Leaving Lafayette Place with the weather forecast calling for skies clearing later in the day, but a solid cloud deck at roughly 3000 feet, we weren't expecting much for views. But we were hoping for at least a partially-broken trail, but with no recent intel since a foot or more of snow fell less than a week prior, we had the plan B of turning around if it was too jmch for 2 and driving up the road to the Kinsman Ridge Trail and bagging the summit that way.
Snowshoes went on at the trailhead sign at the parking lot just before the footbridge over a stream, and stayed on until our return to the cars. The first couple of tenths of a mile on Lonesome Lake Trail were easy and we saw several people heading to and from Lonesome Lake Hut. Reaching the junction with the Hi-Cannon Trail, we saw a snow-filled snowshoe trench with some bare boot prints through it. The depth was only 4-6" and so the going wasn't bad, and we began the ascent.
The first part of this trail is straight-forward and climbs steadily but not steeply. But soon it steepened as expected, and we passed the barebooters we'd been following the tracks of. Not a snowshoe to be seen among the three of them, boy they had to be tired from postholing 8" with each step... Here we took the lead and steadily made our way up the steepening grade, passing some small lookouts to Franconia Notch below, and one of Lonesome Lake as well where we could see people walking across the ice-covered lake.
|I-93 through Franconia Notch|
|Lafayette Place below - we started there|
|There is a ladder underneath all of this|
|Rime-caked tower on the observation platform|
|Cable supports caked in rime too|
|He looks frosty too!|
|A fellow hiker admires the "awesome" view of a cloud's insides|
|To the West from Coppermine Col|
|NorthEast CannonBall from Coppermine Col - on the New England 100 Highest|
|Cannon Mountain and the Northeast Cannonball (L) from Around-Lonesome-Lake Trail|
|Solid cloud deck just above 4000 feet covering Franconia Ridge|
|Cannon from the center of Lonesome lake|
|Franconia Ridge from Lonesome Lake|
|The Kinsmans from Lonesome Lake|
Peaks: Cannon Mountain (4100', NH4K)
Trails: Lonesome Lake Trail, Hi-Cannon Trail, Kinsman Ridge Trail, Around-Lonesome-Lake Trail, walk across the center of Lonesome Lake
Mileage: 6.4 miles
Elevation Gain: 2400'
Book Time: 4hr 25min (actual 5hr 20min)