RD and I spent two nights at Greenleaf, visiting Ari Ofsevit, an old friend of mine from college. The fall I worked at Mizpah, Ari was finishing the AT (it made a good topic for our alumni magazine, as it turned out), and he visited me at Galehead and Zealand a number of times. Finally, he could resist applying to work in the hut no longer, and he took a job as naturalist at Madison last summer. I've been eyeing the slides on the east side of Lafayette, which extend far down into the valley shared with Owl's Head, for several years, and our plan on Sunday was to circle around via the Franconia Brook Trail and hike the slides from the bottom.
At night, the temperature dipped into the teens, making for a substantial amount of frost and rime above treeline. Given the conditions, we decided it would be better to stay in the hut and stuff ourselves with bacon for most of the morning, but we did eventually head up to the ridge once the day warmed up. Here is one of the croo members, Laura, on the upper section of the Lafayette summit cone.
Mike, the assmaster, with Cannon cliffs and Lonesome Lake in the background. Laura was off to Galehead for days off, so for the rest of the afternoon it was the four guys. We spent a long time on the summit working on our Boston accents.
Though the slides were out of reach, there is a bare spur on the east side of Truman, the satellite peak between Lafayette and Lincoln, that exerted a pull. I was intrigued by the novel perspective on the Pemigewasset, not to mention the view back toward the slides and Franconia Ridge.
The going wasn't too bad, but there were a few patches of krummholz that wouldn't give in easily.
The view back toward the ridge.
Having a rest on the spur. It was a spectacular fall day, with plenty of warm fall sunshine that felt delicious in the crisp air.
A closeup of the cliffs on Garfield from a new point of view.
A look back at the Lafayette slides.
South across the eastern ridges of Liberty and Flume.
Looking across Owl's Head to Bondcliff.
Back up on the ridge, looking across the ridge that Greenleaf straddles, into the north country.
Now headed back down to the hut to get ready for dinner.
Dusk at croo rocks.