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20 June 2010

Putting my legs to good use! (Mt. Lafayette and Mt. Jackson)

So this may become my outdoor adventures blog since there are lots of other fun things to do in NH! Like climb mountains!

Last weekend (6/12 - 6/13) I joined some people (Dave, Peter, Julie, Simon, and Travis) from DEKA (where I'm doing my internship) on a one night camping/hiking trip in the White Mountains. The drive up to our campground (Lafayette Campground in Franconia Notch) took about 1.5 hrs. We claimed our turf and promptly walked to the trailhead across the road to being our trek up Mt. Lafayette. There were thunderstorms in the forecast, due to arrive at 2pm. Exactly when we planned to reach the summit. They seemed cool with that... so I put my life in their hands.

Lots of people here are into hiking the 48 peaks above 4000 ft in the Whites, so the two mountains we climbed were both on the list. 46 to go! (ha.)

Below are the trail maps for the two hikes we did (Mt. Lafayette on Saturday and Mt. Jackson on Sunday). For Mt. Lafayette we took Old Bridle Path to Greenleaf Hut and Greenleaf Trail to the summit. We came back down the same way since it was raining and Falling Waters Trail would not have been fun (as the name suggests). 8 miles total.

The top was completely above treeline, which was a really neat (and exhausting) experience. Unfortunately we were completely covered in clouds. Every once in a while a breeze would blow the clouds away and allow a view, but mostly it looked like this:

The next day we met up with Jed and took the Webster-Jackson Trail up to Mt. Jackson, where we were very excited to have a beautiful view! Then we cut over to the Mizpah hut and headed back that way.

Feeling small on the top. One of my favorite feelings :)

On the way home we stopped in North Conway to check out some gear shops that have consignment sections where people sell their used gear at a good price. I bought my first backpacking pack (Osprey)! We had dinner at Moat Mountain Smokehouse - a place that the Deka guys were super excited about (for a good reason!).

All in all a great weekend: beautiful mountains, fun bunch of people, amazing food, and a pair of very sore legs to remind me for the next three days!

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