Hiking Trail Conditions Report
Peaks Mt. Lafayette, Mt. Truman, Mt. Lincoln, Little Haystack Mountain, NH
Trails: Old Bridle Path, Greenleaf Trail, Franconia Ridge Trail, Falling Waters Trail
Date of Hike
Date of Hike: Saturday, January 25, 2020
Parking/Access Road Notes
Parking/Access Road Notes:  
Surface Conditions
Surface Conditions: Ice - Blue, Snow - Packed Powder/Loose Granular, Snow - Unpacked Powder, Snow/Ice - Frozen Granular, Snow - Drifts, Snow/Ice - Postholes 
Recommended Equipment
Recommended Equipment: Snowshoes, Light Traction 
Water Crossing Notes
Water Crossing Notes: Barebooters/Microspikers broke through one of the Falling Waters snowbridges today. 
Trail Maintenance Notes
Trail Maintenance Notes: A few stepovers/duck unders on upper Falling Waters. Also, at treeline, someone put up posts with bungee cord, which are leading people off the staircase and resulting in more erosion. 
Dog-Related Notes
Dog-Related Notes: There is a Forest Service sign at treeline on Greenleaf Trail that says it's a $125 fine to not have your dog on a leash. 
Lost and Found
Lost and Found:  
Comments: Old Bridle Path was mostly packed powder, except where buttsliders stripped an upper steep down to ice/rock. Snowshoes were ideal, especially with the above freezing temperatures. Snowpack is a little over a foot down low and 2-3 feet up high, with deeper drifts.

Greenleaf Trail above treeline was mostly rock and ice. The snowfield turn up high is frozen granular and not safely passable with bareboots (cannot get purchase, and it's a no fall zone). Spikes seemed to be adequate today, but good snowshoes would have been ideal (too short a stretch to otherwise put them on though).

From Lafayette to Lincoln, Micropsikes were ideal. Some short deep drifts of snow, some stretches of bare rock, and some areas of blue ice. Heading south off Lincoln and all the way to treeline, most of the trail was bare with some passable blue ice and snow drifts. I opted to bareboot this stretch to preserve my spikes.

Snowshoes went back on at treeline, as snowpack was close to three feet. Saw one person hiking up in crampons with an ice axe, yet was getting a lot less purchase than I was with snowshoes. Others were spinning their tires in spikes. A few places the packed track is going around the downhill side of trees and saplings, which may end up killing them off and further increasing trail creep/erosion. Further down, near the largest cascade, buttsliders stripped the steep down to ice/rock, making for tricky passage. The trail was surprisingly very unconsolidated down low.

Winds ended up being stronger than the forecast suggested yesterday, particularly on Lafayette. Temperatures were mild and there was a nice partial undercast.

Lots of unprepared hikers out and about, including some without any traction whatsoever.

With the forecast of rain and above freezing temperatures over the next day, the considerate thing to do is to wear snowshoes were there is snow. Otherwise, your postholes and divets are going to freeze solid and make the trail miserable for those who hike after temperatures drop back down Sunday night.  
Name: rocket21 
Date Submitted
Date Submitted: 2020-01-25 
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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