Hiking Trail Conditions Report
Peaks Mt. Madison, Mt. Adams, NH
Trails: Valley Way, Osgood Trail, Gulfside, Castle Ravine Trail, The Link
Date of Hike
Date of Hike: Sunday, February 19, 2023
Parking/Access Road Notes
Parking/Access Road Notes: Appalachia parking lot start and finish 
Surface Conditions
Surface Conditions: Snow - Trace/Minimal Depth, Ice - Blue, Snow - Packed Powder/Loose Granular, Ice - Breakable Crust, Snow - Unpacked Powder, Snow/Ice - Frozen Granular, Snow - Drifts, Snow/Ice - Postholes, Snow/Ice - Small Patches 
Recommended Equipment
Recommended Equipment: Snowshoes, Light Traction 
Water Crossing Notes
Water Crossing Notes: Castle Ravine Trail + The Link - lots of water crossings. None challenging except for the approach to water's edge. 
Trail Maintenance Notes
Trail Maintenance Notes: The Link from Castle Ravine Trail all the way to Appalachia parking - lots of downed trees that require clambering over or wading into deeper snow to go around, often at an incline. Castle Ravine trail hard to spot trail markings from higher treeline and down to The Link - markings changed from spray painted orange on boulders to yellow to white to yellow on trees.  
Dog-Related Notes
Dog-Related Notes:  
Lost and Found
Lost and Found: Lost a pair of windproof REI mitts somewhere in the lower section of The Link.  
Comments: Testing sections for Traverse attempt. Up Valley Way to Madison - balmy day at the bottom. Many hikers. Long sleeve under layer to the treeline with studded IceBug boot. Added fleece and micro spikes at higher tree line. Madison was all ice and wind. Didn't linger long. Added shell, thicker glove and mitt shell for Gulfside up to Adams. Trail well hidden in spots, many hikers paving their own way it seemed. Up Adams - not nearly as windy or icy as Madison. Plan was to do Israel Ridge to Randolph Path with a stop at The Perch as a bail-out option test. Passed only one hiker after leaving Adams - he was going the other way away from Jefferson. Couldn't spot the exit to Israel Ridge and ended up overshooting and taking the descent down Castle Ravine Trail at the foot of Jefferson. Good experience of what a bail-out here looks like - not comfortable by any means. Wind was pretty strong at the back. No one has gone up or down this trail entire season it seemed. Steep boulders a-la Watson Path covered in ice and snow - post-holing off the boulders waist deep, post-holing in between boulders, so just very focused boulder hopping. Section between boulders were all deep powder and drift so multiple changes were required between snowshoes and microspikes. Cairns well visible in this section at least so able to navigate down by sight. Below tree-line deep snow with ice on top - postholing entire time = snowshoes which made easy work of floating on top. Multiple stream crossings. Challenging to sight trail markers until on the The Link - a consistent snowshoe slog back to Appalachia parking lot. Lots of downed trees to work around along this section but nice and calm in the safety of the trees. Made it back just as I needed to turn on the headlamp. Proper nutrition and hydration helped. Had ice axe but didn't use. Not sure cramp-ons would have been of use either.  
Name: Chupakabra Forever 
Date Submitted
Date Submitted: 2023-02-23 
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