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Date of Hike: 4/25/19

Jewell Trail: 3.7 Miles  /  Gulfside Trail: 2.8 miles  / Jewell Trail: 3.7 miles
Total Miles: 10.2 (4,318 feet elevation gained) Garmin Forerunner 920XT

Trip Report:
- Long time, no trip report!  I have still been hiking with Sarge quite frequently, with an Instagram page for him here (sgt._pepper_goldendoodle).  Also, all my hikes automatically get uploaded to Strava, so unless it's one of my original routes or one where I snapped some really good pictures, I will not be updating the blog as much.  Luckily, there is a tremendous amount of reports on here for the past ten years making for a solid catalog of data and info for hikers to peruse through.  My Strava profile is here (Chris Dailey Strava), you need Strava to view my hikes and follow me, but I do upload the links to the trip report page on this blog and those can be viewed individually.

- On Thursday, Sarge and I joined Ashley for a spring hike of Mount Washington.  Trail conditions have drastically changed over the past two weeks in the White Mountains, from deep solid snowpack to mud, running water, and snow with failing monorail.  I chose the Jewell Trail because it melts out relatively fast compared to the Amoonoosuc Ravine Trail which holds snow much longer below treeline as it doesn't get good sun exposure.
- The first two miles were mostly bare ground with a few tenths of a mile of rotting snow.  The last mile to treeline was when conditions got really interesting, balance beam of snow, some solid, some failing.  It was quite the workout, we made the best of it and laughed off our slip and falls.
- When we broke above treeline conditions were still tedious as the previous days snowfall was melting fast but made things very slippery.  We were hiking in thick clouds when all of a sudden around 5,800 feet we were suddenly above the clouds in bright sunshine!
- We moseyed our way up to the observation deck enjoying the undercast.  At the summit, Ashley went inside to visit her OBS friends who work up there, (fyi, the observatory is still closed to the public).  Sarge and I basked in the sunshine and hung out on the deck until Ashley reappeared with some cookies the staff made!
- After chilling on the summit and snapping photos we started to descend, and just as we started heading down the clouds broke open below us making for stunning views of the Great Gulf and the Northern Presidential Range.
- We timed our descent perfectly, the views kept get better and the trail had now melted and dried up making our drop back to treeline much easier.  Once back in the woods we battled the failing monorail for a mile before a relaxing last two miles back to the car.
- It was a great day to head up to the rock pile, Sarge had a blast and so did Ashley and I. :)

 Below treeline, hiking on top of the rare Old Man's Beard monorail

Sarge at the tracks wanting to see a train

Still waiting for that train!

Top of Mount Washington

Sarge with a sea of clouds behind him

Summit photo!

Ashley on top of the tower

Just hanging out

Ashley and Sarge on Washington!

Sarge enjoying the undercast

I'm going to dodge it.  train dodge, dig it!

Trust me, this is his excited face!

 Clearing out of the Great Gulf

This was pretty cool to see as we hiked back down

Ashley enjoying the clearing of the Great Gulf

Peekaboo Sarge, do you see him??!!
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Date of Hike: 3/8/19

Nineteen-Mile Brook Trail: 1.8 miles  /  Carter Dome Trail: 1.8 miles  Carter Moriah Trail: 5.1 miles  /  North Cater Trail: 1.2 miles  /  Imp Trail: 3.0 miles  /  Camp Dodge Cutoff & NH16: 0.8 miles
Total Miles: 12.6 (5,062 feet elevation gained) Garmin Forerunner 920XT

Trip Report:
- Friday I took a vacation day to join Larisa and Todd for a high snow pack hike of Mount Hight, Carter Dome, South & Middle Carter.  Also joining us were our furry friends Sarge, Toby, and Dylan.
- The weather was in the low thirties with no wind, we wore our snowshoes from start to finish which were needed as the snow was soft along the ridge with wind drifts between Zeta Pass to Middle Carter before running into another pair of hikers.
- The two highlights of the day were the amazing views from Mount Hight and the high snow pack above the shrub hike up to Carter Dome revealing views that I have only seen once before almost ten winters ago when the mountains last got hammered all season long with several snow storms and consistent cold temps.
- The high snow meant hiking/fighting through the tops of trees in spots along the ridge but I honestly didn't think it was too bad considering what I had been reading from trail condition reports.  Maybe it's the bushwhacking adventures I have gone on that has muted my response to hiking through a low trail corridor in winter.
- Dylan, Sarge, and Toby had a blast running up ahead of us and playing with each other along the way.  On the way up Mount Hight, Dylan even bushwhacked for a little bit before showing back up behind us on our way up Carter Dome, we have no idea where he went but he seemed to have fun wherever it was!
- This was one of my favorite hikes of the Carter Range to date.  Usually, they are not too exciting but with the high snow levels and the winter wonderland scene it makes it a much more enjoyable hike. :)

 Toby and Larisa hike up to Mount Hight

Sarge on Mount Hight

Sarge close up!

Larisa and Toby with Mount Washington looming large across the notch

Ravine of the Raymond Cataract and Huntington Ravine

Sarge taking in the views :) 

Sage and his permanent old man face!

Leaving Hight and on the way to Carter Dome

Usually we are in the trees here

Awesome view-full hike along the ridge between Hight and Carter Dome 

Making our way along the A.T.

Way a day!

The gang heads north along the A.T.

South Carter summit

Summit treats!

Sarge hikes through the alpine meadow between South and Middle Carter

Chargin' Sarge :)

Hi daddy, do you have any treats for me on Middle carter??!!
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Date of Hike: 3/2/19

Sawyer River Road: 2.0 miles  /  Signal Ridge Trail: 10.0 miles  / Sawyer River Road: 2.0 miles
Total Miles 14.0 (4,355 feet elevation gained) Garmin Forerunner 920XT

Trip Report:
- Sarge loves hiking in the snowy White Mountains as he plucks away at his 48 - 4,000 footers of New Hampshire.  Saturday was a puppy party on Mount Carrigain as Sarge got to hike with five other dogs!  It was his biggest mile day yet and he loved every second of it while hanging out with other pups.

All pics from everyone can be viewed by clicking here

Sarge, Wish, Toby, Dylan, Piper, Bennett

What do you have in there...treats??!! 

Piper, Toby, and Bennett leading the way!

Sarge waits for daddy to catch up 

Come on daddy, catch up! 

Signal Ridge Sarge! 

Wish takes a selfie! 

Sometimes I lick the yummies off my nose 

Sarge with the Pemigewasset Wilderness behind him 

Piper, Bennett, and Toby play fighting 

Sarge always has "Old Man Face" when I ask him to sit for a pic

Sarge playing with Dylan on Signal Ridge
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Date of Hike: 2/23/19

Jewell Trail & Snowfields: 3.4 Miles  /  Mount Clay Loop: 0.6 miles  /  Gulfside Trail: 0.7 miles  /  Mount Jefferson Loop: 0.8 miles  /  Gulfside Trail & Snowfields: 2.5 miles  /  Snowfields & Crawford Path & Mount Monroe Loop: 2.0 miles  /  Amoonoosuc Ravine Trail: 3.0 miles
Total Miles: 13.0 (6,228 feet elevation gained) Garmin Forerunner 920XT

Trip Report:
- The previous weekend I took advantage of the nice weather by heading up and down the Ammo to Monroe and Washington, this weekend I went up the Jewell Trail on my way to Jefferson then headed over to Washington and Monroe and down the Ammo.
- The Jewell Trail does see some decent hiker traffic, but not nearly as much as the Ammonoosuc Ravine Trail which also sees back-country ski traffic along with hoards of hikers looking to hike Monroe and Washington.
- I got what I thought was a late start, 8AM, but after a half mile I caught up with two other hikers and then had the whole trail to myself while enjoying an easy to moderate trail breaking ascent to treeline.  At treeline I stayed on the trail for a little bit, but I found snowfields off trail a better option and made a b-line up to Mount Clay for some nice views of the Great Gulf and Mount Washington.  From Clay's summit I dropped back down to the A.T., ditched my snowshoes for light traction, and made the quick out and back over to Jefferson.  I started bumping into a few hikers doing a Presi Traverse on my way to Jefferson and then on my way back along the A.T. around Mount Clay I started seeing hikers every few minutes.
- I put my snowshoes on at this point and made my way up Washington bumping into my friends Todd, Larisa and her two dogs, and Sue & Chris.  After catching up with them I jumped back off trail and used the snowfields to ascend to the summit of Washington.
- On my descent from Washington I took a few shortcuts and stuck to the snowfields again.  When I passed a few conga lines heading up, all in face protection, crampons, and some with ice axes they looked puzzled/concerned as to why I was off trail and only in snowshoes.  It was a little funny as the snow conditions were sometimes much better off trail for safer travel!
-  After making it to Lakes of the Clouds and then the summit of Monroe I dropped off onto the eastern snowfields.  There is a little chute about fifty yards north of the summit where you can drop in and easily make your way back to the Crawford Path if the snow conditions are right.  For the second week in a row there was about a half foot to a foot of powder over crunchy snow, perfect for a fun controlled snow shoe ski descent.
- After hiking back around the "Monroe Bend" along the Crawford Path (A.T.) I made a quick and quiet descent back to the trailhead before heading home, ending another perfect day in the White Mountains. :)

 Hiking up the Jewell Trail.  In the winter/snow it is a much prettier trail below treeline

The trail corridor is very well defined, although it gets a little narrow in spots 

Breaking above treeline and taking in the sun's rays :)

I got to follow some footy tracks above treeline for a little bit! 

Just south of Mount Clay's summit, looking at another bump of Clay and Washington and Monroe 

Mount Adams as seen from Mount Jefferson

The boulders are covered in rime ice and snow, making for a much softer look to the rock field of the northern presi's 

Monticello Lawn, Clay and Washington.  The Great Gulf headwall in view 

Hiking south along the Gulfside Trail (A.T.)

 When the snow buries the rocks it makes for much easier footing along the trails

Cog Railway and the Southern Presidential Range 

 Lakes of the Clouds and Mount Monroe zoom-in.  If you look close enough you can see a few hikers ascending the Ammo, they look like little dots!

Mount Clay Loop junction

Clay, Jefferson, Adams, Madison

Mount Washington Observatory

Stage coach building

Snow and ice blasted summit tower

Heading down towards Lakes and Monroe

Looking back up at the summit, I came straight down, the trail is off to the left and swings to the right higher up towards the tower

Lakes of the Clouds and Mount Monroe

Lakes of the Clouds and Mount Washington

Southern Presidential Range

Summit of Mount Monroe

Early afternoon sun shining over Mount Monroe

Pano of Lakes of the Clouds and Washington 

Zoom in of the summit cone, a few conga lines of hikers can be seen!

Buried Lakes of the Clouds Hut.

Looking back at the hut as I descend

Sarge in charge!  Sarge likes to hike too, here he is the day before venturing into Tuckerman Ravine!  He has an Insta-face account, which can be followed here sgt._pepper_goldendoodle
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Date of Hike: 1/14/18

Ammonoosuc Ravine Trail: 2.3 miles  /  Crawford Path: 3.0 miles  /  Mount Monroe Loop: 0.6 miles  /  Ammonnosuc Ravine Trail: 2.3 miles
Total Miles 8.2 (4,180 feet elevation gained) Garmin Forerunner 920 XT

Trip Report:
- Monday morning I got up early and drove to Marshfield Station to hike Mount Washington.  I lucked out with incredible weather, cold but comfortable (mid teens) with absolutely no wind above treeline on my way up Washington and only a slight breeze on Mount Monroe's summit cone.
- Trail conditions were great, the televators and aggressive crampons on my snowshoes came in really handy for the steep sledded out luge from Gem Pool up to treeline below Lakes of the Clouds.  From Lakes I kept my snowshoes on but I could have easily switched into light traction to motor my way up to the summit.  The reason for keeping my snowshoes on was so I could take a few shortcuts on some steeper off trail sections on the way up and down.
- When I reached the summit I took a few pictures and wandered around for about ten minutes before booking it back down to Lakes before making the quick out and back to Monroe's summit. 
- Unfortunately I had to head back down to get on my computer to work or I would have spent the whole day up there!

Started my morning off parking in the upper Cog lot.  Usually I park at the USFS Ammonoosuc trailhead, but since the government shutdown it's not plowed so I parked here, forking over $10 

Beautiful morning above treeline as I  approach Lakes of the Clouds Hut

Lakes buried in snow, there is actually a little less snow than last month when Whitney and I took Sarge up to Mount Monroe

On my way to Washington

Passing by Lakes of the Clouds, you would never know it was under all this snow! 

Easy hiking up Crawford Path

Approaching the summit towers

Pano of the towers 

Mount Washington summit

Northern Presidential Range (Jefferson, Adams, Madison)

Looking towards Ball and Nelson Crag

Looking north into Maine and the Mahoosuc Range

 Zoom-in on the Mahoosuc Notch!

Summit area

The chained down Stage Office 

If hiking Mount Washington from the east, the worst part of ascending from the Tuckerman Ravine Trail is the dreaded staircase! 

Hiking back down from the summit there were some cool ripple snow wave formations

Descending Crawford Path 

Mount Monroe 

Zoom-in of Lakes of the Clouds Hut and Mount Monroe

Twin Range and Franconia Ridge zoom-in 

As I was hiking down a helicopter flew over the summit, pretty cool!

 Lakes of the Clouds Hut

Mount Washington as seen from Mount Monroe 

Lakes of the Clouds Hut

Lakes of the Clouds Hut and Mount Washington

Mount Washington Zoom-in

Zoom-in of the summit towers

Southern Presidential Range

Mount Carrigain

Lakes of the Clouds must have melted and flowed over and then flash freezed just north of the hut
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Date of Hike: 12/16/18

Avalon Trail: 1.3 miles  /  A-Z Trail: 1.0 miles  /  Mount Tom Spur: 1.2 miles  /  Willey Range Trail: 3.7 miles  /  Avalon Trail: 2.8 miles  /  Crawford Path: 4.3 miles  /  Mount Eisenhower Loop: 0.8 miles  /  Crawford Path: 1.2 miles  /  Webster Cliff Trail: 0.2 miles  /  Crawford Path: 3.1 miles
Total Miles: 19.6 miles (7,892 feet elevation gained)

Trip Report:
- Sunday's plan was to head up Jefferson, Washington, and Monroe.  However, as I was driving up Base Station Road I got the sense that the wind was whipping a little stronger than forecasted.  With this in mind I decided to stay lower instead of battling the winds for an extended period of time above treeline.
- I headed to Crawford Notch for an early hike of the Willey Range. I only saw two other hikers until almost back to the trailhead,  The trails were well packed down and my snowshoes went for a free ride strapped to my backpack.
- Views from the outlooks near the summits of Tom, Field, and Willey were great.  The Presidential Range seemed so close and looked great covered in deep white snow.  I was kind of regretting not heading up there but the wind was blowing pretty steady at 4,000 feet even as I was protected in the snow covered woods well below treeline.
- As I made my way across the range and back down I realized that I was going to be done hiking around 10:45AM.  My options were to head back to Gorham for some afternoon strength training at the gym, or walk across the street and head up Crawford Path.  It was an easy decision to make as I ditched my snowshoes, changed into my winter trail runners, and motored up towards Mount Pierce with the option of heading to Eisenhower if the current conditions of partly sunny skies with high clouds held.
- As I reached treeline I headed over to Eisenhower first, and other than seeing two older hikers who tried to scare me off about high winds, I had the ridge-line to myself.  It was a fun hike up to Eisenhower, winds out of the southeast were burying most tracks within minutes.  The final push to the summit was aided by this wind as it felt like I was drafting which made for an easy summit push.  On the way down was a different story, the winds picked up tiny ice crystals and were blasting everywhere, if I had to guess the wind speed was above 40MPH, luckily temps were hovering around freezing so it felt refreshing to battle the wind back down below the summit cone.
- Once reaching Crawford Path, I scooted back south and made the quick trip up to Mount Pierce while watching the clouds quickly move in high above in front of the sun making for an interesting shade/light scene.  After snapping a few pics I quickly made my way back down below treeline and back to the trailhead, finishing at 1:30PM.
- It was a nice way to spend the last weekend of the fall as winter officially starts next Friday afternoon!

Presidential Range as seen from an outlook near Mount Tom's summit

Looking over to West Field (I think) and Carrigain Notch

Mount Field

 Tunnel of snow along the Willey Range Trail.  I recommend hiking these peaks in snow, much more of a pleasant and beautiful experience

Presidential Range from Mount Field's downlook

Sun and clouds above the White Mountains

Pano of the Presidential Range from the Willey outlook

Crawford Notch

Mount Carrigian

Presidential Range as seen from Crawford Path at treeline

 View of Washington, Clay, and Jefferson from Mount Eisenhower's summit

Heading back south along the ridge-line between Ike and Pierce

Clouds starting to move in creating a really cool shady vibe along the Crawford Path

This was really cool to hike as the clouds tried to block out the sun

Looking back to Mount Eisenhower

 The snow drifts can be very deep through these pockets

Making my way up towards the sun and the clouds

Heading up to Mount Pierce

One last look at Eisenhower, Franklin (tough to make out), Monroe, and Washington
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Date of Hike: 12/14/18

Ammonoosuc Ravine Trail: 3.1 miles  /  Mount Monroe Loop: 0.7 Miles  /  Crawford Path: 2.2 miles  /  Mount Eisenhower Loop:  0.8 miles  /  Crawford Path/Webster Cliff Trail: 4.5 miles
Total Miles: 11.3 miles (3,816 feet elevation gained)

Trip Report:
- I used a vacation day on Friday to met up with Todd and Rich to do a Southern Presi Traverse.  We were racing the weather of sorts as thick clouds were going to engulf the higher elevations making visibility less than desirable.
- We started at 7am and made our way up the Ammonoosuc Ravine Trail, enjoying the easy first two mile stroll to the gem pool. From here we got our steep elevation fix in, gaining 1,550 feet in one mile until topping out at Lakes of the Clouds Hut.
- The hut was frosted over and the front was mostly buried in snow, it looked like mid February with the snow depths around Lakes of the Clouds.
- The clouds covered the alpine zone so we decided to head south over Monroe and then onto Eisenhower and Pierce, instead of trying to add Washington into the mix.  As we climbed up Monroe the clouds cleared off four about five minutes and we caught phenomenal views of Mount Washington's summit cone.
- As fast as the clouds cleared off the came storming back, thicker than they were before.  Visibility was low but we were unphased and continued on.  Rich took out his GPS and put us back on course the two times we meandered off trail, once just south of Franklin, this spot I've actually lost in winter before in clear skies, small cairns and the trail slightly curves to the left, we went straight, immediately new we were off trail, and easily made our way back to the trail.  The second time was a little more trivial as to how we missed a turn.  Coming off Eisenhower there is a swithcback which is very obvious, well we just missed it, once again we immediately new we were off trail and cut over to our right and spotted cairns.
- Once back on Crawford Path we motored over to Pierce and finally started seeing other hikers as we headed down to Crawford Notch, making it back to the car just before noon.

Click here for collaborative album

Rich and Todd cross over the top of the frozen falls

 Looking up above the highest water crossing

 Breaking out above treeline

 Making our way to towards the hut with Monroe slowly coming into view

Rimed over Lakes of the Clouds Hut

Sun trying to burn through above Lakes of the Clouds 

Rich and Todd make their way up the Mount Monroe Loop 

 Skies quickly clearing off to the north

Todd takes in the view

A frozen and buried Lakes of the Clouds

The tower on top of Washington starts to pop out above the clouds

More clearing off the "Snow Pile"

Mount Washington looking great under the sun

Lakes of the Clouds and Mount Washington

The clouds start rushing in so we start climbing 

 Todd makes his way to Monroe

We leave Monroe and enter low visibility

In front of me is close to no visibility!

Todd and Rich make their way up the Mount Eisenhower Loop

Todd and I on Eisenhower

Leaving Pierce and leaving the white abyss behind
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Date of Hike: 12/1/18

Zealand Road: 2.6 miles  /  Hale Brook Trail: 2.2 miles  /  Lend-A-Hand Trail: 2.6 miles  /  Twinway: 4.2 miles  /  Bondcliff Trail: 0.6 miles  /  West Bond Spur: 1.0 miles  /  Bondcliff Trail: 8.2 miles  / Lincoln woods Trail: 3.0 miles
Total Miles: 24.2 miles (6,063 feet elevation gained) Garmin Forerunner 920XT

Trip Report:
- On Saturday morning I joined a super strong group of hikers to tackle breaking out a majority of the Hale-Zealand-Bonds Traverse.  The group was made up of Jason, Leah, Nate and his dog Piper, and Todd.
- We started just after 7am and happily hiked the broken out Zealand Road and Hale Brook Trail to Mount Hale's summit.  From here we would be breaking trail for the next eight hours over thirteen miles through one to two feet of snow with higher drifts in spots.
- While breaking trail is nothing new for any of us, what made the day extra challenging and exhausting were the several miles of trees that were so heavy with snow that they were bent over across the trail.  To navigate through these sections we spent a lot of time knocking ice and snow off of trees, then snaking around the trees slowing our progress considerably.
- However, we were rewarded handsomely with some of the most incredible undercast I have ever seen, second only to a Presi Traverse from December of 2014 (Trip Report). 
- Views from Guyot, West Bond, and Bond were incredible.  We caught sunset from Bond and hiked in the twilight along the Bondcliff Ridge while a sea of clouds floated everywhere below 4,000 feet as far as the eye could see.
- We all took turns breaking trail and knocking the stunted growth pines free of snow and ice.  It was a total team effort and impressive to watch everyone break trail and route find in places where the trail corridor would basically disappear in a maze of bent over trees.
- We finally hit a broken trail at the last water crossing of the Bondcliff Trail, a much welcome sight, we still had seven miles to the car but at least we wouldn't have to route find in the dark.  This made hiking much easier and we were able to cover the last seven miles in under two and a half hours finishing just after 8PM .
- What an incredible day, spent with an easy going, strong, and energetic group!

Near Zeacliff on the Twinway.  From here Leah did a great job route finding through a section were many start going the wrong way

 Jason heads up the Twinway

Leah with Hale behind her

Hiking towards Zealand

Breaking above treeline on North Guyot

 Looking at the undercast surrounding Mount Carrigain

Presidential Range

Guyot and West Bond

Todd taking it all in

Mount Washington, Monroe, and Eisenhower

Mount Carrigain

West Bond

Jason taking in the incredible views

Southwest Twin and Garfield


Todd hikes to the almost buried Bondcliff Trail junction

 South Twin

Bondcliff slowly emerging from the undercast

Bondcliff as seen from West Bond

Franconia Ridge and Mount Garfield

Mount Garfield

Taking pics from West Bond

The group enjoys the views from West Bond

Looking to the north  

 Presidential Range

Presidential Range 

Looking back towards Zealand Mountain

Bondcliff Ridge

Hancock Range

West Bond and Franconia Ridge 

Sea of undercast in the Pemi Widlerness 

 Heading to Bondcliff

Bondcliff Ridge

 Hancock Range

Twilight hike to Bondcliff

Bondcliff Ridge

Goodnight Pemi!
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Date of Hike: 11/24/18

Valley Way: 3.8 Miles  /  Osgood Trail: 0.8 miles  /  Gulfside Trail & Airline: 2.0 miles  /  Valley Way: 3.8 miles
Total Miles: 10.4 miles (5,075 feet elevation gained)

Trip Report:
- Finally after what seemed like forever, Saturday's weather was perfect to not only go above treeline but to be able to enjoy it as temps hovered around freezing with minimal wind.
- Todd, Nate and his dog Piper, and I took advantage of the optimal conditions and went for a morning hike of Madison and Adams.  We put our snowshoes on at the parking lot and didn't take them off until we were back down.  The trails were close to perfect for snowshoes and will be after another foot plus falls on Monday night.  Full winter conditions started very early this year, shortening the much loathed shoulder season that is a royal pain in the ass.
- Not much else to say other than it was another kick ass day in the mountains, enjoy the pictures.  Click here for combined album from Todd, Nate and I on Google.

Reaching the alpine zone and passing the weather warning sign on Valley Way 

Nate, Piper, and Todd make their way to Madison Springs Hut 

 Todd heads up Osgood Trail with Mount Adams to behind him

Rime ice blasted boulder 

JQ Adams and Mount Adams

Mount Washington and Adams

The Great Gulf

Carter Dome, Carter Notch and the Wildcat Range with the ski area in view

Mount Madison Summit area

Mount Adams as seen from Mount Madison

Nate and Piper make tracks up the Gulfside Trail

Todd with the summit cone of Madison behind him

Piper, Todd, and Nate hiking along Airline

The guys make their way to to summit

Summit of Mount Adams.  We spent about a half hour up here enjoying the weather

Mount Jefferson, Clay, Washington

Mount Jefferson 

Great Gulf

Mount Washington

Great Gulf headwall

Looking down at Mount Madison from Mount Adam's summit

Edmands Col and a zoom in on the Jefferson snowfield, already filled in like it's mid winter

Piper and Nate descending Airline
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Date of Hike: 10/6/18

Zealand Trail: 2.4 miles  /  Twinway 4.1 miles  /  Bondcliff Trail: 0.8 miles  /  West Bond Spur 1.0 miles  /  Bondcliff Trail: 4.7 miles  / Bushwhack: 0.9 miles  /  Abandoned Wilderness Trail: 0.7 miles  /  Wilderness Trail 0.9 miles  /  Thoreau Falls Trail: 5.1 miles  /  Ethan Pond Trail: 2.1 miles  /  Zealand Trail 2.4 miles
Total Miles: 25.1 miles (5,517 feet elevation gained)

Trip Report:
- Peak foliage is arriving in the White Mountains.  I took advantage of the nice weather and headed out for a big loop up high and down low starting and ending in Zealand Valley.  The colors were very good, still some green in sections but peak should be here this week through next weekend.  Hopefully I can get in a few more big hikes / runs this month before the days get shorter.
- Highlights from this hike, I got to see the clouds come rolling in over the Pemi Wilderness, traveled the Black Brook and found remnants of the original Bondcliff Trail, hooked onto an abandoned section of the Wilderness Trail while crossing at the site of the old East Branch Pemi River suspension bridge, hooked onto an WWII era section of the Thoreau Falls trail along the North Fork rail grade, checked out New Camp 22 relics, and visited the Miller - Quinn plane crash memorial.

 Early morning on the approach to Zealand Pond

View into Zealand Valley from Zealand Falls Hut

Pano of Zealand Valley over to Carrigain Notch

 Whitewall Mountain, this makes up the northern border of Zealand Notch, with Zeacliff making up the southern border

Looking over to Carrigain and the Hancocks

Zealand Notch

Looking down into the North Fork, I'll be coming through here later in the afternoon

View from Guyot

Clouds overtaking the Franconia Ridge

Owl's Head and Franconia Ridge

Owl's Head and Franconia Brook Valley

West Bond, Owl's Head, and Franconia Ridge

Slides of Redrock Ravine


Pemigewasset Wilderness

Lincoln, Lafayette, and Garfield

Hellgate Ravine and Bondcliff

Hellgate Ravine

Black Brook (left).  Old section of the lower Bondcliff Trail (right), it used to cross the brook several times before being re-routed decades ago.  Some parts are easy to follow but are a muddy boot sucking mess, other spots have been washed away from years of storms.  It was easier to just rock hop the brook

Trestle 16, half of it finally fell last year during the October 30th storm.  It had been standing for around 100 years

View of the Trestle from above the Black Brook

Looking down at the trestle

Ground view of what is left of Trestle 16.  This should stand for many more years as the brook doesn't flow directly under this spot.

Traveling the abandoned section of the Wilderness Trail, still in good shape (left).  East Branch Pemi crossing where Trestle 17 used to be and later the suspension bridge was located.

Easy rock hop across the river today.   

 Thoreau Falls Bridge, not in service anymore

Thoreau Falls Bridge

Looks just like it did in May, the bridge is being dismantled, looks like they're taking their time removing it.  Glad I got to see it one more time.

Camp 22 relics

Heading off trail and hooking onto an old RR grade just south of New Camp 22

New Camp 22 relics

New Camp 22 clearing to the left, RR grade to the right

Last year's storm washed away several items but it also uncovered some new items to look at.  I hadn't seen the wheel before, which was neat to study!  I remember seeing the bottles and they still smell like medicinal alcohol or something like that.

I first stumbled upon this bottle three years ago, it was not broken then but has since cracked and broke in three parts.

 Plane crash memorial site.  Here are two articles if you're interested in learning more about the tragic story.  For an article with some stunning photos (click here).  For an in depth article about before / during / after (click here)

Small clearing where the memorial is 

 Back on trail, colors changing fast along the North Fork

Stunning colors along the banks of the North Fork

Vivid yellow colors near a semi clearing along the Thoreau Falls Trail.  I first thought this was Camp 23 but never found any relics back in 2009.  Then I found Camp 23 just across the brook where jumping brook is located when I first went off trail along the North Fork in 2015

 Thoreau Falls

Walking back through Zealand Notch
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