye level, at close range too close in fact to get a digi-bin shot, but a I got a few shots once the aircraft was further out.

Of course the magnification of digi-bin shot makes this glider look as if its more precariously positioned than it really was.

It appears if these folks may soon meet accidentally but, the sail plane was soon soaring over the summit in a thermal (below).
Hikers and pilot enjoying the summit of Mt. Lafayette.

While the pilots work their sailplanes with skill and precision, they are no match for the Raven. The above bird nearly landed on our heads, so we were told be a near by hiker, the ski slopes of Cannon Mountain are way below.

To complete the "loop" one hikes down the Bridle Path Trail from Lafayette back to the trailhead to complete the "loop" which is just under 9.0 miles. The AMC Green leaf Hut is just off the Bridle Path Trail and is well worth a visit for fresh water or a snack. This loop can be hiked from either direction.

A multi-dimensional view, the Kinsmans (2 peaks to the left), Lonesome Lake below the Kinsmans, Cannon Mtn (and its spectacular cliffs to the right) and the Bridle Path follows the ridge line in the foreground.

Lichen growing on the foundation of Greenleaf Hut.

A nice sunset , back at the Water Rest Campground at the days end.


grammie g said...

This bring so many memories when we as a family climbed and hike so many places and this area in and around the White Mt.Range was some of the best and most beatiful places!!
This is a great post...the photo are wonderful...and waterfalls I love...the shadows...even those crazy people in those planes!! : }

Larry said...

A nice clear day in the White that is nice!

Tom Pirro said...

there are so many nice places in "The Whites" whether its mountain peaks, remote lake, waterfalls, river sides or the wildlife.
Yes Larry, the moring of Karin and I's Franconia Ridge hike was clear and cold. I would imagine that cold front got some southbound migrants kicked into gear.

I will post our Cannon Mtn hike shortly.