Franconia Ridge

Franconia Ridge

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Lonesome Lake and Northeast Cannonball

As I left for today's hike there was a cold wind blowing and snow flurries in the air. Even though we are a month into Spring this morning was starting out with Winter conditions but the weather forecast was predicting temps in the 40's and clear blue sky. My destination was Franconia Notch. From there I would proceed up to Lonesome Lake and then on to Northeast Cannonball.

Moose posthole

I arrived at the Lafayette Campground in Franconia Notch and found plenty of parking available. There was still some snow and ice in the trailhead parking lot. It felt colder here in the Notch so I had to decide what to wear and what to bring with me. I wore a couple of layers, winter boots, knit hat and gloves. The snowshoes stayed behind but the microspikes were on the pack.

 Handwritten sign at Lonesome Lake: Danger! Thin Ice Do Not Cross

Lonesome Lake

 Going to need a new blaze tree

It was an icy start but I was able to bareboot over or around it. This wouldn't last long. Reaching the Hi-Cannon Trail junction I noticed there were no tracks on this trail. Just beyond the junction I put the microspikes on and they stayed on until I returned to this spot. Barebooting would have been possible but I saw others struggling without them.

 Trail Junction

 From Northeast Cannonball

 Southwest view

Looking south

When I got to Lonesome Lake there was a handwritten sign at the trail junction with the following warning: Danger! Thin Ice Do Not Cross. I thought that was good advice and was not about to test it.

 Cannon Mountain summit

 Top of the Cannonball

 Franconia Range

Southeast view

The Lonesome Lake Trail continued around the north end of the lake. There is still a lot of snow up here and after a cold night the trail was very solid. I never did posthole but did see where others had when the trail was soft.

 Steep descent

 Crooked tree on Lonesome Lake Trail

Bog on west side of Lonesome Lake

After a leisurely stroll past the lake the trail started a fairly steep ascent. Upon reaching the Kinsman Ridge Trail junction I turned left and headed up the Cannonball. There was some soft snow and steeps in this section of the trail. I knew the descent would be a little more challenging than the ascent.

 Northeast Cannonball from bog

The trail leveled at the top and I stopped here to take a break. The sun was bright and warm. After applying sunscreen on the face and taking some photos I began my descent.

 Northeast Cannonball from Lonesome Lake

Back at the beginning

Returning to the lake I turned right and went around the west side across the bog and made a stop at the Lonesome Lake Hut. Having never been here before I went inside to look around and grab a quick snack.

 Ride back through Franconia Notch

Cannon Cliff

Ski season is over at Cannon Mountain

Back outside I put the microspikes on for the final descent to the parking lot. The snow was soft and loose on the way down. The microspikes came off at the Hi-Cannon Trail junction. At the parking lot there were a lot more vehicles but still not full.

Blue-sky day

The cool temps made for comfortable hiking and kept the trails firm and solid in the deep snow at higher elevations. While I'm patiently waiting for some warm Spring weather it was still a fantastic day for a hike!

Having Fun in the Great Outdoors!

No comments:

Post a Comment