Sunday, February 4, 2018

Four 60+years young friends winter hike to AMC's Lonesome Lake Hut

What does it feel like for four friends, all 60+years young in good physical condition to do a winter hike into Lonesome Lake Hut? 

Grab your favorite beverage, relax, and enjoy the hike as Lennie, Joe, John and Steve hike from Lafayette Camp Ground uphill through woods to the Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC)  Lonesome Lake Hut.  The temperature is in single digits, windy, and deep packed snow. 

If you read about the Lonesome Lake Hut references you will see it is promoted as an easy hike for families.  Well, I must admit it was a very challenging hike for us. The first hour was up – up – and up and we frequently paused to experience the Franconia Notch views, or as one of my companions suggested, “the views are an excuse to catch our breath". We added a stop to put hand-warmers in our gloves and mittens. The trail crisscrossed up the steep mountain through the trees and rocks, with the trampled trail sometime 1-foot in width embedded into the side of the hill.  When you stepped off the trail, you could sink up to your thigh – and we quickly learned to stay on the snow packed trail. 

How do we dress?

This winter weather demands we dress appropriately for very cold weather.  We also need to decide, cross country skis, snowshoes, or micro spikes?  Given we are hiking uphill through the woods, that means XC skis are out.  If we were the first hikers through 3 feet of snow, snowshoes would be our choice to keep us on top of the snow.  However, we are not the first hikers on this trail, and the last week has resulted in hard-packed snow.  Do we wear only insulated boots or micro spikes.  Given rain last week on top of snow, and we would be in single digit cold, we made micro spikes on our boots our choice.

 Although Lonesome Lake Hut in the winter is self-service with sleeping accommodations, we planned only a day hike. Our uphill trip took just over one and a half hours to the hut.  Our return downhill hike on the same trail was one and a quarter hours.

The below video is a celebration of Lennie’s retirement.

About Lonesome Lake Hut

Lonesome Lake Hut’s elevation is 2,760 feet with the 12 acre Lonesome Lake in its front yard.  The hut is on the Appalacian Trail.  The view from the hut provides spectacular views of the Franconia Ridge across pristine glacial Lonesome Lake and the nearby 4,000-foot peaks, including Cannon Mountain.

Lonesome Lake Hut is a 1.6 mile hike starting at Lafayette parking area ascending 950 feet. This is the westernmost hut of the eight AMC wilderness huts on the Appalachian Trail (AT) in the White Mountains of New Hampshire.

The below New Hampshire State Parks map is most interesting.  You can see our trail in blue from Lafayette camp ground up to Lonesome Trail Hut (green).  But this map has more ... you can identify the Franconia Ridge 4,000+ footers (Mt Layfayette, Mt Lincoln, Little Haystack, Mt Liberty) as you climb and descend Lonesome Lake Trail.  Also, you can identify the Cannon Balls and Cannon Mt mountains looking north from the porch of Lonesome Lake Hut



" Everyone must do something.  I believe I will go outdoors with family and friends"

    Steve's 5th book, Outdoor Play Fun 4 4 Seasons Volume II, is now available   

    Outdoor Play Volume II has trip preparations, routes, and narratives of bucket list places to go. The book motivates friends and family to make the outdoors a key component of their daily life. 

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