Sunday, November 26, 2017

Franconia Ridge Traverse (November 12, 2017) and the Osceolas (November 21, 2017)

Sage and I are honored to be featured in Union of Concerned Scientists' Annual Report and in their upcoming brochure!  We support their organization and are happy to do whatever we can to help.  They do vital climate change research, and, as science supporters and avid White Mountain hikers, we care deeply about the environment.  We therefore recognize that climate change is a tremendous issue.  Donate to Union of Concerned Scientists!

Lafayette, Lincoln, Liberty (twice), and Flume
Franconia Ridge Traverse, passing by Greenleaf Hut
Old Bridle Path, Franconia Ridge Trail, Liberty Springs Trail
About 15 miles
Around 5100 feet of elevation gain

As usual for this time of year, we headed out while it was pitch black outside.  It was chilly, due to the lack of sunlight and the weather generally getting colder, so we moved quickly.  John (Myers) came with us!  We brought treats to celebrate his recent birthday.

Throughout the whole day, the sky and cloud formations were dazzling, whether it was early morning, afternoon, or evening.

Coral-colored clouds...

Mom about to ascend the Three Agonies...

Mom found this "Happy Birthday" message written in the snow for someone whose name we could not make out, but Mom changed the letters accordingly:

Enjoying the clouds...

Pastel colors are truly beautiful.

We got to Greenleaf Hut!

A splendid perch...


John coming up Lafayette...

Ice formations:


It was a good-weather day to be hiking across Franconia Ridge.

I was happy to reach the summit of Lafayette!  The day could not have been better; the views were spectacular and everyone was feeling good.

Me being me

John's birthday was a few days before our hike, so we ate cupcakes on Lafayette and mini-whoopie pies on Little Haystack.  We were covered!

We met a friendly young man on the summit who was happy to help us finish off the cupcakes.

Mom and John!


The summit of Lincoln:

We finished the treats on Little Haystack.

On the way to Liberty, there were blowdowns everywhere due to the recent massive storm, so it took us longer than expected to complete that section of trail (Franconia Ridge Trail).

Sage rocking that red hair!

Summit of Liberty:

The views were gorgeous from Flume.

Sage's hair close-up:

Mom's hair close-up:

From here, we went back to Liberty and headed down Liberty Springs Trail.

It was almost as if the sky had blue and white stripes.

Almost down...

Ice-covered leaves...

That was an amazing hike!

Osceola and East Osceola
Greeley Ponds Trail, Mt. Osceola Trail
7.6 miles roundtrip
3100 feet of elevation gain

We started our hike of the Osceolas at about 5:30 in the morning, so it was cold and dark outside.  We put on our headlamps and quickly hiked through the invisible blanket of wintry chill surrounding everything.

The snow layer on the ground was very thin.

Water crossing (Mom)...

The sky turned blue-violet, hinting at the rising of the sun.

Lighter and lighter horizon...

We no longer needed our headlamps.

We could see the beautiful sunrise through the trees.

There it is!

The sunrise cast orange light upon the trees ahead of us; it was quite breathtaking.

The scarce clouds were illuminated by the sun.

On the slide...

A misty view...

The summit was not too far away from there!

Mom and Sage on East Osceola!

Snow-covered tree limbs...

Mom climbing the bypass...

Looking back...

On the summit of Osceola!

Tiny tracks we found by a rock on the top:

Summit photo:

A snowy archway...

Heading back to East Osceola...

It was enthralling to look at East Osceola from this interesting vantage point.  Look closely, and you can see one side of the mountain with snow-covered trees and the other half covered in green.

Sage coming down the bypass:

The light from the sunrise and the snow-covered trees were both wonderful sights to see.