Hiking Trail Conditions Report
Peaks Mt. Monroe, Mt. Washington, Mt. Clay, NH
Trails: Ammonoosuc Ravine Trail, Crawford Path, Monroe Loop, Gulfside, Clay Loop, Jewell Trail
Date of Hike
Date of Hike: Saturday, December 20, 2014
Parking/Access Road Notes
Parking/Access Road Notes: The main hiker lot was plowed but with a crusty snow ridge that blocked off a fourth or so of the lot. The lot across from it was only recently plowed for the road section, but the unplowed part was not a problem for vehicles with 4-5" of new snow on it.  
Surface Conditions
Surface Conditions: Snow - Packed Powder/Loose Granular, Snow/Ice - Frozen Granular 
Recommended Equipment
Recommended Equipment: Snowshoes 
Water Crossing Notes
Water Crossing Notes: Small drainages down low were open on Ammo, but the major streams were snowbridged. 
Trail Maintenance Notes
Trail Maintenance Notes: Signs all there but some of them up high could have told one how far to Wall Drug for all we could see due to rime. Jewell has a lot of bendovers across the trail, but we took out the worst. Ammo is clear. Ammo was well packed, Crawford and Gulfside were a mix of some loose snow, some crusty snow and some nicely packed. Barebooters kind of tore it up, we and the original trail breakers smoothed it out pretty well, but more bootholers continued past us from Clay to Washington. Clay Loop was unbroken, Jewell was broken today by others and was a nice snowshoe now.  
Dog-Related Notes
Dog-Related Notes: Great day for dogs. Pepper had very little snowballing, and for the most part pretty easy hiking. We met three other dogs, all wonderful spirits, and saw one more from a distance.  
Bugs: None in our dimensions. 
Lost and Found
Lost and Found: One pole basket. 
Comments: We met a fair number of hikers, but not a lot given the great weather. Many avoided or were apprehensive about the Jewell Trail. It turned out a couple of guys and Moses (the dog, not the Biblical leader) broke it out and by now it is a wonderful snowshoe path. We met some struggling barebooters on Gulfside, struggling because there was a fair amount of new snow. Snowshoes were not only far superior for traction, but for future trail hikers. Ammo, however, was well packed and could be and was barebooted although snowshoes would probably give better traction. On the ridge snowshoes were by far the most common footwear and most efficient.

After seeing spectacular pictures from this past weeks hikers, we got a chance to take our own. Driving up in Franconia Notch the hardwood trees had so much snow/rime on them they looked like they had full crowns of white leaves. Driving through Twin Mtn we saw a vertical rainbow in front of the Presidentials from ethereal snow particles. Above treeline the rime had formed wonderful patterns of all kinds, but the ones that reminded me of feathers on a headdress were everywhere. As we hiked more clouds formed below us eventually creating a splendid undercast. Coming out at the Cog at the end of the day we were treated to a wonderful alpenglow on the Presidentials. I hiked through all this with two kindred spirits. I never merited such grace but I'll take it happily.  
Name: Pepper and Me 
E-Mail: windriversjohn at gmail dot com 
Date Submitted
Date Submitted: 2014-12-20 
Link: https:// 
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