|Hiking Trail Conditions Report|
||East Osceola, Mt. Osceola, NH|
||Greeley Ponds Trail, Mt. Osceola Trail|
|Date of Hike:
||Sunday, April 16, 2023|
|Parking/Access Road Notes:
||The Greeley Ponds Trailhead parking was not plowed. Coming from Lincoln, we drove 0.2 mi past the trailhead to park at a plowed pull-off; walking the 0.2 mi back to the trailhead along the Kancamagus Highway seemed as if it could be slightly dangerous if one is not paying attention to vehicles or if vehicles are not paying attention to you.
Also, it should be possible to park instead at the Greeley Ponds X-C Ski Trailhead 0.2 mi before the Greeley Ponds Trailhead for hikers. |
||Wet Trail, Ice - Blue, Snow - Packed Powder/Loose Granular, Standing/Running Water on Trail, Mud - Minor/Avoidable, Snow/Ice - Monorail (Stable), Snow - Spring Snow |
||Snowshoes, Light Traction, Traction, Ice Axe |
|Water Crossing Notes:
||Crossing the first of the two branches of South Fork of Hancock Branch, 0.3 mi along the Greeley Ponds Trail was difficult in the morning and nearly impossible in the afternoon on the return - by then there was so much water flowing (presumably from new snowmelt on this warm day) that it was not possible to rock hop; instead one had to step on rocks submerged in 4 inches of water, and even that felt slightly sketchy given how fast the water was flowing. Anyone without boots waterproof to such a height got cold wet feet. The best place to cross seemed to be a little downstream from the trail, though some of us crossed a little upstream instead. There was a narrow log straddling the stream a little further upstream, but it seemed a little too risky to cross.
It looks as if it might be possible to avoid these stream crossings by starting at the Greeley Ponds X-C Ski Trail 0.2 mi west of Greeley Ponds Trailhead; according to the White Mountain Guide, that X-C ski trail is open to winter hikers wearing snowshoes. |
|Trail Maintenance Notes:
||Saw one or two, but nothing was biting. |
|Lost and Found:
||There is still plenty of snow all along the trails, except in a few short places with standing water or rocks or ice or wooden bog bridges. These places are frequent enough, however, to make snowshoes awkward. The center of the trails are packed and starting to become a monorail in some places, but if one deviates a few inches to the left or right, one postholes to a depth of 2 feet (and more in a few places). Postholes are everywhere, and it is nearly impossible to avoid making more of them frequently, even if one focuses on walking on the dirtiest and most well-trodden part of the trail.|
The chimney between East Osceola and Osceola seems to have a large piece of ice near the top, but the bypass was manageable - a mix of rocks, snow, and ice.
The summit ledge of Mt. Osceola itself is mostly devoid of snow, but there is plenty along the ridge leading to it.
We used microspikes for the entire hike, but it would have been safer to use crampons and ice axe for the steep part on Mt. Osceola Trail going up to East Osceola, especially while descending.
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.