I知 planning my first and only winter hike this year for this coming weekend. I知 hoping to repeat a hike I did in October four years ago ( http://1slowhiker.blogspot.com/2012_10_09_archive.html ) doing the Carters and Wildcats with an overnight at the Carter- Notch hut. I have a transportation issue so I知 coming up from Providence and Boston on Friday by bus and spending Friday and Sunday nights at the Joe Dodge Lodge bunk rooms at Pinkham Notch. Tentatively I知 thinking of road hiking ~ 5 miles early Saturday to either the nineteen-mile trail head or the short bushwhack from Camp Dodge to the Imp trail and doing the three 4k Carters and Mt Hight on Saturday. By distance and elevation I壇 rather go up Imp. But, given that I solo and have emphysema, I try not to break trail much. Anyone have any ideas if either Imp or 19 mile would have a significant better chance of being broken out Saturday or at least have hikers passing me. Despite the longer 19 mile river trail approach it does have the advantage of my being able to bail out on Middle or even Middle and South Carter, if I need to. It looks like nineteen mile may have quite a few river crossings - Could they be an issue? Alternately if the opinion is that neither Imp or 19 may be broken out by Saturday, I could do the Wilds the first day. I would go up pole-cat not lost pond and the ridge trails. I壇 rather come down polecat on Sunday though. I知 guessing that being the last few days of official winter and what looks like temps in the 20s Sat & Sun that there will be a lot of traffic out breaking trails for me. Any thoughts / suggestions on any of this?
Also any input on expected trail conditions particularly in and out of the notch (Ice?) would be helpful. I plan on shoes and crampons but probably not spikes, and I don稚 carry an ice axe.
Also, I can稚 recall if the huts supply any blankets in the off season. Based on my pictures it looks like - No, but I think I have heard otherwise.
Thanks for any input.