|Hiking Trail Conditions Report|
||Mt. Jackson, Mt. Pierce, Mt. Eisenhower, NH|
||Webster-Jackson Trail, Webster Cliff Trail, Crawford Path, Eisenhower Loop, Edmands Path, Mt. Clinton Road|
|Date of Hike:
||Tuesday, May 9, 2023|
|Parking/Access Road Notes:
||Parked on the pavement/dirt surfaced lot for the Webster-Jackson trailhead off US 302 in Crawford Notch. This large lot can hold many vehicles and is well plowed in winter. Of note, the road to Edmands Path trailhead lot is open. Much work done to spray paint rocks protruding through the pavement. |
||Dry Trail, Wet Trail, Ice - Breakable Crust, Mud - Minor/Avoidable, Snow/Ice - Monorail (Stable), Snow - Spring Snow |
||Snowshoes, Light Traction |
|Water Crossing Notes:
||Nothing of significance. All were easily crossed on rocks. |
|Trail Maintenance Notes:
||Oy! Edmands Path has a few trees that could be removed from the center of the trail… |
||My dog did fine, even on the ladders on Webster Cliff heading towards Pierce from the hut. Several others on trail as well. |
||Ha! Winds kept them at bay. |
|Lost and Found:
Webster-Jackson > Webster Cliff > Crawford Path > Mt Eisenhower Loop > Edmands Path
Webster-Jackson: well blazed in blue. Bubbles the Hiker accurately recorded Trail conditions in their report. Some minor mud. Water crossings simple. Snow free trail until 3200 feet. Then a glorious stable monorail emerges out of nowhere. Spikes useful along this rail. At most it was a foot wide. Snowshoes will turn your ankle, I think. The ledges of the summit cone are snow free, but a bit of ice this morning. Bare boots up the ledges and over the summit until snow encountered again on the Webster Cliff trail.
Webster Cliff trail: this is the AT and is blazed in white blazes. Dang, this son of a gun is chewed up! I would have advocated for snowshoes but I fear an ankle might be broken… So spikes and cooler temps kept me on top of the sometimes present, sometimes missing monorail. I had to spike over open sections of trail. I really encourage rock spikes (worn down spikes) as you will tear up your good spikes. Once I passed the hut (now open, self service, water available), I had to remove my spikes to climb the steep segment above the hut. It was snow free, but one ladder was missing ALL of its rungs. Others are missing rungs too. Then there was a bridge that helped cross a small ledge. This bridge apparently was a victim of the flood. It has been washed off trail (it’s the bridge that had curved nails nailed into it). Turning into a bear, I was able to scamper across the small ledge. A small outlook above this steep segment is also snow free and affords a nice view. Past this ledge (that I term the “Pierce Breather”), snow returns on a steep grade. Spikes back on… I was able to use spikes and stay atop the quasi monorail until the summit of Pierce. Pierce’s summit is snow free. Spikes off, again.
Crawford Path: also the AT, also blazed in white with supplemental carins on ledges. I started off in spikes but shortly took them off as there was more open trail than snow and I was able to slip/slide my way on the remaining snow pack. Some breakable ice crusts also on trail. I did not posthole as snow remained firm in the late morning hours. I would not recommend snowshoes. Just not enough snow (not that I’m complaining!!).
Mt Eisenhower Loop: carins mark the snow free path to the summit. Bare boots only. Over the summit heading towards Edmands Path, I encountered very small pieces of snow and ice. All avoidable.
Edmands Path: this is blazed in blue. This report is captured as descending from Crawford Path to the parking area. No snow over the scree. Once you hit the scrub the real adventure begins. I packed my 4 LBS snowshoes just for this trail, and couldn’t use them. Spikes proved the most adept at dealing with the sidehilling, narrow and very high snowpack, that sketchy section that looks like you’ll slide a good 20 feet before crashing into a tree, and maneuvering around alpine branches. Dude. Traction until this stuff melts. There is a surprising amount of snow still up here. I did not posthole as snow was still firm, but this was at 12:30pm and it was still quite cool. I kept spikes on until 3940 feet (yes, it’s that exact- I refreshed my Gaia 3 times to confirm) when the snow completely vanishes. I don’t mean that the snow peters out, or that there are small patches below this. I mean the snow is GONE at this elevation. I stood there momentarily perplexed as I thought this could not be possible. But it is. I rode out the rest of the trail in spring splendor.
Mt Clinton Rd: it’s a paved road. Yeah. Sing songs to keep yourself entertained…
Super awesome to have run into at least two familiar faces. Great to see you again, Molly! Have a great time on your next hike! And as for the other dude (my dog Brutus met yours), I swear I will remember to ask your name next time. I have met you before, I just can’t remember where… But now you know my name. And hopefully I’ll run into your friend Cpt Chris at some point…
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.