Fall is a time of transition for all things great and small. In the northern lands the shift is succinctly visual in nature. The mountains are First subjected to the chill of the New England climate. As the season waxes the transition becomes more evident in form and function.
As I posted earlier this year the mountains hold deep meaning for me in terms of memory and thought. So it was an immediate affirmation that I gave when asked to join my friend and his brother on a hike up in the white mountains.
The plan was ambitious in scope with us leaving Boston the night before and hiking first thing the next morning. It was decided that we would hike the falling waters trail which would put three summits under our boots. The first summit was little haystack, followed by Mt Lincoln and then ascending the ridge line would carry us to the summit of Mt lafeyette.
We started early climbing in the early morning light with frost surrounding us. The chill in the air was deceptive lending itself to a refreshing feeling as we moved. When we stopped for a moment to rest the cold would plunge itself into our skin like needles. Traveling light and with camera in hand I was constantly looking for images to document our journey. At one point this would lead to me choosing the wrong rock to stand on during a river crossing. As can be expected I slipped and fell into the icy water, just managing to save my camera from a swim.
Luckily I was able to keep myself from getting to wet and continued hiking allowing myself to dry on the way. From this point on I was doubly cautious to checking my footing while the sun hung, hidden over the valley wall.
Once we sunmited the first mountain peak we were treated to the Beatuy of the ridge line trail. As we traveled along the ridge line to the next summit we were treated to an incredible view of the difference between the slope in sunshine and the slope in shadow. In the shadow zone ice and frost could be seen covering the rocks. This created a painterly feeling while enjoying the view.
When we sunmited the final peak we were embraced by powerful gusts of wind screaming across the exposed granite. We were able to eat our lunch behind a windbrake and enjoyed watching a couple of people attempting some elaborate yoga poses on a rocky outcrop on the summit.
The descent led us through the rock gardens and turf of the alpine zone. As we climbed down the air got warmer and the wind lessened. At this point my shoes had long since dried and fear of losing a foot was long gone. As we tracked down the ridge line of Lafayette back down to the trailhead we anticipated the end goal of burgers and a variety of beers at the Woodstock inn!
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