View Full Version : Conditions/gear for Gothics, Saddleback, Haystack

04-12-2004, 06:01 PM

I'm planning a three day trip this weekend and am interested in covering some of the peaks around Wolfjaw, Gothics, Saddleback, Basin, and Haystack, probably from the John's Brook area. I've heard that some of these trails are rough and not suitable for backpacking. Does anyone have any thoughts on that? How about travelling them without a backpack (ie day trips from a base camp). Is the full arsenal of snowshoes, poles, crampons, and ice axe necessary?

I have some familiarity with the high peaks region, but not much (I ran up Mt. Jo and Giant this winter, Marcy last fall). I'm a transplant from out west and am training for some mountaineering in the motherland (Oregon and Washington) this summer. I thought running up and down these peaks for a few days might provide a good workout. If they are too treacherous, does anyone have other suggestions?

Any help appreciated.


Tom H
04-13-2004, 09:13 AM
...yesterday (Monday) and the conditions are good as long as the overnight temps dip below freezing. We are now (Tuesday) at the start of a three day warm and rainy spell, but the forecast for Thursday night calls for low temps, followed by sunshine Friday and Saturday. That formula should result in good conditions for you. But IMO you should at the very least carry crampons. I was able to work my way up and down in boots, but the rainy spell might destroy the thin layer of softer snow that was on top of the crust and giving good traction.
Caveat: If the rain down here in the valley is snow at elevation, that changes everything of course. I *think* the temps will be high enough to have rain up high, but I will say that when I woke up this morning in Keene there was a dusting of snow on the ground.