Franconia Ridge in the Sun

Happily an out and back


The past three months since our last hike in the Whites (the Kinsman Ridge Traverse) has been pretty eventful: we have a new year, a new President, and I started a new business! After my first full week on the new job I really needed a break, and with beautiful weather in the forecast, we headed for one of our favorites: Franconia Ridge. Anticipating that many folks would have the same idea, we decided to stay off of the usual suspects (Old Bridle + Falling Waters), and to do an out and back to get twice the ridge time.

March is a strange season where one year you get near-whiteout frigid conditions, and another you get snowshoes and shorts weather. Though I enjoy the beauty of inclement weather and dole out appropriate levels of smugness for getting after it in the cold, wind, and wet, I can't deny the pleasure of hiking in just plain beautiful weather; bonus points for being the first time this year my arms have felt sunshine.

We were alone on the hike up to Greenleaf Hut and took an uncharacteristic long break to sit on the steps, down a full bag of Sour Patch Kids and soak in the warm and windless sun. There were lots of other parties from then on, as expected, but I didn't mind it as much as anticipated; everyone was in such a cheerful mood because of the gorgeous weather (and endorphin). I found myself feeling exceedingly optimistic — about the pandemic, the end of winter, and just in general.


Lafayette (5,260 ft), Lincoln (5,089 ft)


Greenleaf Trail (Cannon Skiway)


Greenleaf Trail, Franconia Ridge

Total Distance

10.55 miles, 4,400 ft elevation gain


Start: 10:07am, 5:49 Total


40F, sunny!

Trail Conditions

Unstable monorail, slush


Snowshoes, spikes

Partners in Crime

Doug, Cody + Rye



View back toward Greenleaf Hut from Greenleaf Trail

Greenleaf Trail up to Lafayette

Doug and I enjoying the view

Moon on the mountain horizon

Summit of Lafayette looking toward Mount Washington

Cody and Rye heading toward Lincoln along Franconia Ridge

Cody and I along Franconia Ridge (photo: Doug)

Cody and Doug on Franconia Ridge

View of Mount Washington

Breaking for snacks on Lincoln

Mount Lafayette

Me and Doug (photo: Cody)

Doug, Rye and Cody