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Cooler on Mt Lafayette

A recent guest from sunny California, Nancy, was staying at Loon Mountain and wanted to hike with us for a day. We decided the conveniently located 5260-foot Mt Lafayette would be a nice mountain for her to experience and enjoy. It is, after all, the crowning jewel of the world-renowned Franconia Ridge. Running the show on this hike, so to speak, was Redline Guide Ryan Mcguire. It was Ryan’s first solo lead with us but he keeps proving himself again and again so our confidence was high. We will let Ryan tell it from here with this summary he wrote along with a few photos.

Today we got an early start to hopefully avoid the crowds. We got to the trailhead at seven. Even though we were in the clouds Nancy was stoked from the moment I picked her up. Being from California and doing a lot of hiking in the heat she was looking forward to the cooler temps our climb up to Lafayette brought. We were moving at a good, comfortable pace for her, and got to Greenleaf Hut around 9:30am completing the first 2.9 miles of the day. After a break to refuel we pushed on to the summit of Lafayette reaching it shortly after 11:00am. With no views, as we where in the clouds, the decision was made to go back down and not do the entire ridge line. After our summit photo and a refuel break we headed back down. Stopping for another quick break at the hut on the way down through the hoards of uphill traffic after a relatively quiet morning (for Franconia Ridge). —Ryan


Popular mountain? Yes. But easy? You decide. Nancy negotiates some scrambles.

This building, the AMC’s Greenleaf Hut, is unfortunately blocking the view.

Where views end, the imagination begins as we walk through clouds and peer into the abyss. All is not lost.

Congratulations on the summit, Nancy, and well done on the leadership part, Ryan.

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