Hiking Trail Conditions Report
Peaks Little Haystack Mountain, Mt. Lincoln, Mt. Truman, Mt. Lafayette, NH
Trails: Falling Waters Trail, Franconia Ridge Trail, Greenleaf Trail, Old Bridle Path
Date of Hike
Date of Hike: Tuesday, February 13, 2024
Parking/Access Road Notes
Parking/Access Road Notes: Parked at Layfayette Campground lot. This is a medium sized, paved lot that is plowed after storms. Today much pavement was showing. Of note, the Falling Waters/Old Bridle Path lot was well plowed with all pavement showing. 
Surface Conditions
Surface Conditions: Ice - Blue, Snow - Packed Powder/Loose Granular, Snow/Ice - Frozen Granular 
Recommended Equipment
Recommended Equipment: Snowshoes, Light Traction, Traction 
Water Crossing Notes
Water Crossing Notes: All are bridged with either human made constructs or a combination of ice and snow. 
Trail Maintenance Notes
Trail Maintenance Notes:  
Dog-Related Notes
Dog-Related Notes: Dogs would be fine on these trails. Signs ask that they be leashed in alpine areas. 
Lost and Found
Lost and Found:  
Comments: Route:
Falling Waters > Franconia Ridge > Greenleaf > Old Bridle Path

Falling Waters: well blazed in blue. Very icy in lower elevations, recommend some form of traction. Snowshoes just wouldn’t cut it today, I tried. Path is hard packed all the way to the summit of Little Haystack. Very icy on Little Haystack. Glad I elected to stay in spikes. I don’t think crampons are necessary, but they would not have been out of place. Winds light, intermittent.

Franconia Ridge: this is the AT and is blazed in white blazes. Large cairns supplement the path along the ridge and are completely visible above the short snowpack. Path was a mix of hard packed snow and ice. Lots of postholes, but nothing that can’t be avoided. Spikes worked best, though I wish I’d had my new spikes. Ice was pretty slick on some of the rock surfaces. Crampons would not be overkill. Winds stayed over on Little Haystack so it was a very pleasant ridge walk today. There are some points of weather refuge along the ridge, enough for me to stop, drink some water and soak in the views under the gunmetal sky.

Greenleaf: blazed in yellow below tree line, large cairns to mark the path above tree line. All cairns visible above the embarrassingly short snow pack. In winter I usually use snowshoes to plow my own route directly down to the hut. But there was not enough snow to safely do this. Thus I stuck to the established trail. Descending off the summit cone of Lafayette was very icy. Spikes worked, but again, I wished for my new sharp spikes. I would go so far as to say crampons may be the safest choice down to the hut. I was having to jump onto my spikes to get them to bite into the ice and frozen snow. Around the hut is also icy (hut closed, no shelter).

Old Bridle Path: this is blazed. I forget what color. After the hut the trail returns to a mix of hard packed snow interspersed with icy sections. Traction recommended. Of course, the ice is over very steep pitches. Of course. The chute is filled in, but has a blob of ice at the bottom that takes a moment to negotiate. The trail really resembles spring trail conditions rather than mid winter. Some postholing but nothing significant. What can we do until we get some snow to tamp down? Lots of flagging tape in the woods and near the trail denoting future restoration efforts.

Feared wind levels never manifested (I finished by 12:30) and the sky sprinkled light snow. Cloud deck stayed well above the summits permitting the hiker to gaze adoringly at the infamous Franconia views. For the first time ever in all my treks here, there was not a single other soul on this route. I had the mountains utterly to myself.  
Name: Remington34 
Date Submitted
Date Submitted: 2024-02-13 
Link: https:// 
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