Hiking Trail Conditions Report
Peaks Mt. Madison, Mt. Adams, Mt. Jefferson, Mt. Washington, Mt. Monroe, Mt. Eisenhower, Mt. Pierce, NH
Trails: Valley Way, Osgood Trail, Gulfside, Jefferson Loop, Crawford Path, Monroe Loop, Eisenhower Loop, Webster Cliff Trail
Date of Hike
Date of Hike: Saturday, January 9, 2021
Parking/Access Road Notes
Parking/Access Road Notes: Parked one car at AMC Highland Center the night before; parked another at Appalachia in the morning. No cars at the time of parking but both parking lots were fairly fill on Saturday afternoon upon return.  
Surface Conditions
Surface Conditions: Snow - Unpacked Powder, Snow/Ice - Frozen Granular, Snow - Drifts, Snow/Ice - Monorail (Stable), Snow/Ice - Monorail (Unstable) 
Recommended Equipment
Recommended Equipment: Light Traction 
Water Crossing Notes
Water Crossing Notes: No notable water crossings; a few very small hops on Valley Way and Crawford Path that were easy to get over. 
Trail Maintenance Notes
Trail Maintenance Notes:  
Dog-Related Notes
Dog-Related Notes:  
Lost and Found
Lost and Found:  
Comments: Successful Presidential Traverse with summits! 6 am start, sun had "risen" by 7:15 but we were in the clouds all the way from the Madison Hut to Mt. Washington. We passed 2 fellow traversers on the way up Valley Way, which was in excellent shape (packed granular highway) except a few small icy spots that are easy to get past. We dropped packs at the Madison Hut for a quick trip up to tag Madison, which was chilly and somewhat wet and windy inside the cloud. Most rocks were exposed but covered with crusty snow and not slippery, making for quicker conditions up and down than in the summer. Conditions from Madison to Washington were generally good with little wind (and tailwind when the wind gusted), although some tracks had been blown over between Adams/Jefferson and Jefferson/Washington (which led to a couple of posthole experiences in the powder). We broke out of the clouds on the Washington summit to bright sunshine and a beautiful undercast, enjoyed a fast descent to Lakes of the Clouds, and continued up and over Monroe where we re-entered the clouds and didn't emerge again for the rest of the day. The worst section was between Monroe and Eisenhower, where visibility was low, crosswind was strong, and air was moist and cold. The trail was not broken here so we did a lot of post-holing and may have lost the trail, but found it again after getting slightly confused near the base of the climb up Eisenhower. Trail conditions improved greatly from there on out and we ran into many hikers doing Eisenhower and Pierce. Descent down the Crawford path was the fastest and easiest we've experienced. Total elapsed time: 7h17m.

Carried Salomon 12L packs with ultralight down jackets (did not use), warm mittens (used occasionally), hand warmers (did not use), hat (did not use), 3L of water (in two soft flasks and bladder with insulated straw, which did not freeze until the end of the day as we were careful to blow the water back into the bag and filled it hot in the morning), first aid (did not use), snacks. Wore hooded thermal base layer, thermal tights, light vest, light gloves with wind shield mitten cover, light gaiters, Hoka trail runners, and ultralight windbreaker (wore about half the day) plus Black Diamond distance-Z spikes which were ideal for the conditions and very light. Carried Black Diamond carbon poles for all day except Valley Way ascent. Most people out had a lot more gear, and we would recommend more warm layers if you plan to take breaks -- we stayed warm by keeping moving all day.  
Name: Katie & Jim 
Date Submitted
Date Submitted: 2021-01-10 
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