Tag Archives: Mount Lafayette

August 21, 2017 Hiker on Bondcliff, on the Pemi Loop in the White Mountains, N.H.

Being Stupid With Friends: A 32-Mile Dayhike in the White Mountains

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By Michael Lanza

As we near the top of Mount Flume in New Hampshire’s White Mountains, the first of nine summits we hope to reach today, a light shower begins falling. It seems a less-than-ideal portent near the front end of one of the longest and hardest days of hiking any of us has ever undertaken—especially for three people somewhere between two and three decades past their hiking prime. But this only strikes us as one more in a long list of reasons to laugh at the absurdity of our self-imposed mission: to see whether we still have the stuff to knock off a dayhike that few mountain walkers would even contemplate. In that context, the arrival of the rain we knew was forecasted comes all in a day’s foolishness.

As Ralph Waldo Emerson once opined, “It is one of the blessings of old friends that you can afford to be stupid with them.” Continue reading →

August 7, 2017 Hiking Half Dome's cable route, Yosemite National Park.

Extreme Hiking: America’s Best Hard Dayhikes

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By Michael Lanza

Imagine this: You’re heading out on a long, beautiful hike deep in the backcountry, but instead of a full backpack, you carry a light daypack. You’ve avoided hassles with getting a backcountry permit. There’s no camp to set up and pack up, because you’re not backpacking, you’re dayhiking. Yes, I love backpacking—living in the wilderness, getting into that mindset of not knowing or caring what day it is or what’s going on in civilization. And I do it a lot. But sometimes, I’d rather knock off a weekend-length—or longer—hike in one big day. Continue reading →

May 1, 2017 Mark Fenton on the Osgood Ridge Trail, Presidential Range, N.H.

The Best Kind of Insanity: Long Dayhikes in the White Mountains

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By Michael Lanza

We started up the Daniel Webster Trail by the light of headlamps at a time of day that guaranteed we’d have the mountain to ourselves for hours: 3:30 a.m. My head had that squeezed, hungover feeling from not enough sleep; the four hours we grabbed on the floor of my friend Mark’s van the night before fell at least three hours short of rejuvenating. But we didn’t have the luxury of sleeping in. We were embarking on a one-day, 20-mile “Death March” across New Hampshire’s Presidential Range. And making our objective all the more lunatic, we had a bus to catch that afternoon—with nine summits between us and that bus stop. Continue reading →

September 1, 2016 A hiker on Bondcliff in New Hampshire's White Mountains.

3-Minute Read: Dayhiking the 32-Mile Pemi Loop in the White Mountains

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By Michael Lanza

Our long day of hiking began at 6 a.m., shortly after first light, under a gray overcast that would rain intermittent light showers on us over the next several hours and, at times, envelop us in pea-soup fog. When our day ended 15 hours and 59 minutes later (we officially called it “sub-16 hours”), two friends and I had proven to ourselves (no one else would care) that, in our 50s, we could still tick off the 32-mile, 10,000-vertical-foot, nine-summit Pemi Loop in New Hampshire’s White Mountains in one long, brutally grueling day.

But pointless feats of endurance aside, we also enjoyed one of the prettiest hikes east of the Rockies—and the clouds lifted in the final hours to grant us breathtaking views as we traversed one of the most remote and spectacular ridges in the Northeast, Bondcliff (lead photo, above). Continue reading →

July 18, 2013 Zeacliff Trail, White Mountains, N.H.

Still Crazy After All These Years: Hiking in the White Mountains

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By Michael Lanza

The sun beams down approvingly as Mark and I start hiking from Crawford Notch, the head-turning cleavage in the heart of New Hampshire’s White Mountains. The temperature sits in a perfect zone somewhere between warm and cool. Not a trace of humidity moistens the air, while an idyllic breeze stirs it enough to keep the ravenous mosquitoes and black flies at bay. Recognizing the rarity of this meteorological gift, the birds sound like they’re singing an enthusiastic ode to the morning.

This early-June day has launched so idyllically for these mountains that we instinctively wonder how long it can last. That concern looms particularly relevant, under the circumstances. Continue reading →

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