|Hiking Trail Conditions Report|
||Mt. Lafayette, NH|
||Bushwhack, Greenleaf Trail, Old Bridle Path|
|Date of Hike:
||Saturday, September 19, 2020|
|Parking/Access Road Notes:
||Around 30 cars in the Old Bridle Path parking lot at 6am |
||Dry Trail, Wet Trail, Wet/Slippery Rock, Mud - Minor/Avoidable |
|Water Crossing Notes:
|Trail Maintenance Notes:
|Lost and Found:
||I entered the woods at the SW end of the Old Bridle Path parking lot, bushwhacking until I eventually found Walker Brook near where it intersects with I-93; at this point I started the long trip up the brook to Walker Ravine. Water levels in the brook were very low, owing to the current severe drought. Once I was past the south fork of Walker Brook (leading to Lincoln’s Throat), the woods were very open, and I was able to bypass a half mile of the north fork by contouring NE around a low-angle ridge; this eventually brought me to the base of Walker Ravine, where there were remarkable views to Agony Ridge and to the central gully that I would use to ascend Mt. Lafayette. |
In trying to find the base of this gully, I ended up in the wrong one, so I had to traverse a sidehill through thick spruce for quite a while. Finally I reached the correct gully, which ascends the SW flank of Lafayette to a point about 1/10th of a mile directly below the summit. The upper section of the gully is marked by two giant cliffs that form a kind of gateway. My notes about the ascent:
-The most difficult sections are the lower and middle sections; even with the drought conditions, I found numerous areas of wet slime-covered slab which required bypasses on the steep sides of the gully.
-At a point halfway up, there is a large, slime-covered rock blocking the way, with vertical sections of cliff on either side. I had thought about turning back here, but with the assistance of a strong alder tree, I was able to hoist myself and my 35lb pack (filled with emergency gear) into a narrow passable area between the rock and the cliff.
-Further up the slope, a second massive rock blocks the gully, but there is a cave-like passage underneath the rock with ample space for a person and pack.
-The remainder of the ascent is a combination of scree fields and thick spruce whacking, but is generally pleasant. Once in the alpine zone, I rock-hopped the entire way to the summit to avoid trampling the fragile vegetation, choosing to step on rocks that had no lichen or mosses on them.
Total time to the summit was about 4 hours.
Disclaimer: Reports are not verified - conditions may vary. Use at own risk. Always be prepared when hiking. Observe all signs. Trail conditions reports are not substitutes for weather reports or common sense.