A cold day (5 deg F), an aborted attempt at Falling Waters, and Old Bridle Path to the summit with clear skies, an icy trail, and manageable wind. That’s the story for Richard and me.
Richard Bissonnette and I met at Flapjacks in Lincoln, NH, where Richard suggested we get a good breakfast–an admiral idea. We started hiking at 8:17 from the parking lot and planned to do Falling Waters up, but, just up the trail, we met a couple on snow shoes and with wet feet after they tried to get across the stream crossings on Falling Waters Trail. We still thought we’d try Falling Waters, but it was apparent at the bridge that the warm previous 3 days had swollen the streams into gushing torrents (see pic below). We, too, aborted at the first crossing and met others who had the same opinion. Almost everybody (and there were numerous groups) went up Old Bridle Path.
The trail was in superb condition with little ice and a good monorail. We got to Greenleaf Hut after 2.5 hours. I exchanged my microspikes for my crampons. We reached the summit around 12:15, stayed briefly, and got back to the Hut at 1:30. The icy conditions did not persist below the Hut. It was a good pace for me all the way back to the trailhead, by 3:50. The temperature had risen to 8 deg F!
Summary: 8 miles, 3589′ elevation gain, 7:30 (5:45 book time)