Mt. Lafayette (5260 feet)

Sunday, August 25, 1996

Today I climbed the mountain with my friend Laura. It was a beautiful, sunny day. The temperature was also just perfect—not hot and not cold. We climbed via the Greenleaf Trail. This trail starts from the parking lot for Cannon Mountain. It climbs up out of Franconia Notch, beneath Eagle Cliff, and then around "behind" a shoulder of the mountain. After a while it reaches Greenleaf Hut, one of a series of Huts maintained by the Appalachian Mountain Club. From there the trail climbs the last 1000 vertical feet mostly or completely in the open, reaching one of the highest summits in the White Mountains.

I really enjoyed the Greenleaf trail. It had three distinct sections: from the road to Eagle Cliff, from the cliff to Greenleaf Hut, and from the hut to the summit. Each section was about a mile long and climbed about 1000 vertical feet. The trail ascended with a steady grade that wasn't too steep, but that made me feel like I was really getting somewhere. There weren't all that many views from the trail below treeline, but the terrian it crossed was interesting. Once the trail went under the cliff and behind one of the mountain's shoulders all road sounds vanished, and the walk seemed very secluded and peaceful.

I've been on Lafayette twice before, and I'm always impressed with the view from the summit. The road through Franconia Notch seems so far away! In fact, Laura and I could see the parking lot where we had left our car, but the cars themselves were so small as to be difficult to distinguish. It was a bit windy at the summit, but not excessively so. Laura and I sat behind a pile of rocks to have a bite to eat.

We returned the way we had come, and then ate dinner together in Littleton, New Hampshire. All in all, it was an excellent hike.

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© Copyright 1996 by Peter C. Chapin.
Last Revised: October 22, 1996