Hiking Trail Conditions Report
Peaks Mt. Madison, Mt. Adams, Mt. Jefferson, NH
Trails: Valley Way, Osgood Trail, Gulfside, Air Line, Lowe's Path, Castle Trail, Jefferson Loop, Jewell Trail
Date of Hike
Date of Hike: Saturday, December 19, 2009
Parking/Access Road Notes
Parking/Access Road Notes: Cog access road and parking lot plowed but not sanded - a bit icy, could be tricky for 2WD. Appalachia plowed. 
Surface Conditions
Surface Conditions: Snow - Packed Powder/Loose Granular, Snow - Unpacked Powder, Snow - Drifts, Ice - Breakable Crust, Snow/Ice - Frozen Granular, Snow/Ice - Postholes 
Recommended Equipment
Recommended Equipment: Snowshoes, Light Traction, Traction 
Water Crossing Notes
Water Crossing Notes: No open crossings on either Valley Way or Jewell 
Trail Maintenance Notes
Trail Maintenance Notes: Blowdowns on both Valley Way and Jewell - most could be removed with a hand saw, but we were short on daylight. 
Dog-Related Notes
Dog-Related Notes:  
Lost and Found
Lost and Found:  
Comments: Ascended Valley Way on snowshoes - a few parts are beaten up pretty badly by postholers. From hut to Madison on Osgood was barebootable, though Microspikes seemed perfect. Not enough snow on that stretch to snowshoe. From hut to Adams, we wore snowshoes, though were clanking on a lot of rocks. Took some snowfields rather than the lower Air Line portion. Took a combination of Lowe's Path and snowfields back to Gulfside, then followed tracks generally across snowfields to Edmands Col and then up to Castle Trail (avoiding the steep, visibly icy sideslope on Gulfside). From Jefferson to Sphynx Col, we continued on snowshoes, though there were a lot of rocks. From that col to Jewell junction, snowshoes were prefect. Jewell Trail is quite hard to follow in the middle portion of the alpine zone - snow had drifted in, covering even the cairns, and creating a dangerous slideslope that leads down into the ravine. In the trees, we packed out the barebooting damage as best we could with snowshoes - Jewell definitely in better shape than Valley Way. Net net - packed powder above about 3,000-3,500 feet, crust below, and variety of drifts, bare rock, and hardpack above treeline. Though we didn't need crampons today, I personally wouldn't venture above treeline up there without them right now.  
Name: rocket21 
E-Mail: rocket21 at franklinwebpublishing dot com 
Date Submitted
Date Submitted: 2009-12-19 
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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