"Franconia loop" in New Hampshire's White Mountains follows the
exposed ridge from Little Haystack Mountain to Lincoln, in the distance. Many
get in trouble on this loop. Photo by Jerry and Marcy Monkman.|
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Coming in the Summer/Fall 2015 issue of Appalachia journal:
Trouble on the “Franconia Loop”: Accidents Editor Sandy Stott writes
about hikers who pushed themselves too hard on the touted and ever-popular
8.9-mile “Franconia loop” route. It combines Falling Waters Trail, Franconia
Ridge Trail, the upper part of the Greenleaf Trail, and Old Bridle Path. The
loop includes the tops of Little Haystack, Lincoln, and Lafayette mountains,
and it remains above treeline for at least 2.7 miles. Stott notes: “With its
eponymous waters and steep ledges, Falling Waters Trail is a hard climb or
descent that is rarely free of slippery spots. And the aforementioned loop,
easily reached from Route 93, is one of the more demanding day hikes in the
Whites. Such easy access may be why these trails see more than their share of
mishaps and rescues.”
On July 12, 2014, New Hampshire
Fish & Game received a late morning call about a hiker, Andrew K., age 53,
who had fallen a mile and a quarter up Falling Waters Trail and sustained
injuries that kept him from walking. By 12:30 p.m., rescuers from NHFG, the
U.S. Forest Service, and Pemigewasset Valley Search and Rescue had reached the
scene, where a friend and some hikers who had come along were attending Andrew.
Rescuers carried him out on a litter.
“Contacted a few days later by
Conservation Officer Jonathon Demler for a follow-up,” Stott writes, “Andrew
expressed deep gratitude for his rescue. Demler’s report also noted that Andrew
apologized repeatedly during the carryout for needing this sort of attention.
Although such thanks are, according to rescuers, not uncommon, Demler’s report
underlines them, thereby providing a small window into the good feeling such
thanks generate. Too often embarrassment at needing help shows itself in
stoniness or disregard for the freely given work of rescuers.”
Rescuers back again the same night:
In fact, rescuers returned to
the Franconia Ridge that night. “A little before 9 p.m. on July 12, NHFG got
word of a hiker who was “unable to move” not far from the summit of Mount
Lafayette. Al D., age 28, and his cousin had set out earlier that day on the
same Franconia loop route I mentioned in the previous story. But on the summit
of Lafayette, Al and his cousin had missed the turn for Greenleaf Trail.
Instead, they had walked more than a mile along Garfield Ridge Trail before
sensing their error and turning back up, climbing Lafayette again.” Al was
spent. He couldn’t go farther.
To read the full story of this and other rescues
on the Franconia Loop and elsewhere in the White Mountains, read the full
Accidents report, available in the Summer/Fall 2015 Appalachia. July 14 is your last chance to subscribe and receive this issue!
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