Hiking Trail Conditions Report
Peaks Mt. Madison, Mt. Adams, Mt. Jefferson, Mt. Washington, Mt. Monroe, NH
Trails: Valley Way, Osgood Trail, Gulfside, Airline, Israel Ridge Path, Gulfside, snowfields, Castle Trail, Caps Ridge Trail, Jefferson Loop, Gulfside, Westside Trail, Snowfields, Gulfside, Trinity Heights Connector, Crawford Path, snowfields, Monroe Loop, Ammonoosuc Ravine Trail
Date of Hike
Date of Hike: Monday, March 13, 2017
Parking/Access Road Notes
Parking/Access Road Notes: Probably 10 cars at Appalachia; 2 at Marshfield Station 
Surface Conditions
Surface Conditions: Ice - Black, Ice - Blue, Ice - Breakable Crust, Snow/Ice - Frozen Granular, Snow - Drifts, Snow/Ice - Monorail (Stable), Snow/Ice - Postholes 
Recommended Equipment
Recommended Equipment: Light Traction, Traction, Ice Axe 
Water Crossing Notes
Water Crossing Notes: Easy. 
Trail Maintenance Notes
Trail Maintenance Notes: Ammonoosuc Ravine Trail is probably a little off course and consequently there are a few small trees across the trail. 
Dog-Related Notes
Dog-Related Notes: Saw paw prints from Lakes toward Washington. No dogs, though. 
Lost and Found
Lost and Found: Someone in Baha's group found a Paris Expedition sled tied to a rock around Jefferson. They very kindly hiked it down. 
Comments: We threaded the needle between the deep cold of the weekend and the deep snows of tomorrow. Indeed, everything's about to change!

Regardless, some notes:

In hindsight, we would've been better off staying on Gulfside from Madison Hut to Israel Ridge rather than taking Airline, despite the extra distance. The ice wasn't bad going up Airline (spikes), but many people switched to crampons for the descent. There are far more exposed rocks on Airline. Gulfside & Israel Ridge were largely snowfields, which were easier to walk on.

Gulfside between T-Storm Jct and Edmands was splendid, reminiscent of Colorado or the Pyrenees with its long stretches of snowfields and krummholtz. Wonderful walking! Tip of the hat to Baha! You've been on an impressive run of late!!

The "Jefferson snowfield" on Gulfside looked terrifying. We headed west and followed some bomber snowfields more or less to the summit of Jefferson. (see photo)

Lots of drifts from Jefferson to Clay Col.

We (unwisely) took Westside Trail, thinking we could tie some snowfields together to get to the summit of Washington. Alas, there was a lot of rock-hopping.

We thought our trip was "all downhill" from Washington, but the snowfields on Crawford Path near the hut required careful attention. It's also important to choose the right snowfield for ascending Monroe (so long as it exists). We contoured around to the east and found ourselves channeling Ueli Steck.

Roof-drift on Lakes is still in place. The Ammonoosuc Ravine Trail has some drifting near treeline, remains terribly steep just below, and has several quarrelsome postholes on the flatter sections.

Name: icegulch 
E-Mail: icegulch [at] gmail 
Date Submitted
Date Submitted: 2017-03-13 
Bookmark and Share 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.

Copyright 2009-2024, All Rights Reserved