Hiking Trail Conditions Report
Peaks Mt. Jefferson, Mt. Adams, Mt. Madison, NH
Trails: Jewell Trail, Gulfside, Lowe's Path, Osgood Trail, Valley Way
Date of Hike
Date of Hike: Tuesday, January 26, 2021
Parking/Access Road Notes
Parking/Access Road Notes: Parked at Ammonoosuc Ravine Lot, had a car spot at Appalachia. Lots of parking at both at ~7:00 am 
Surface Conditions
Surface Conditions: 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: Bridges helped out here 
Trail Maintenance Notes
Trail Maintenance Notes: Some blowdowns on Jewell Trail that were awkward to navigate around given the large amount of powder. But attending to them right now would also be a chore.  
Dog-Related Notes
Dog-Related Notes: None :( 
Bugs: None :) 
Lost and Found
Lost and Found: lost my sanity when one side of my snowshoe crampon snapped by edmunds col (but there was no litter on the trails though besides lots of yellow snow) 
Comments: Me and a friend completed this traverse because he had to hit these 3 North Presi peaks for his January grid. Starting out, there were a couple tracks leading up Jewell trail from Ammo Lot, and a couple more joined at the intersection of the cog railway cutoff. Unfortunately, most of these footprints were barebooters, meaning the trial wasn't that packed down. We worked to groom most of the trail, and it is (or was, before the snow on the night of the 26th) relatively nicely packed. Between 3000-3500 feet (whenever the inclined increased sharply), the tracks turned around and we were left to trail break up to the ridge. There was consistently between 2-3 feet of powder on the trail which we started to pack down, but given that there were only 2 of us and the fact it was going to snow after our hike, I'm not sure how much our trail breaking will help anyone else looking to do this route. Once we broke treeline, we navigated the hard-packed snowfields on the side of clay and avoided spruce traps, following the trail to the best of our ability (which was tough because the cairns were pretty invisible) up to Gulfside.

It was relatively smooth sailing from Clay to Edmunds col besides from my snowshoe crampon snapping right before the jefferson snowfield. I navigated this in microspikes as the snow was pretty powdery/had already been churned up from snowshoers. I put back on my snowshoes for most of the ascent to Adams (they still attached to my feet but stuck out at a weird angle/didn't get as good of a grip) because the postholing by the Adams 5 was pretty bad in spikes (was going knee/thigh deep pretty frequently). Once summitting Adams, I put back on my microspikes which stayed on for the rest of the day. We took Lowe's path back to thunderstorm junction and then gulfside trail/Osgood trail to the Summit of Madison. The trail travels pretty close to the top of King's Ravine at times, but looks like some people strayed further uphill on this section to have more buffer room between them and the cliffs. The snow on this part of the trail was pretty hard packed and I didn't posthole more than an inch or two even in spikes. After one last grueling summit push to Madison (#123 for me!), we rapidly decsneded Valley Way (there's lots more intel on this trail from other reports). It's broken out the entire way, with softer snow for the top mile. The bottom 2.8 miles are very well packed though. Great day overall!

My ice axe and crampons got a free ride all day. Would still recommend bringing them though.  
Name: MtnMax 
Date Submitted
Date Submitted: 2021-01-27 
Link: https:// 
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