Hiking Trail Conditions Report
Peaks Mt. Jackson, Mt. Pierce, Mt. Eisenhower, NH
Trails: Webster-Jackson Trail, Webster Cliff Trail, Crawford Path, Eisenhower Loop, US 302
Date of Hike
Date of Hike: Sunday, May 17, 2020
Parking/Access Road Notes
Parking/Access Road Notes: Crawford Connector, Highland Center, and train station lots are all closed. Found roadside parking early this morning. Road was lined with cars early this afternoon, the majority of which were out of state plates. Gale River, Haystack, and Zealand roads are all still gated. 
Surface Conditions
Surface Conditions: Ice - Blue, Wet/Slippery Rock, Standing/Running Water on Trail, Snow/Ice - Monorail (Stable), Mud - Significant, Snow/Ice - Monorail (Unstable), Snow - Spring Snow, Snow/Ice - Postholes 
Recommended Equipment
Recommended Equipment: Snowshoes, Light Traction 
Water Crossing Notes
Water Crossing Notes: Webster-Jackson crossing is higher than normal, but can be lept across. 
Trail Maintenance Notes
Trail Maintenance Notes: Blowdowns on Webster-Jackson, Webster Cliff, and Crawford Path. Cut out a few, but barely made a dent. Webster Cliff Trail was very brushy between Jackson and Mizpah. 
Dog-Related Notes
Dog-Related Notes: New alpine zone signs state that dogs have to be leashed, or else the forest service can fine you. 
Lost and Found
Lost and Found: None yet 
Comments: Don't be fooled by the lack of snow in the notch; there is still a tremendous amount of snow in the woods at elevation. This is not a normal May.

Webster-Jackson Trail was very messy prior to the split (lots of mud and standing water). Patchy ice monorail started within a few hundred yards of the trailhead. On-and-off spikes starting around Bugle Cliff. Instant full snowpack starting at the split, at which point the spikes stayed on. Snowpack was roughly 1 to 3 feet deep on the approach. Footbed was fairly well packed this morning, allowing for spikes, but it deviates from the actual trail in at least one place, so that could become problematic with current depths as the snowpack warms. Prior to treeline, there is still snow and/or ice monorail weaving through the initial scrambles. Treeline scramble is snow free.

Snowshoes went on after descending the other side of the summit cone ledges. Snowpack was probably 3-4 feet from there to the hut, with some very deep postholes mixed in, particularly where the trail is not obvious (blowdowns, filled in corridors, etc.). It is very risky to be on this stretch without at least carrying snowshoes right now.

The steeps up from the hut were still mostly filled in, so it was relatively smooth sailing ascending on snowshoes. North of the ledges, there was a particularly deep stretch, 5 to 6 feet deep (perhaps more; couldn't see any blazes). Again, very risky behavior to be out here without snowshoes right now.

After reaching the summit, the snowshoes came off briefly for the stretch from there to the Crawford Path, then went on again. As was the case with the Webster Cliff Trail, this stretch was not particularly well packed. Saw some nasty postholes, including one with visible blood. Snowshoes came off perhaps about halfway to the loop junction.

The Eisenhower Loop was spring snow initially, then had a few areas of ice monorail above treeline. I was able to bareboot this stretch without issue.

Back at the Webster Cliff junction, I descended in snowshoes until around the Mizpah junction, then switched to spikes. Full snowpack remained until about halfway down from the Mizpah junction, when it instantly turned to patchy monorail; was able to bareboot from here to the highway. A few trout lily in bloom naer the trailhead.  
Name: rocket21 
Date Submitted
Date Submitted: 2020-05-17 
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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