|Hiking Trail Conditions Report|
||Mt. Adams, NH|
||Air Line, Short Line, King Ravine Trail, Great Gully Trail, Lowe's Path, Spur Trail, Randolph Path, Amphibrach, The Link|
|Date of Hike:
||Saturday, June 12, 2021|
|Parking/Access Road Notes:
||Even before 8 AM, there were long lines of cars parked along the road in both directions at Appalachia. They really need to expand that parking area. |
||Dry Trail, Wet Trail, Wet/Slippery Rock, Standing/Running Water on Trail, Mud - Minor/Avoidable |
|Water Crossing Notes:
||The crossings on Great Gully were straightforward on mostly dry rocks - just be careful since if you lose your balance, you could fall a long way. The three crossings of Spur Brook on our route down were all fairly straightforward rock hops. |
|Trail Maintenance Notes:
||No major blowdowns that I can remember. Certainly none that were an impediment to travel. There were a few wet and muddy areas on some of the trails, but they were never very long so they weren't really an issue. One of the two signs at (I think) the junction of King Ravine and Short Line was lying on the ground - the other was still on its tree. All other signs were in place. |
||I've said it before - don't take a dog into King Ravine. All the trails there are manifestly unsuitable for dogs. The rocks above treeline are sharp and have the potential to hurt dogs' paws. |
||Surprisingly almost none. I put DEET on at the trailhead, and they never bothered me except for two places: 1) Thunderstorm Junction (I was eating lunch there), and 2) The final walk along the Link right at the end of the hike. They still weren't terrible in either place. |
|Lost and Found:
||A pair of black tinted sunglasses was lying on Route 2 at the end of our hike. We put it on one of the rocks at the trailhead. ||
||We took the standard route of Air Line to Short Line to King Ravine Trail into King Ravine. The portion of King Ravine Trail between Mossy Fall and the junction with Chemin des Dames is very difficult and technical in places, with several spots that require scrambling over large boulders with deep holes between the boulders. This was the fourth time in a year that my friend and I had done this stretch of trail, and we're both glad that we won't have to do it again for a while.|
Great Gully Trail itself was an adventure. Most of the trail consists of very steep, rocky climbing through scrub - the trail generally wasn't as exposed as I expected except for the uppermost part (which is less steep). Several people have mentioned that the trail is difficult to follow in places, however there were only a few places where we had any doubt about where it went, and none resulted in any significant delays. The first place is where the trail first comes to the brook that runs down the gully - the WMG claims that the trail doesn't cross the brook, however the only way to avoid crossing the brook at this spot would've been to climb directly up the brook, which was flowing over very slippery rocks. Instead, there's a short path that crosses the brook, climbs very briefly, and then almost immediately crosses the brook again - this is what we did, and IMO it was easier (neither of the brook crossings were difficult). The next spot is just above the place where we have to take our packs off next to a sheer dropoff - there's a blaze, but it's not entirely clear whether the trail goes under a ledge into a cave or on top of the ledge. The trail goes on top of the ledge and continues to climb (there's a blaze pretty soon after that). The final place is where the trail crosses the brook again higher up - it appears that the trail might turn right and climb right next to the brook, but it doesn't - it crosses the brook and continues across the slope for a little bit before resuming the climb. The trail was relatively easy to follow on and above the talus slope. There was no snow or ice on the trail - just a few remaining chunks of ice under boulders next to the trail, and a small snowdrift in the Gully that the trail does not traverse. Great Gully wasn't hugely technical or really terrifying, but it was undoubtedly one of the most strenuous trails I have ever hiked.
When we finally reached Thunderstorm Junction, my friend decided to summit Mt. Adams (she reported that the summit was fairly crowded), while I took a brief stroll along Gulfside to get a better view into the Great Gulf. There were still a few small remaining snowdrifts on the Great Gulf headwall, and then the usual snowdrift on the slope of Jefferson (though that drift did not take up the entire talus field).
We descended Spur Trail. This trail has a lengthy above-treeline section that was gradual-to-moderate and quite rocky (but not unusually rocky for an above-treeline trail). It then gets below treeline and steepens. The footing was rocky but not terrible. Spur Trail reminded me of Air Line in that the rockiness and steepness seemed similar. Crag Camp is still closed, which was a shame since I would've liked to be able to go in and look around, but oh well. Spur Trail continues its steep descent all the way down to the junction with Randolph Path. We then took Amphibrach the rest of the way down - as the WMG mentions, footing is better on that trail, though inattentive hikers should pay close attention to the trail since there are many large waterbars, some of which continue straight where the trail turns, so be careful to follow the trail and not the waterbar. We also appreciated all the short spur paths on the descent - Knight's Castle, the Lower Crag, Chandler Fall, and Coldspur Ledges were all nice.
It was a long, tiring, but very successful and beautiful day. The weather was perfect.
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.