|Hiking Trail Conditions Report
| Mt. Jefferson, Mt. Adams, Mt. Madison , NH
|Lowe's Path, Randolph Path, Israel Ridge Path, Loop Trail, Gulfside Trail, Airline, Osgood, Valley Way
|Date of Hike:
|Friday, March 13, 2015
|Parking/Access Road Notes:
|$1/day to park at Lowe's Store in Randolph. Hiker cars go off to the side.
|Ice - Blue, Snow - Packed Powder/Loose Granular, Snow - Unpacked Powder, Snow/Ice - Frozen Granular, Snow - Drifts, Snow/Ice - Postholes
|Snowshoes, Light Traction, Traction
|Water Crossing Notes:
|Trail Maintenance Notes:
|Lost and Found:
|I lost a baggie of Swedish fish somewhere on Madison. Tragic. :(
|I had planned a mountain JAM this weekend to finish off my winter 48, but with snow predicted for Saturday and Sunday I switched my plans to Friday the 13th. The forecast was reasonably clear with moderate to high winds, but I took the gamble because sometimes NOAA lies.
My friend Eurydice and I hit the trail at 8am to ascend Jefferson first from Lowe's Path, which was well packed with a dusting of fresh snow. The cold temperatures had solidified things so we were able to bare boot and then switch to spikes on the steeps. Randolph Path had only one set of snowshoe tracks, and we ran into a guy on his way back who had spent two nights at The Perch. His fresh tracks had softened things, so we switched to snowshoes. The section of Randolph Path from the Perch was unbroken and drifted, so we detoured onto Israel Ridge Path for a bit before rejoining a tracked-out section of Randolph Path to Edmands Col. The section of Gulfside from the col to the Loop Trail has a steep snowfield that looked sketchy but was firm enough to cross safely (we had brought ice axes but didn't need them). I stayed in snowshoes and Eurydice switched to microspikes. The winds picked up once we were out in the open, so we bundled up, but the trail up Jefferson was fairly sheltered and the winds on the ridge weren't bad (25ish?). The views from Jefferson were amazing.
Upon returning to Edmands Col, Eurydice opted to descend the way we came; she hadn't been feeling well all day and was a trooper for making the long ascent of Jefferson! I continued along the ridge, set on finishing my winter 48. When it started getting rocky, I switched from snowshoes to trail crampons (Katoola K-10s). Most hikers were in spikes all day but some had recommended crampons for the patches of ice. As I approached Adams I could see snow enveloping Washington, but it was still pleasant when I reached the summit (one of the nicest days I've had on Adams). As others have reported, the snow fills in the spaces between boulders and makes it easier to maneuver. Last summer I had lost the Airlne as I descended the summit cone, but there were no route-fiding issues this time with tracks to follow. As I reached Madison hut there were light snow flurries, but I managed to summit in the clear and just before dark. Note to self: don't kiss the summit pin when it's 5 degrees out, even if it's #48 of your winter 4,000-footers!
And so, alone on a mountaintop, my journey came to a close. 48 winter peaks in 2 years (31 in the past 3 months). Although I finished alone, so many friends and family were with me in that moment. Special thanks to Bob H. and the AMC NH chapter for showing me the ropes, and to friends old and new who joined me on the trail. I couldn't have done it without you!
48 down, 0 to go for my winter 48!
|lizwyman at yahoo
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.