|Hiking Trail Conditions Report|
||Mt. Madison, Mt. Adams, Mt. Jefferson, Mt. Clay, Mt. Washington, Mt. Monroe, Mt. Franklin, Mt. Eisenhower, Mt. Pierce, NH|
||Valley Way, Osgood Trail, Gulfside, Airline, Israel Ridge Trail, Jefferson Loop, Clay Loop, Crawford Path, Monroe Loop, Eisenhower Loop|
|Date of Hike:
||Wednesday, March 21, 2018|
|Parking/Access Road Notes:
||Snow - Packed Powder/Loose Granular, Snow - Unpacked Powder, Snow - Drifts |
|Water Crossing Notes:
|Trail Maintenance Notes:
||A few blowdowns on Valley Way, easy to get over/under |
|Lost and Found:
||There is a lot of SNOW above treeline! Two of us wore snowshoes car to car: 20+ miles, ~9000 feet vert. My favorite conditions for a Presi Traverse! We went for a very early start since winds were forecasted to ramp up in the afternoon. (They were 6-7 mph when we started!)|
Valley Way was packed nicely—could have ‘spiked or bare booted, but we opted to snowshoe from the get-go. Above treeline was a spectacular ~13-mile otherworld of beautiful wind-sculpted SNOW art which had mostly been pummeled to a firm hardpack with interesting ridges, peaks, and valleys. Once in awhile we’d sink in over our knees, and a few times we found some sneaky air-filled krummholz traps.
The sunrise from Adams was spectacular as was the early morning light over all the SNOW! On the flanks of Sam Adams we stayed higher on the hardpack so as to avoid the scrub on the Gulfside proper. We picked a more direct line up Jefferson than the trail goes but still managed to climb some pretty steep sh*t. (Was wishing for my ice axe in just this one spot.)
Winds started to pick up on Clay but never exceeded 30 mph, so we didn’t really get pushed around. Temps remained in the high teens. We chose another direct’ish line up Washington from the area of Westside Trail—not a problem at all since there was SNOW everywhere filling in the holes between the rocks. Down to Monroe had been well traveled by the Ammy crowd, but Monroe to Ike had no visible tracks. We tried to stay on trail and avoid the krummholz and other alpine vegetation... and were mostly successful.
Ike to Pierce to Rt. 302 was well packed. However, the broken out route between the two peaks is off trail for ~1/4 of the way, or so it seemed. Thanks to everyone who wore snowshoes on Valley Way and Crawford Path up to Eisenhower. The trails are really nice right now!
*Note that we got by easily with just snowshoes this day, but with the inevitable upcoming thaw-freeze cycles, traction will be necessary.
Disclaimer: Reports are not verified - conditions may vary. Use at own risk. Always be prepared when hiking. Observe all signs. Trail conditions reports are not substitutes for weather reports or common sense.