|Hiking Trail Conditions Report|
||Mt. Jackson, Mt. Pierce, Mt. Eisenhower, Mt. Monroe, Mt. Washington, Mt. Jefferson, Mt. Adams, Mt. Madison, NH|
||Webster-Jackson Trail, Webster Cliff Trail, Crawford Path, Eisenhower Loop, Monroe Loop, Trinity Heights Connector, Gulfside, Jefferson Loop, Israel Ridge Path, Lowe’s Path, Air Line, Osgood Trail, Valley Way |
|Date of Hike:
||Sunday, November 8, 2020|
|Parking/Access Road Notes:
||Only car in the dirt lot across from the Webster-Jackson trailhead at 4:30am. Only a couple other left when I got back around 7pm. Surprisingly, Appalachia didn’t appear to overflow terribly either Saturday or Sunday when I drove past. |
||Dry Trail, Ice - Black, Snow - Trace/Minimal Depth, Wet Trail, Wet/Slippery Rock, Ice - Breakable Crust, Standing/Running Water on Trail, Mud - Minor/Avoidable, Mud - Significant, Snow - Spring Snow, Slush, Snow/Ice - Small Patches |
|Water Crossing Notes:
||The crossing of Flume Brook Cascade on Webster-Jackson Trail was a bit challenging in the dark. I crossed near the bottom of it which is challenging with some steep, wet ledge whereas I believe there’s something a bit higher up that resembles more of a rock hop. Should’ve gone that way. Oh well. The crossing of “several small brooks at their confluence” as described in the WMG 1.4mi from Appalachia along Valley Way was easily hopable but a bit hard to see where the trail went on the other side with only a dull head lamp. Just sort of took my best guess and it turned out to be correct. 😜 Nothing else of any consequence. |
|Trail Maintenance Notes:
||No blowdowns blocking the trail that I recall on Webster-Jackson Trail but there is a cut one that still protrudes slightly into the trail that I bumped my head on. I believe this was at one of the branches of the Silver Cascade Brook that the trail goes by in quick succession. No other blowdowns I recall on my ascent up to the ridge. I recall there being a small pine blowdown along the ridge between Pierce and Eisenhower but I can’t remember if I saw that yesterday or last time I walked that part of the ridge. There was a cluster of three stepover/straddled blowdowns high up on Valley Way. Maybe 0.5-1.0mi from the hut. They’ve all been delimbed; you just still need to swing your legs over them. Webster-Jackson Trail
Is blazed in blue. I don’t think it’s at all frequent. Occasional white blaze marking the AT along Crawford Path. I noticed more old, faded yellow blaze on Gulfside Trail then I did white blaze. I think I saw a little bit of blue blaze on Air Line. Mostly very faded. I don’t recall there being blaze on any of the summit loops. Valley Way had the occasional blue blaze. Of course all the trails above tree line are marked with cairns. Personally, I find it very easy to get off trail on the ones that are truly boulder scrambles though. In particular, I ascended straight up the rock pile whereas Israel Ridge Path actually angles to the left and almost contours for a bit before ascending up toward Adams and Air Line. |
||This traverse is not appropriate for the vast majority of even experienced, fit, hiking dogs. The terrain of jagged rocks is very rough on their paws and special procreation is needed (I can never remember what it’s called). Webster-Jackson Trail has some scrambles that may be tough for them. Some very steep sections of boulder hopping along the summit cones as well. Only a couple dogs seen yesterday I believe. |
|Lost and Found:
||My first presidential traverse is completed :) I attempted one back in the summer of 2017 in an attempt to finish my 48 but bailed down the auto rd on Washington. Yesterday, there was no bailing ;) These 8 official 4000 footers were my 7th-14th 4000 footers for the month leaving me with 26 more peaks to grid out November. |
Terrific winds and the wind usually felt pretty mild and only occasionally strong. Even at its strongest, it wasn’t blow you over wind though. Combined with the very mild temps and sunny, blue skies, the weather was fantastic. Many people were in shorts and I was in just a fleece most of the day. I was able to descend in short sleeves :) Never used gloves. Only time my hands got cold were on the summits if I stopped for a bit.
Although I would’ve done the traverse in the reverse direction had I been able to, I must say I was happy not be going down Webster-Jackson Trail at the end of the day. What a miserable trail that is. Took me much longer than I anticipated to summit Jackson and immediately got behind schedule. My fault for hiking the day before and being a little sore. Lots of wetness and mud on that trail but I was surprised to find no snow until later on the ridge.
Had the summit of Jackson to myself just past sunrise. Kept going as I was already so far behind. It’s a steep descent down from Jackson but gets much easier after the initial steep descent until you get to Mizpah. It was in this section of trail that I first saw snow I believe. I’m pretty sure none of it was on trail though. The bog bridges in here were, at times, very slippery though and I fell twice. First person I saw all day was at Mizpah Hut. Nice to briefly talk. He had stayed at Naumann tent site and said there were only a few others. Hope your hike out the Dry River Trail went well! The ascent up the southwest summit of Pierce is steep but brief and the rest of the trek to Pierce wasn’t bad and I was able to move a bit faster as my body warmed up the lactic acid started to move again 😂
I even made up a little time as I ascended to Eisenhower. Between these two peaks is where I first saw snow on trail
But it was very, very minimal. Got to briefly chat with a trail runner who’s working on her 48 on Eisenhower. I think it was windiest here in the morning and the wind gradually decreased before ramping up a bit at the end of the day. See my first actual “stretches” of a few feet of snow between Eisenhower and Monroe I think. Another couple at the summit of Monroe. Some slippery rocks up there and one of them got to watch me eat it. Finally started to see some people along the ridge as I ascended Washington including Steven who was a pleasure to briefly talk to :) Wish I’d gotten to talk with him and others on the summit of Washington longer but I had to keep moving.
Ran into who must’ve been Hiker_Dad out with his daughter out enjoying the beautiful day on my way to Jefferson and also enjoyed the company of Borris and Anastasia out to enjoy a “relaxed” hike of Washington using the Ammo and Jewel trails 😂 Began to encounter a few more snow patches here but all were short and melting; no ice. Just could’ve been a little slippery. Lots of footprints in them too and some were avoidable by hopping on nearby rocks. Some wet ledge descending Gulfside to Clay and there were puddles/wetness as well along here. Ran into Ryan who was also doing a presi traverse around the Cornice who told me some friends of mine who were doing a JAM traverse weren’t too far away. Only a handful of people around the summit of Jefferson.
The terrain got a lot tougher past Jefferson and I think some of the hardest portions of Gulfside are between Jefferson and Adams. Met Rich Gamable (again) who was out doing his 6th Dirrettisima between the two peaks which was nice. He suggested that I do an OAB to Adams from T-Storm jct as the backside (Air Line) of Adams is so rocky...I wish I had listened to him 😂 Had the summit of Adams to myself for the whole 30 seconds I was there. The descent down Air Line was very steep and bouldery. Happy to be back on Gulfside and only a short ways to the hut. Met friends Rick and Rachel there which pumped me up to go to the summit. Man was I slow getting there. Left the hut at 3:30 for back at 4:15. Put the headlamp on around 4:45pm on Valley Way. Pretty easy to follow with a headlamp even in the sake. Some of the mid-lower sections of trail could maybe be a it obscure where there’s more leaf debris. Made it down to Appalachia at 6:20pm happy to have a friend willing to pick me up :)
||Liam Cooney |
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.