Mt. Lafayette via the Old Bridle Path Trail

1.0 Overview

Mount Lafayette, with its summit at an elevation of 5,260 feet, provides a commanding view of Franconia Notch, the Pemigewasset Wilderness and the slightly taller peaks of the Presidential Range to the northeast. This trip will provide the opportunity to reach the summit of Mount Lafayette and enjoy the view from almost 1000 feet above treeline.

2.0 Concept

2.1 Description

We will climb the Old Bridle Path Trail from Franconia Notch to the AMC's Greenleaf Hut. The trail from the parking lot to the Greenleaf hut is about three miles in length and gains about 2,500 vertical feet. (For reference, this part of the hike is about the same as climbing Smarts Mountain.) After a brief rest at the hut, we will climb the last 1000 vertical feet in a little over a mile to reach the summit. Once we reach the summit, we will enjoy the views (assuming we're not in the clouds) for a few minutes and then descend the way we came up.

Since this will be a fairly long day, we will start early. We will plan on a cold lunch along the trail (no stoves, no cooking), however we may be able to get a bowl of soup at the Greenleaf Hut. Those who are equipped with a Class A uniform will be able to stop at McDonalds for dinner on the way home.

2.2 Schedule of Events

0715 -- Meet at Park and Ride in Lyme (beside Nichols Hardware). Be on time!
0730 -- Hit the road. Bring a simple breakfast to eat in the car.
0900 -- Arrive Franconia Notch (Lafayette Place parking lot)
0915 -- Start Bridal Path Trail
1215 -- Arrive Greenleaf Hut
1245 -- Depart for Summit
1400 -- Summit of Mt. Lafayette
1415 -- Start descent
1800 -- Return to parking lot
1900 -- Dinner at MacDonalds
2030 -- Arrive Hanover

2.3 Expected Conditions and Difficulty

The trip to Mt. Lafayette is a strenuous and challenging hike, partly above treeline. There are a couple hundred feet of level walking; the rest is up hill or down! The trail requires some rock scrambling but no technical climbing.

The weather on Mt. Lafayette could be dramatically different from Hanover. On a prior Troop hike to Lafayette the temperatures in Hanover were near 85 degrees, while summit conditions on Mt. Lafayette were such that unprepared hikers could have experienced hypothermia. Temperatures were in the 40s, winds were strong, and we were in the clouds. It is important to be prepared for severe weather, including the possibility of wind, cold, and rain. On the other hand, it could be lovely.

Water will be important.

The AMC guide estimates the trip to the summit at 3 hours and 50 minutes. We will need to hike strongly to make the complete round trip without having to turn back before reaching the summit.

2.4 Special Requirements

None. This outing is open to all scouts, scouters, and parents who feel prepared.

3.0 Administration and Logistics

3.1 Announcement Date: 4 June 2003

3.2 Roster Closing Date: 20 Jun 2003

3.3 Costs

  • We WILL be stopping at a MacDonalds for dinner. Participants should be prepared to pay for their protein!
  • White Mountain parking passes are $5 per vehicle.

    3.4 Equipment

    3.4.1 Individual Equipment

  • Pack light but be prepared. Dress in layers that can be easily put on or taken off. Wind pants and a windbreaker over fleece over polypro are ideal. Rain gear will be needed if you don't have it with you! Clouds are wet inside.
  • A good pair of hiking boots will be essential. No sneakers!
  • See the equipment list for more information.
  • Bring plenty of water; minimum 2 liters per person.
  • A lightweight high energy trail lunch will be important. Think about bagels, apples, gorp, pepperoni, cheese, crackers, protein, carbs, etc. Man can not live on candy alone; leave the junk food at home. If you bring ramen, you'll have to eat it dry; we won't have time to cook.

    3.4.2 Patrol Equipment

    None

    3.4.3 Troop Equipment

  • First Aid Kit

    3.5 Transportation Plan

    Drop-off Point: Lyme Park and Ride lot adjacent to Nichols Hardware.
    Drop-off Time: 7:15 AM
    Pickup Point: Scouts will be delivered home, unless otherwise notified
    Pickup Time: Probably about 8:30 PM

    4.0 Leadership

    4.1 Planning Committee

    4.2 Adult Leaders

  • SMIC: Gregg Hoge
  • Bill Scavone

    Approved GCH 15 June 2003

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