Hiking Trail Conditions Report
Peaks Madison Spring Hut, Star Lake, NH
Trails: Howker Ridge Trail, Pine Link Trail
Date of Hike
Date of Hike: Tuesday, August 29, 2017
Parking/Access Road Notes
Parking/Access Road Notes: Great parking lot on Dolly Copp road right before it reaches Rt 2. 
Surface Conditions
Surface Conditions: Dry Trail, Wet Trail, Standing/Running Water on Trail, Mud - Minor/Avoidable 
Recommended Equipment
Recommended Equipment:  
Water Crossing Notes
Water Crossing Notes: First crossing (Hitchcock Falls, Bumpus Brook) was a little tricky for my short stride. Prema and my trekking poles were put to good use. 
Trail Maintenance Notes
Trail Maintenance Notes: Excellent! Thank you for the quartz topped cairns above tree line. Again, this was six days ago, so I don't remember much about blowdowns. Must not have been much of an issue. 
Dog-Related Notes
Dog-Related Notes: Make sure your dog is in shape, has sufficient water, and paw protection if going above treeline. Those northern Prezzie rocks are NASTY. And should you decide to visit the hut, only service animals may go in. 
Bugs: None 
Lost and Found
Lost and Found: 1. My confidence 2. My desire to redline 
Comments: We had reservations at Madison Spring (we treat ourselves to a night each year) and started at what I thought was a good time. I thought we would get up there with good time to spare before dinner to visit the huge white stone near Star Lake. Unfortunately, I found the steep up and downs to be beyond my expectations (and, yes, I did read the description in the 30th Edition). I was also nauseous and had no appetite. When we were in reach of the Pine Link Junction, I told Prema we would take that to the hut rather than summit Madison and descend. It had finally gotten through my thick skull that my nausea stemmed from the same problem that was causing me to thirst immediately after drinking. It took me quite a while to cross over on Pine Link, but I was treated to a nice animal show way down at treeline. While taking a short rest on those jagged rocks, I noticed a large dark shape rummaging in and out of the trees. A little far to tell, but it was probably a moose. I was late for dinner, but when I did get there, I more than made up for my lack of fluids.

Overcast afternoon, but beautiful colors in the horizon at sunset. Howker Ridge is challenging, but it is a beautiful trail. I just needed to be better prepared and respect whatever limitations I have (temporary or otherwise). The croo's evening talk was about search and rescue. How fitting!
Name: Beckie and Prema 
Date Submitted
Date Submitted: 2017-09-03 
Link: https:// 
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