Three Peaks on the Franconia Ridge, White Mountains, NH – 8/24/08

August 24, 2008 at 6:56 pm 3 comments

Finally, after so much wet weather this summer (not that it has stopped me having fun), the sun came out and shone for the whole day and allowed me to do the Franconia Ridge hike that I had planned for when SamIAm and Hamburglar (aka GreenEggsWithSam) were visiting. I kept looking over at Cannon Mountain (where we hiked instead that day) from the Franconia Ridge and saying things like “hmm… that is a pretty steep mountain, eh?” Here’s a shot of Cannon Mtn:

… see the two buildings on top? (click the image to go to the full resolution version if necessary) … the one on the left is a weather station that sits right at the summit. The one to the right is a tramway, so you don’t even have to hike all the way up to get to the summit! Wonder if I should have told them that there was an alternate way down?

Anyway… back to today… the Franconia Ridge hike is a classic White Mountain hike particularly when the weather is as great as it was today. You get three summits (in this section) with amazing views in all directions, a ridge between them that is above the tree line and is part of the Appalachian Trail, and you can stop in at the AMC’s Greenleaf Hut to check out some of the history of the area or get a snack.

Today I was joined by Paris Stilton, without the dog, who has been itching to do this hike since early in the season when I started talking about doing a hike in the Whites with her. She was enthusiastic to say the least, and very capable of keeping up with my “excuse me, coming through!” pace (despite being bruised, blistered and bleeding very early into the hike).

Our hike took us up the Falling Waters Trail for 3.2 miles to the summit of Little Haystack Mountain (4760′), where we enjoyed the first of the parmesan and black pepper burgers (topped with cheddar cheese) that I had prepared the day before. We got there right at noon, about 2 hours after starting out, so we were both ready for a cheeseburger at that point.

Behind Paris Stilton is the ridge to our next summit.

We had passed several groups of hikers on the way up (and I’m proud to say that nobody passed us!), and not surprisingly (given the weather) it was a fairly crowded day on the ridge. The great thing about starting this loop in the direction we did is that you come out of the trees and you’re within a couple hundred feet (trail length, not elevation) of the summit, so you’re immediately rewarded with your first summit and amazing views at the same time.

We headed north on the Appalachian Trail to our next summit, Mt. Lincoln (5089′), and enjoyed the second summit cheeseburger. The trail between these two summits is only 0.7 miles, so it was fortunate that each burger was only 1/6 lb of meat because we really hadn’t had much time to work up an appetite again.

in this photo, we see our next summit waiting for us, the AMC Greenleaf hut along the shoulder to the left of the frame, and my hand.

From summit #2, it was a mere 0.9 miles to the high point of the hike, Mt. Lafayette (5260′) for the third and final cheeseburger of the loop… however Paris Stilton was not quite up for the gastronomical feat and declined her third cheeseburger (I just finished it off now as I’ve been typing this!), so she only gets credit for two today. We also got to watch a glider soaring below us through Franconia Notch. After taking my official photo for the summit, I then had to explain what I was doing to a curious on-looker, so I took the opportunity to do a little marketing… hopefully we’ll hear from Meredith in the near future.

[Note to anyone who pays attention to the summits list on this site… the listing for Mt. Lafayette is very wrong in its elevation listing. The placement isn’t far off, but Lafayette is definitely a 5000 footer and the highest peak along the Franconia Ridge. I hope you didn’t pay much for that data source, I’ve seen it be wrong by a few dozen feet in the past, but this time its off by a few hundred.]

From the summit of Mt. Lafayette, the Appalachian Trail continues its way through the Pemigewasset Wilderness, home of many, many more summit cheeseburger opportunities. For us, we took the GreenLeaf Trail to the AMC Greenleaf Hut and the Old Bridle Path trail back to our starting point, completing a 9 mile loop in about 5 hours and 45 minutes, which included stops for many great photo opportunities along the ridge.

The Franconia Ridge from the AMC Greenleaf Hut

Summits: 3

Cheeseburgers: Krusty Bunz – 3, Paris Stilton – 2

Entry filed under: New Hampshire Summits.

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3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. GroovyMom  |  August 24, 2008 at 7:36 pm

    What – without the Groovy Kids! OK, you are right – your pace 9 mile in under 6 hours, our pace 3.8 mile in almost 4 hours! So, I will entertain the little Groovy’s while you guys hike.

  • 2. Flame Broiled  |  August 30, 2008 at 2:09 pm

    Thanks, Krusty Buns, for introducing me to the wonderful concept of Summit Cheeseburger. I’ll be heading to the Hancocks for two more before school starts. You may have created a monster.

  • […] a peak in the northern section of New Hampshire’s White Mountains, just along a ridge from Mt. Lafayette, but also with it’s own trail up the mountain from the road. The trail ascends 3000′ to […]


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The Mission

To encourage, enable, and document the consumption of a Cheeseburger on every summit on earth.
August 2008
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