View Full Version : crag camp / spur trail ?

Mike D.
04-19-2004, 02:13 PM
Does anyone know the trail conditions of the spur to crag and beyond ? Was wondering if most of the snow is gone or what, thanx , Mike D.

04-19-2004, 02:39 PM
I haven't been there this year yet but typical for this time of year is to have:
+ dry ground or mud at Appalacia
+ snow starting at 2500' (give or take 500')
+ snow until treeline

As the melt out happens, you typically get a thin edge of unstable boot packed snow, which may or may not support your weight. Step off of this, and expect to posthole. The higher you go, the bigger the difference is. Postholes to your waist are not impossible.

I find for Spur, crampons work better than snowshoes but YMMV.

Please see Pete Hickey's recent thread on the impact of mud season hiking.

Mike D.
04-19-2004, 02:47 PM
thanx Dave, I know the spur just never been up it this early b-4, have a freind new to hiking wanting to go up to the crag this weekend. Trying to determine actual conditions right now to see if the crag is makeable w/out special gear i.e : s/shoes or crampons, i know it wont be a simple hike w/out, just want to know how the snow and ice are , any help would be appreciated, thanx, Mike d.

04-19-2004, 07:54 PM
I would expect packed snow once you hit the softwoods. I was up Starr King Saturday which is south facing on the lower section. The second I went into the softwoods on the west side of the mountain there was packed snow (occasional postholing) all the way to the top with about 4 feet at the top and bare rock at the fireplace. Dependent upon overnight temps, it could get icy in the AM. Alternatively, the warm stretch may make it real prone to postholing.

04-20-2004, 08:43 AM
Mike D.,

Not to be discouraging, I think it would be a tough slog in there without crampons. In particular, Spur Trail above Randolf Path could be utterly dangerous with out them.

At a minimum, you could get instep crampons for cheap but honestly, I think the money is better spent on some light 8 or 10 strap on trekking style crampons. If you do go the instep route, be sure to get the real beefy ones with proper spikes on them.

Another alternative to consider would be to park at Lowes Store and take Lowes Path up to Grey Knob, and then over to Crag. The lower portions of Lowes will be a muddy "foot bath in the wilderness" but typically Lowes gets more traffic and is more thoroughly boot-packed (hammered?). There will almost certainly be sections of dangerous ice up around Log Cabin. Lastly, be very watchful of the trail intersection with Randolf Path above Log Cabin. Many people (myself included) have mistakenly veered right onto Randolf Path towards Perch. Once you hit Log Cabin, watch carefully to stay on Lowes.

Hope this helps,


Mike D.
04-20-2004, 09:06 AM
Thanx Dave, i am picking up some 10 point crampons for the trip, as is my freind. Considering the lowes path trail as of this morn, due to the exact reasons you just stated , thanx.