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Hiking Trail Conditions Report
Peaks
Peaks Mt. Jefferson, NH
Trails
Trails: Castle Trail, Jefferson Loop, Gulfside, Randolph Path, Israel Ridge Path, Castle Trail
Date of Hike
Date of Hike: Saturday, October 19, 2019
Parking/Access Road Notes
Parking/Access Road Notes: No issues finding an open parking spot at Bowman, where the Castle Trail trailhead is located. Far less busy here than the Caps Ridge or Appalachia trailheads. 
Surface Conditions
Surface Conditions: Ice - Black, Snow - Trace/Minimal Depth, Wet Trail, Snow - Packed Powder/Loose Granular, Wet/Slippery Rock, Ice - Breakable Crust, Snow - Unpacked Powder, Standing/Running Water on Trail, Snow - Drifts, Mud - Minor/Avoidable, Leaves - Significant/Slippery, Snow/Ice - Small Patches 
Recommended Equipment
Recommended Equipment: Light Traction 
Water Crossing Notes
Water Crossing Notes: High water conditions at all brook crossings. The only crossing I was able to rock hop was the one on Israel Ridge Path just above the Cabin-Cascades Path junction, and even then my feet still got wet. The other crossings- one on the Castle Trail just beyond a powerline, and another one on Israel Ridge Path just before its junction with the Castle Trail- were too difficult to rock hop, so I took off my boots and socks and waded across. With the incoming warmer temps, there will be more snowmelt, which could mean that high water conditions stick around for the next day or two. Cross with care. 
Trail Maintenance Notes
Trail Maintenance Notes: A few blowdowns along the Castle Trail, namely between the Israel Ridge Path and Link junctions. No issues getting past them. 
Dog-Related Notes
Dog-Related Notes: The Castles could be hazardous for both human and canine when snowy/icy, as was the case today. Use good judgment if planning to bring a dog up this trail. 
Bugs
Bugs: Ha! 
Lost and Found
Lost and Found: I found a headlamp on the Mt. Jefferson Loop, not far from the summit. I believe the strap for the headlamp says "Princeton Tec" or something close to that. If you lost it, shoot me an e-mail and we can work something out to get it back to you. 
 
Comments
Comments: Old Man Winter has arrived on Mt. Jefferson and the Northern Presidentials! Down low, it was still fall-like, but around 3,500' or so, I saw the first traces of snow and ice, and above 4,000' or so, the snow cover rapidly became more consistent. From treeline to the summit, the trail and the mountain in general was completely covered in anywhere from a few inches to a foot of snow, and the trail signs, cairns, and alpine shrubs/bushes were caked with rime ice. Full winter gear including light traction was necessary to do this hike safely. I was especially glad to have the traction, as the climb up the Castles would'be been extremely difficult and hazardous without it. The clouds started clearing around 3/4 mi from the top, and I was greeted by an undercast with sunny skies above it, along with snow-capped Mount Washington standing strong on the other side of Great Gulf. The Jefferson Loop and the short section of Gulfside Trail I took had seen recent traffic, so the going was easier there. Randolph Path from Edmands Col to the Israel Ridge Path was not tracked out, so I had to really pay attention to where the footway and cairns were, as they were to tough to discern at times due the snow and rime ice. Israel Ridge Path had full snow coverage to the Perch Path junction, after which the coverage rapidly diminished. The trail was wet with slick leaves and slippery rock for the remaining 1.25 mile or so to the Castle Trail.
 
Name
Name: Spencer 
E-Mail
E-Mail: Spencer898@aol.com 
Date Submitted
Date Submitted: 2019-10-19 
Link
Link: http:// 
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.

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