|Hiking Trail Conditions Report|
||Mt. Lafayette, Mt. Truman, Mt. Lincoln, Little Haystack Mountain, Mt. Liberty, NH|
||Old Bridle Path, Greenleaf Trail, Franconia Ridge Trail, Liberty Spring Trail|
|Date of Hike:
||Saturday, May 4, 2019|
|Parking/Access Road Notes:
||Lots were not full even in the afternoon. I'm sure that will change within the next month. |
||Wet Trail, Wet/Slippery Rock, Standing/Running Water on Trail, Mud - Minor/Avoidable, Snow/Ice - Monorail (Stable), Snow/Ice - Monorail (Unstable), Snow - Spring Snow, Snow/Ice - Postholes, Snow/Ice - Small Patches |
||Snowshoes, Light Traction |
|Water Crossing Notes:
||Liberty Springs was the only crossing of note. Leaned on the upstream side of the tree across the stream and stepped on rocks to cross. That will get your feet wet if your boots are not waterproof however. |
|Trail Maintenance Notes:
||A few blowdowns on OBP and Liberty Springs Trail, but nothing rising even to nuisance level. |
||Saw one happy pup. |
||A few flies near Liberty, otherwise nothing. |
|Lost and Found:
||Used spikes immediately on OBP ascent. Monorail was stable all the way up, though at various points it's become very narrow. Easy to slide off and potentially posthole. Hut's open. Bring $2 for the ginger chocolate chip cookies the caretaker makes. One of those will keep you going all the way across the ridge.|
You can remove the spikes once you're maybe 1/4 mile from the hut and on the Lafayette rocks. There's a few stretches of 50 yards or less of packed(ish) snow across the ridge to Haystack, but it's not worth keeping the spikes on, just tread carefully. Other than that the Lafayette to Haystack traverse might as well be summer conditions.
Which brings us to the Haystack to Liberty part. Immediately after Haystack summit it became clear we were going to need the snowshoes. We descended the wicked steep part off the summit carefully in spikes trying (pretty successfully) not to posthole then switched to snowshoes all the way to the Liberty. Melt conditions made the trail a little hard to follow, and there's still 4'+ of base so it's almost a bushwhack in sections. Well there's a trail now, though maybe not in a good way. Towards the Liberty end we met two separate groups in spikes only. One was going to do a Pemi, the other was going to Galehead. We did convey our opinion that continuing w/o snowshoes was a bad idea (seriously a Pemi, no shoes), but kids, what you gonna do? ANYHOW if the Liberty/Haystack traverse looks like an egg crate from now until the snow melts, it wasn't us. We sampled their handiwork after we passed them. Egg crate.
Liberty Springs intersection to Liberty ascent solid monorail, spikes fine though we just kept our shoes on.
Liberty descent is just as Elizabeth described. Solid (if thin) monorail at the top, softer in the mid section, no snow at the bottom just wet trail. Intermediate traction would not be out of place on the steep parts off the summit, let you move faster, but just spikes worked.
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.