Hiking Trail Conditions Report
Peaks Mt. Monroe, Mt. Washington, Mt. Jefferson, Mt. Adams, Mt. Madison, NH
Trails: Ammonoosuc Ravine Trail, Mt. Monroe Loop, Crawford Path, Trinity Heights Connector, Gulfside, Mt. Jefferson Loop, Israel Ridge Path, Lowes Path, Airline, Osgood Trail, Valley Way
Date of Hike
Date of Hike: Tuesday, December 20, 2016
Parking/Access Road Notes
Parking/Access Road Notes: Parked at upper Cog lot, no issues. 
Surface Conditions
Surface Conditions: Snow - Packed Powder/Loose Granular, Snow/Ice - Frozen Granular, Snow/Ice - Postholes 
Recommended Equipment
Recommended Equipment: Traction 
Water Crossing Notes
Water Crossing Notes: Lower crossing on Ammy (the one below Gem Pool) required extra care due to precarious ice-covered rocks. Gem Pool crossing was easy w/traction. 
Trail Maintenance Notes
Trail Maintenance Notes: Everything looked great. 
Dog-Related Notes
Dog-Related Notes: Kind of long and cold for a dog but depends on the dog. 
Lost and Found
Lost and Found:  
Comments: Got my Christmas wish fulfilled today: finally a decent Presi Day!

Not wanting to carry both crampons and microspikes, we opted for the former and also carried snowshoes all day but never used them. (Still needed to be carried in case we needed to take an unbroken bailout trail.)

Ammonoosuc Ravine Trail had been heavily traveled which made for relatively easy footing with traction. Reached Lakes just as sunlight was hitting top of Monroe--beautiful! Tried to stay on trail up Monroe which entailed a short steep traverse. An ice axe or whippet would have been a confidence booster here (and on all steeper snowfields). On the return, we beelined for the hut which was a safer choice.

Footing up Washington was hardpacked snow--Sunday's rains were a gift! Happy to be in full crampons vs. micro's in this section, and most of the day although it had been a long time since I'd walked that far in crampons! Winds and temps weren't bad, probably worst between George and cog tracks. Opted to walk cog tracks instead of Gulfside higher up--safer and footing was perfect! Encountered more rocks as we neared Jefferson, ditto for Adams and Madison, which made for more tedious footing in crampons.

Only one in our group of three (not me!) was brave enough to cross the steep snowfield on the north side of Jefferson. (He also carried a whippet.) Two of us crossed high and 'whacked through the krummholz, finding some bottomless krummholz traps in the process. Met our first hikers of the day near Sam Adams, they postholing a parallel off-trail, higher route than us on the trail.

Winds really picked up as we tagged Madison, so we were happy to have gotten an early start. Valley Way was a mess in the upper mile--badly postholed, uneven, ankle jerky... ugh. Snowshoes really would not have helped to smooth things out very much. Lower down wasn't so bad, and we were able to finally remove the crampons and bareboot the rest of the way.

566/576 after today. :)  
Name: Snowflea 
Date Submitted
Date Submitted: 2016-12-22 
Link: https:// 
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