There was more than one party up in our mountains today. Redline Guide Pat Ferland was likewise up there leading two ladies from Canada along the Franconia Ridge taking them on what has become a classic and very popular loop. With support from home (thanks Julie), they were able to bypass the parking challenges associated with that trailhead. For our guests, this gained them two of New Hampshire’s 4000-footers, namely Lincoln (5080′) and Lafayette (5242′). It was no doubt a wild alpine experience they won’t soon forget. Pat put together this synopsis:
We had a great day on the Franconia Ridge today. I met our guests at the Cannon Tram parking lot where we left our cars and got a ride down to the Falling Waters Trail trailhead. Falling Waters lived up to its name today. After last night’s two inches of rain there was a lot of water coming down. The river crossings that were usually easy rock hops were completely flooded out, but we were able to make it. Everybody got some sort of wet feet, but all were in good spirits. We made our way to the top of the ridge where we had a quick snack break on Little Haystack and then we were in the clouds with winds gusting 45+ and probably a sustained 30 mile-per-hour breeze. Everybody had to bundle up a little bit. They were thankful that I reminded them hats and gloves are on our gear list.
We had about 30 feet of visibility on the ridge which was good because one guest wasn’t a huge fan of exposure. We made our way over Lincoln, Truman (North Lincoln) and over to Lafayette. We took a quick break just below the summit of Lafayette out of the wind and got to watch the trail crew bring up a new log and signs for the summit. Everybody put on a wind layer because we were going to be walking into the wind for about a mile down to the hut. Once we got the tree line the sun came out. We made our way to the hut where we filled up our water bottles and took a short break. We headed down the Greenleaf Trail back to our cars, on the way stopping at Eagle Pass where from atop a big boulder we had a great view down the notch. We hopped onto the bike path for the last quarter of a mile just so we could stretch our legs. All in all it was a great day. —Pat Ferland
Pat also took the following photos: