Franconia Ridge Loop: 2:30

Today, in perfect conditions, I not only broke through the 2:45 glass floor, but I nailed 2:30 on the dot. It was huge for me because I thought the loop couldn't be done in under 2:45 (by me). Part of the success was getting from the Parking Lot to Haystack in 0:58. I never believed it could be done in under an hour (3,000ft, 3.1 miles).

Working In My Favor:

  • I drove blind. Instead of using my stopwatch, I used the altimeter 'logbook' function with Elevation vs. Time
    60sec sampling interval. I didn't note the time when I stepped off the parking lot onto the sidewalk so I never knew my progress until I got back to the car. And my actual time could have been anywhere from 2:29:30 to 2:30:30, but when my foot hit the parking lot I stopped the logbook and the time indicated 1:00pm on the dot from a 10:30am start.
  • Pristine Weather Conditions: low 70's in the parking lot, low 60's on the ridge. bright blue skies and no wind.
  • Excellent Trail Conditions: Very little water on the trail, exposed rock was all dry.
  • Drank 24oz of water the entire event and sucked down one Hammer Gel (Espresso) on Lincoln. I used my lumbar Camelback.
  • I'm a little more daring on the ascents. Not quite in the same league as you other yahoos, but I'm getting closer.
Working Against Me:
  • Remnants of a cold
  • One of the busiest days on the trails. I couldn't find a parking space (at 10:30am on a great Saturday) at the campground parking aread, or on the east side of 93. I eventually parked by popping the Impreza up over the curb and parking on some grass on the east-side lot.
  • Crowds: I had to battle MANY hikers. On the trail up Falling Waters I passed over 100 hikers - many in groups of 6 or more. It was a constant "excuse me", "on your left", "thank you", etc. On the way down the OBP it wasn't as bad, but there were a LOT of people. I feel obliged to obey the "yield to ascending hikers" rule, but there weren't that many - maybe 20 or thereabouts.
  • The deciduous trees are starting to lose their leaves and it made the footing a little sketchy in parts - but it wasn't that bad.
The new target is sub-2:30.


  1. I thought a pemi attack was on the calendar for this weekend???

    good god.....2:30. did you ride a bike on the way down. watch out johnny b...muthaZ is on the move in the pool and on the trail.

    ..moi...no slouching for me...I did a pretty fast (for me) century today. 19.5 mph riding average and that includes several long bridges where the cops make riders get off and walk their bikes. Gorgeous day except for the cold morning start. Lots of riders...especially eye candy...was wondering why I spent all those years racing when I should have just done these rides. Of course I only write this because Lisa doesn't read this blog (I hope).

  2. g-$$$, that's HAULING IT. I think we take the prize for doing a 'big push' this weekend.

    you're right about the Pemi. i even had it on my calendar, but i think the plan just sort of fell apart.

  3. I am just observing from the sidelines...i am going to take this challenge now at some point...on dry conditions and clear skies...HR training will be my focus...

  4. 2:30! 2:30! 2:30! 2:30!

    tMail- I've seen you descend. you should be able to knock quite a few minutes off this... but if it's slippery - don't be reckless!