Started out with a respectable group of people for the trip, but they all canceled one by one. I was the “team leader” so I went up alone. Arrived in Franconia at 10 pm Friday night, and started packing. The AMC guide estimated 3.5 hours to the top, a 1.5 hour decrease from my rule of thumb estimate. Much joy was had, as that meant that I could sleep in later (I hate mornings). Finished packing, and went to sleep.
Woke up late, rushed out, and arrived at the trailhead 30 minutes late. It was clear, and cool – so I was able to hustle up the mountain and arrive 10 minutes early. Much more joy was had. Very easy hike; 5 miles one way, but only about 3000 feet in elevation gain. Total cake walk.
Route: Nineteen mile brook trail – Carter dome trail – Zeta Pass / Carter Moriah Trail.
Had three, or four visitors over the next two hours. Most were supportive, and appreciated the effort.
As the temperature rose, the local bug population mobilized. At times it was a haze of bugs at the top. Deet quickly became my best friend. At 2:10, I took the flag down, and left for a leisurely hike out. Lots of water running everywhere. Very pretty, and made up for the lack of views.