Hiking Trail Conditions Report
Peaks Mt. Madison, Mt. Adams, Mt. Jefferson, Mt. Clay, Mt. Washington, Mt. Monroe, Mt. Eisenhower, Mt. Pierce, NH
Trails: Valley Way, Gulfside, Airline, Lowes Path, Jefferson Loop, Clay Loop, Trinity Heights Connector, Crawford Path, Monroe Loop, Eisenhower Loop
Date of Hike
Date of Hike: Wednesday, May 11, 2022
Parking/Access Road Notes
Parking/Access Road Notes: 3 cars at Appalachia at 6:30am 
Surface Conditions
Surface Conditions: Dry Trail, Wet Trail, Ice - Blue, Snow - Packed Powder/Loose Granular, Wet/Slippery Rock, Standing/Running Water on Trail, Mud - Minor/Avoidable, Snow/Ice - Monorail (Stable), Snow - Wet/Sticky, Snow/Ice - Postholes, Slush 
Recommended Equipment
Recommended Equipment: Snowshoes, Light Traction, Traction 
Water Crossing Notes
Water Crossing Notes: n/a 
Trail Maintenance Notes
Trail Maintenance Notes:  
Dog-Related Notes
Dog-Related Notes:  
Bugs: Theyyyy're back! Seems they found me at all elevations, including the northern peak summits. 
Lost and Found
Lost and Found: Some poles left at Appalachia trailhead. If they're yours I'm happy to confirm the make n model if you email me. Still at the kiosk. 
Comments: A fine day (week, even) for mucking about in the Presis where there is alot less snow above treeline than below. Today I hiked a southbound Presi from Appalachia to Crawford Path Trailhead on Rt 302. Brought spikes, which I used on the upper portions of Valley Way (ascending) until the hut, on parts of the ascent up Jefferson, then descending Crawford Path after Pierce. I also brought crampons and used them solely for the Jefferson snowfield crossing - not strictly necessary but I had them so I used them, as I didn't feel like slip'n'sliding to a scratchy/scrubby resting place 50' below.

Trail conditions below treeline are typical now - patchy snow/ice starting high 2000's, low 3000's. The snowpack is soft but still relatively supportive. Care is needed to stay in the center track and avoid postholing. Amazingly I don't think I postholed more than once or twice all day, although I selectively used prior postholer's sacrificial steps to avoid making new ones.

Above treeline on my route, starting at Madison Hut there are small patches of snow and ice but easily barebootable. Out/back to Madison is almost all dry except for short sections in the scrub. Going up Airline to Adams, same, some snow patches to cross but the surface was soft enough to allow shallow indents for grip. Fairly dry from Adams to the col. Ascending Jefferson there are some steeper snow slabs which necessitated traction. The snow was often soft enough that you could kick steps into them. At the Jefferson snowfield, I could see some prior tracks very low below, as well as another set high above the field. Some shallow steps went directly across, so I used those (with crampons) and probably packed them in another 3-4". Only took me a (long) minute to tiptoe across the field.

After Jefferson I barebooted until the descent off Pierce. There are some stretches of soft/slippery snow on Crawford Path between Washington and LOC hut, but they aren't long and spikes would not have helped. Most of Crawford Path was dry until the Eisenhower-Pierce col, which turned to regular snowpack with a monorail starting to appear. Again, mostly supportable in the center of the track.

Cog is running again and there were maybe 20 folks milling around the summit. No line for the sign. :)

There is plenty of snowmelt runoff on the ascent up Jefferson, as well as ascent and descent of Washington. Parts of Crawford Path looked like a brook. I used that for refilling water in today's searing heat. On my hike, it reached 70 deg F around Mt Franklin (4975') at 4pm.

I only saw, I believe, 10 hikers all day, including a handful at Washington summit. Nice meeting the two folks around Mt Pierce who donated a liter of H20 to me after I asked them how the runoff was on their hike up Crawford. :)  
Name: Eric H 
E-Mail: ejhansen at gmail 
Date Submitted
Date Submitted: 2022-05-11 
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