Nothing but views.
We woke up on the Zealand Mountain summit early hoping to get some miles in quickly. We enjoyed great views from summits of Guyot and South Twin. Our objective was to get to Galehead Hut in order to take advantage of the leftover breakfast that wasn’t eaten in the morning at the hut. We made good time and arrived at the hut to find several other NOBOs had the same plan. We saw a few already doing chores for the hut ensuring they would receive first dibs on the leftovers.
We waited a little outside the hut and enjoyed the sun but when more and more NOBOs arrived (close to 15 people including us) our prospects didn’t look so good. Since it was starting to resemble Black Friday in the 90s where people got trampled we opted to just eat the food we had packed which unfortunately was dwindling. A little while later the hut baked some blueberry bread/cake we could purchase so we had a couple slices and started to make our way up to Garfield summit.
We knew the day would be tough but the views would be worth it. At one point we had to scale up a small waterfall (we heard the NOBOs grumbling about it so we were mentally prepared). The climb up was tough but Garfield provided excellent 360 views of the Pemi Wilderness. Hayley got a new 4000 footer to add to her list. She is slowly catching up to Eric who only has 2 left to complete (48 in total).
Going down Garfield was steep and slow going. Soon after we started the long trek up to Mount Lafayette. It was definitely a beast of a climb and we were actually glad for our light food bags. We had nothing but views at the top and took our time at each peak on Franconia’s ridge. We had an abundance of sunshine for the 2 and a half mile traverse above tree line. The breeze was light and the crowds minimal, the exact opposite of our Mt Washington experience. We love to hike Franconia’s ridge and were very grateful.
The day was long and we stumbled into liberty springs campground that was busy but not the chaos we saw over the weekend. We look forward to being in town with Eric’s dad in 2 days. Eric is already looking at restaurant menus.
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