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marysgirl
01-02-2014, 12:04 PM
I climbed Monroe this way in the fall a few years back, I think I remember a lot of water on rock, has anyone used this trail in winter to climb Monroe? Is it reasonable to climb in the winter? Also summited Jefferson via Caps Ridge, lots of exposed rock that is pretty steep. Any thoughts on this in the winter?? I think this was rated as a really hard climb in any weather? I have to get Madison so perhaps scooting over from Madison to get Jefferson is more safe? As I look at my list these are the ones that I am just not sure how to tackle in winter.....any suggestions or thoughts?

The road to the cog to pick up the Ammonoosuc is plowed all winter? What about Jefferson notch??

bikehikeskifish
01-02-2014, 12:20 PM
Monroe and/or Washington is/are commonly done as loop up the Ammo and down the Jewell, or the other way around. Yes, the Ammo has ice bulges, but it's not usually a problem - I've done that route a handful of times (at least once in each direction).

Caps Ridge is not usually used in winter as the road is closed. Jefferson is typically done via Jewell/Gulfside in winter. Possibly in conjunction with Monroe and/or Washington. I have done these three in this manner twice. Crossing Edmand's Col in winter has been known to be dangerous (snowfields and high winds) and certainly, at a minimum, offers very long exposure.

Tim

NeoAkela
01-02-2014, 12:22 PM
Ammo is a fun trail in the winter after there is good snowpack. Steep, but can be done with snowshoes without much difficulty. One year, the trail actually migrated to follow the brook from Gem Pool instead of the normal route... a bit more challenging, but still manageable with snowshoes.

bikehikeskifish
01-02-2014, 12:38 PM
One year, the trail actually migrated to follow the brook from Gem Pool instead of the normal route... a bit more challenging, but still manageable with snowshoes.

I did it that year... there was a slide that wiped out a large section of the actual trail.

Monroe, Washington and Jefferson, W2012-13
Monroe, Washington and Jefferson, W2011-12
Washington and Monroe, W2009-10 -- this one is the year of the trail "reroute".

Tim

marysgirl
01-02-2014, 12:44 PM
Thanks guys! Glad to know about Jefferson, I will hopefully get a nice enough day to scoot over from Madison, if not I know how to get there on a different day. Love the new photo Tim!!

marty
01-02-2014, 01:16 PM
I would guess that one would use the Westside Trail to get to Jefferson from Monroe without going near the top of Washington to pick up Gulfside. I did the Westside twice in the summer and thought it might be scary to do in the winter, due to the steep slopes below it. Am I wrong? Any other options (e.g., bushwhack from Lakes of the Clouds to the Westside/Gulfside junction)?

Thanks,
Marty

RoySwkr
01-02-2014, 01:31 PM
Now that the cog road is plowed a lot of people go up Ammo Rav Tr

I have seen it so icy that even people with ice axes and full crampons were bypassing some sections in the woods

peakbagger
01-02-2014, 02:20 PM
I have also seen it quite icy. Far too icy for microspikes. There are normally not any sections that require an ice ax. I definitely prefer going up ice than down it.

West Side trail well graded way to skip the top of Washington but its is totally exposed to the wind. I expect it drifts in. And it there is any wind or visibility I expect it would be easy to loose the trail.

bryan
01-02-2014, 03:57 PM
I have also seen it quite icy. Far too icy for microspikes.

second this observation. it can also be problematic to follow the trail down into the trees in times of low visibility with the potential to get off course and into treacherous terrain. this is a trail that i find people often downplay the potential dangers and difficulties of in winter/shoulder season conditions. though it's considered a standard route i wouldn't underestimate it.

bryan

Mike P.
01-02-2014, 04:31 PM
Third, I did both Washington and Monroe that way & attempted Jefferson by Jewell in a big snow winter with blow downs and a veteran hiker and myself lost the trail once the markers were under the snow. Snowshoes down low & then crampons. While l did not need the front points, I was happy to have 12 pts.

Unless you had an ideal day or were very familar with Westside and the Washington cone, I'd probably stay away from the middle presidential trio. Its a long time above treeline, even if the weather starts good in the AM, it may not stay that way all day. Once you commit a bit on Westside, in bad weather you're trying to escape likely in the teeth of the weather with either a snowy bushwhack or making your way to Jewell or Ammo.

Overall, I like the Ammo approach but it's icy. Almost no one parks near the summer lot, they park at the cog (is it $5 still) and start there behind the small cottages behind the station. It's a bit shorter than the summit route also.

Driver8
01-02-2014, 04:34 PM
I hiked up and down Ammo May 12, 2012, then down it June 17, 2012. I found a few spots in the dry, clear conditions descending the trail on my second trip where it was hard to follow the trail - a trail I'd done just five weeks before. Doubtless it would be easy to lose in tough winter weather. As well, the one big rocky, ledgy brook crossing at about 4500' is doubtless a sheet of ice. It's tricky in warm weather, so doubtless is especially interesting in winter.

DayTrip
01-02-2014, 04:40 PM
I agree with others. This seems like a potentially dangerous trail for winter, particularly descending. Whenever I do this trail in the summer I think of what it would be like covered in ice.

Does anyone ever summit Monroe from the other side via Crawford Path as an extension of Pierce and Eisenhower? Obviously a longer walk (certainly not as bad as going from Monroe over to Jefferson) but on a decent weather day with good snow conditions the relatively easy grades must make for far faster walking. Are there winter hazards (other than exposure) in that area I'm not aware of like bad drifting? I believe the 4000 Footer Guide mentions really nasty snowfields in front of Monroe as the trail wraps around toward the Lakes but on the other side is it OK?

And as long as I'm on the subject the Edmands Path I assume makes for a nice bail out option down to Clinton Road if weather turns bad to limit exposure (although I assume it is not broken out and rarely used but at least you can get into the trees and you're moving downhill, which is much less strenuous, and the road is always West of you and easy to hit even in the dark). Anyone ever do that trail in the winter? I know the trail itself is very comfortable but I don't remember how well blazed it was, etc.

Curious if anyone has ever gone that way. If so let me know why and what your preference is vs Ammo.

Driver8
01-02-2014, 05:00 PM
I agree with others. This seems like a potentially dangerous trail for winter, particularly descending. Whenever I do this trail in the summer I think of what it would be like covered in ice.

Does anyone ever summit Monroe from the other side via Crawford Path as an extension of Pierce and Eisenhower? Obviously a longer walk (certainly not as bad as going from Monroe over to Jefferson) but on a decent weather day with good snow conditions the relatively easy grades must make for far faster walking. Are there winter hazards (other than exposure) in that area I'm not aware of like bad drifting? I believe the 4000 Footer Guide mentions really nasty snowfields in front of Monroe as the trail wraps around toward the Lakes but on the other side is it OK?

And as long as I'm on the subject the Edmands Path I assume makes for a nice bail out option down to Clinton Road if weather turns bad to limit exposure (although I assume it is not broken out and rarely used but at least you can get into the trees and you're moving downhill, which is much less strenuous, and the road is always West of you and easy to hit even in the dark). Anyone ever do that trail in the winter? I know the trail itself is very comfortable but I don't remember how well blazed it was, etc.

Curious if anyone has ever gone that way. If so let me know why and what your preference is vs Ammo.

Everything I hear and read, DayTrip, is that the brook crossing on Edmands and the part just uphill of it, at about 4200', is an icy mess in winter, calling often for crampons and maybe ice axe.

bikehikeskifish
01-02-2014, 05:38 PM
If you cannot find the Ammo on descent, you can bushwhack down Monroe Brook Ravine and at the bottom a straight shot through the woods will drop you onto the trail below Gem Pool. We did this in 2010.

Tim

MadRiver
01-02-2014, 05:45 PM
I will just echo what everyone else has said. I did Monroe/Jefferson via Ammo and Jewell with no problem. It was a perfect blue bird day two days before the official end of winter.

TDawg
01-02-2014, 06:23 PM
If you cannot find the Ammo on descent, you can bushwhack down Monroe Brook Ravine and at the bottom a straight shot through the woods will drop you onto the trail below Gem Pool. We did this in 2010. Tim

Yes, but Monroe Brook is avy terrain and you could get into serious shit in the wrong conditions. Beautiful snow descent otherwise.

rocket21
01-02-2014, 06:44 PM
I did the Westside twice in the summer and thought it might be scary to do in the winter, due to the steep slopes below it.
RIND, you are correct as far as my one experience on that trail in winter conditions went...all sidehill...no fall zone...yikes!

RoySwkr
01-02-2014, 07:45 PM
Curious if anyone has ever gone that way. If so let me know why and what your preference is vs Ammo.
I have climbed Monroe 6 times in winter, 3.5 via (old) Lion Head (before cog was plowed), 1 from Crawford Notch, and 1.5 using Ammo

The route via Ammo is by far the shortest (although less so if you go to Washington also), perhaps less tricky than new Lion Head but not by much, from Crawford Notch has no particular difficult spots but a long walk above treeline hence requires the best weather

Ed'n Lauky
01-02-2014, 08:27 PM
Ammo is a fun trail in the winter after there is good snowpack. Steep, but can be done with snowshoes without much difficulty. One year, the trail actually migrated to follow the brook from Gem Pool instead of the normal route... a bit more challenging, but still manageable with snowshoes.

Just make sure you don't go through the ice. Sometimes there is a considerable distance between the ice and snow and the stream bed and if you go through and get sucked down it won't be fun. The risque is obviously greater if you are following a stream bed and not just crossing it.

Mike P.
01-02-2014, 09:48 PM
I agree with others. This seems like a potentially dangerous trail for winter, particularly descending. Whenever I do this trail in the summer I think of what it would be like covered in ice.

Does anyone ever summit Monroe from the other side via Crawford Path as an extension of Pierce and Eisenhower? Obviously a longer walk (certainly not as bad as going from Monroe over to Jefferson) but on a decent weather day with good snow conditions the relatively easy grades must make for far faster walking. Are there winter hazards (other than exposure) in that area I'm not aware of like bad drifting? I believe the 4000 Footer Guide mentions really nasty snowfields in front of Monroe as the trail wraps around toward the Lakes but on the other side is it OK?

And as long as I'm on the subject the Edmands Path I assume makes for a nice bail out option down to Clinton Road if weather turns bad to limit exposure (although I assume it is not broken out and rarely used but at least you can get into the trees and you're moving downhill, which is much less strenuous, and the road is always West of you and easy to hit even in the dark). Anyone ever do that trail in the winter? I know the trail itself is very comfortable but I don't remember how well blazed it was, etc.

Curious if anyone has ever gone that way. If so let me know why and what your preference is vs Ammo.

My 02.

On descending Ammo, yes, it's particularly icy up pretty high, I'd recommend real crampons not Micros although I'm sure a fair number of people have done it with Micros. You'll also find that you have some people who prefer snowshoeing over crampon travel assuming both okay. (I prefer crampon walking, snowshoes IMO are a necessary winter evil (I'm not alone in this thought but likely in the minority) while crampons & ice are winter fun for me.

On Edmands, years ago, a friend & I did it in late October and the trickle of Abenecki (sic?) Brook was forming an icy sheet and was the crux of our trip. (scanning my old photo's and just came across this trip actually). Two guys I used to hike with who used to post here (Farmer Bob & Gary T for the historians) went with another guy the first or second Spring Weekend one year. Gary & I often shared notes, he was a old White's guy with many years of experience but generally unassuming. They lost the trail near treeline & the third guy made the decision to head straight up the cone, likely from the west or northwest. It got steep, one of the three took a slide back into the trees, another became nervous & Gary finally had enough and took over. He later kicked himself for following the guy who was confident which Gary took as competent but for the most part the guy was pretty inexperienced as he put it.

Personally I did Ike along with Pierce and Jackson in my more fit days in winter.

My initial thought on adding Monroe to a winter trip on the Crawford Path, besides the aforementioned exposure on a 6+ mile trip in each direction, about six miles RT above treeline on an out and back trip is: I'd expect some snow in pockets getting up Franklin. (You'll find some Presi-Traverses done in summer from South to North, winter trips done by the more experienced are usually done North to South The col between Ike & Franklin is about 4400 feet. Franklin is just over 5000 feet with a summit not much higher than the plateau there so you'll climb about 600 feet before reaching the Monroe Loop. I've done the Southern peaks a few times in Summer and Fall & the descent of Franklin is the biggest one other than Washinton to LOC. in the southern peaks. the Franklin section makes up most of the descent from Monroe to the Edmand trail Junction.

I've not done (or likely will do) a winter traverse or a Katahdin winter trip. Generally my above treeline expsoure comfort in winter (assuming weather may change from AM to PM somewhat normally wor winter in New England & being prepared for sudden changes) is about 3 or 4 miles above treeline. I'm okay with the Franconia loop, Piece & Ike, Adams & Madison, even a Monroe & Washington trip. Can you add Jefferson, sure, but not now you need a longer & or better weather window. The more experienced you are up there in winter, the more leeway you may have with weather.

A hiker with a few winter 4's many summer 4's but only a trip or two in this area (think some peakbaggers who do it once & then move on), plus some smaller winter peaks like Monadnock & Kearsarge as a resume, probably should hope for stellar weather, an early start or find an expericened group.

okay,maybe that was a dime's worth.....

Raven
01-03-2014, 06:54 AM
I climbed Monroe this way in the fall a few years back, I think I remember a lot of water on rock, has anyone used this trail in winter to climb Monroe? Is it reasonable to climb in the winter?

I think this has been answered well in the thread but to add a comment, Ammo Ravine can be very easy or very challenging in winter and is a trail that can change drastically depending on conditions. Last week, it had spots needing front pointing on the steeps; these are in the mile from Gem Pool to LOC Hut. This is the section that presents a winter challenge. With good snow cover, it is often a snowshoe trip with a fun buttslide down. With no snow and glare ice in its place, it becomes a potentially dangerous ravine hike with the potential for some really bad falls.

If you check trail conditons carefully leading up to the time you are planning, you will get a good idea of what to expect.

Personally, I think Lions Head in winter has a couple spots that can be trickier, but I don't want to downplay Ammo Ravine by saying that. On any given day, it's one of those trails.

The nice thing about the trail is that you are protected from the wind and weather to a degree until the hut and then have 0.3 to 0.4 miles to the summit (there are one or two steep spots up the summit cone on the Monroe Loop as well).

Have fun! Ammo Ravine is the usually the "easiest" way to Monroe if all else is equal.

marysgirl
01-03-2014, 07:52 AM
I thank all of you for your input. I did go out from Crawford last Sunday and went over Pierce and Ike, the weather was moving in and I bailed down Edmunds. I kick myself in the butt for not just grabbing Monroe, but I wasn't sure how fast that weather was moving and didn't want to take the chance of getting caught up there! Just FYI, Edmunds is/was an ICY mess! A group of 3 guys had come up it just before we went down and packed down the snow just enough for it to mask the ice below, but the snow was too thin to help us keep our footing, it just helped our feet (with microspikes) to turn into little slick snow cones. As I stated in my trip report my feet came up chest high and I landed all my weight on my shoulder and am blessed I didn't hit my head! So I can totally agree with going up ice being much easier than going down it! With no left arm to hold myself up on poles I ended up taking most of my trip down Edmunds in the trees and snow to avoid the ice! It was long but sometimes you just gotta do what you gotta do!
So with all of this being said anyone want to go up Ammo to grab Monroe send me a message!! No hurry, I have until 3/20/2014!!
THANKS EVERYONE!!

Barkingcat
01-03-2014, 10:47 AM
Does anyone ever summit Monroe from the other side via Crawford Path as an extension of Pierce and Eisenhower? And as long as I'm on the subject the Edmands Path...Anyone ever do that trail in the winter? I know the trail itself is very comfortable but I don't remember how well blazed it was, etc.

Yes -- a common loop route for some in winter is to head up Crawford Path, tag Pierce and Eisenhower, head over to Monroe and then backtrack to the Edmands Path before the roadwalk to the Crawford Connector parking lot. It's about 14 miles total (with 2.2 for the walk on Mt. Clinton Road) and 4700 feet of elevation gain. It can be done in reverse, as well -- unless you know in advance that the Edmands Path is broken out, in my opinion it's easier to break/find the trail going up it rather than down it.


Everything I hear and read, DayTrip, is that the brook crossing on Edmands and the part just uphill of it, at about 4200', is an icy mess in winter, calling often for crampons and maybe ice axe.

Not necessarily. In winters with decent snowfall, the trail above treeline is covered with 3-4 feet of snow, and sometimes more -- no ice whatsoever, not even at the spring crossing at about 4200 feet (I think it's the upper levels of Mt. Pleasant Brook). The route is north-facing, also, so there's less likelihood of ice crust forming by freeze/thaw from the sun. The issue, though, is the sideslope snow for a half-mile section just past the stone gate (near treeline) up to where the trail levels out and ceases to hug the side of the mountain -- there's often not much between you and a snow slide downhill, so it can be important to move slowly here and consolidate the snow as best as possible. Also, around this section the corridor may not be obvious, and the blazes may be covered in snow.

Once past this sideslope section, the trail is pretty low-key. In addition, you are treated to some spectacular views of Mt. Washington at about this point.


And as long as I'm on the subject the Edmands Path I assume makes for a nice bail out option down to Clinton Road if weather turns bad to limit exposure (although I assume it is not broken out and rarely used but at least you can get into the trees and you're moving downhill, which is much less strenuous, and the road is always West of you and easy to hit even in the dark). Anyone ever do that trail in the winter? I know the trail itself is very comfortable but I don't remember how well blazed it was, etc.

I would not use this trail in the winter as a bail-out option if you are unfamiliar with it or are not certain it's broken/packed out. In adverse conditions, the trail can be difficult to find above treeline and with enough sideslope snow on the trail, you may find yourself sliding downhill (into the Mt. Pleasant Brook ravine) in this section.

But -- the Edmands Path (built/improved/relocated by the AMC's J. Rayner Edmands in 1909) can be a real treat in winter -- it's wide all the way up to tree line, and doesn't force one to run the "snow-covered branches blocking the trail" gauntlet until about that point. In addition, it was cleaned/brushed/re-blazed this past year -- always a bonus.

And finally, while it's not used as much in winter as the Crawford Path -- meaning you may need to break trail on some occasion -- it's also typically very quiet. You may be the only person using it that day, and sometimes, that might not be a bad thing on a busy weekend.

DayTrip
01-03-2014, 11:22 AM
Thanks for the detail Barkingcat. I have taken that trail several times in summer so I'm familiar with it in good conditions. I actually much prefer it to get up to Eisenhower because the Crawford Path just sees too many people when it's nice. I like to run into people on occasion but when a trail feels crowded I'm not a big fan. (It's not Mount Monadnock on a weekend but it certainly sees plenty of foot traffic).

The "side hill" section you are referring to: Is that where the trail starts winding around the summit cone and you get glimpses through the trees of Mount Washington Hotel and mountains in distance? I remember it being a steep fall off to one side but also remember plenty of trees and scrub there too. I wouldn't have expected it to be a tricky area. Is it tricky in snow too or just when it is icy?

Also, you mentioned that it can be hard to spot coming down. From what I remember you can see that trail from miles away as it wraps around the base of the cone. Is the snow that significant there that the obvious track is buried going into the trees? Obviously in foul weather spotting anything above treeline is a problem but I'd think in reasonable weather it would be fairly visible from the low area around Red Pond or whatever pond that is in the scrub where all the trails converge.

I'd only be contemplating the extra walk to Monroe on a favorable weather day and would only take Edmands Path if weather turned unexpectedly. Just seemed like a safer way to get Monroe than the Ammonoosuc Ravine Trail. Seems far too much potential for trouble on that trail, particularly for someone like me who has only done about a dozen winter hikes.

DayTrip
01-03-2014, 11:28 AM
Everything I hear and read, DayTrip, is that the brook crossing on Edmands and the part just uphill of it, at about 4200', is an icy mess in winter, calling often for crampons and maybe ice axe.

Ah you're right! I was sitting here wondering what brook crossing you were talking about and couldn't jolt my memory. I remember it now. That is a tricky area. Even when the rocks are just wet it is awkward. Glad you pointed that out.

RoySwkr
01-03-2014, 11:40 AM
Just make sure you don't go through the ice. Sometimes there is a considerable distance between the ice and snow and the stream bed and if you go through and get sucked down it won't be fun. The risque is obviously greater if you are following a stream bed and not just crossing it.

Another sad story here. A few years back, a guy was reported lost on Mt Washington in winter and a couple kids from the Obs decided to check Lakes Hut. They found him holed up in the Dungeon where he wanted to stay, but they insisted he needed to be rescued and had to go down Ammo as he couldn't make it up to the summit. Somebody else will have to fill in the details but apparently they had route-finding troubles and various of them fell in the brook. One kid wound up with serious frostbite and the victim wasn't even grateful, saying he would have been better off spending the night in the Dungeon and moving on the next day.

Mike P.
01-03-2014, 12:33 PM
The "side hill" section you are referring to: Is that where the trail starts winding around the summit cone and you get glimpses through the trees of Mount Washington Hotel and mountains in distance? I remember it being a steep fall off to one side but also remember plenty of trees and scrub there too. I wouldn't have expected it to be a tricky area. Is it tricky in snow too or just when it is icy?

Also, you mentioned that it can be hard to spot coming down. From what I remember you can see that trail from miles away as it wraps around the base of the cone. Is the snow that significant there that the obvious track is buried going into the trees? Obviously in foul weather spotting anything above treeline is a problem but I'd think in reasonable weather it would be fairly visible from the low area around Red Pond or whatever pond that is in the scrub where all the trails converge.

I'd only be contemplating the extra walk to Monroe on a favorable weather day and would only take Edmands Path if weather turned unexpectedly. Just seemed like a safer way to get Monroe than the Ammonoosuc Ravine Trail. Seems far too much potential for trouble on that trail, particularly for someone like me who has only done about a dozen winter hikes.

The trees you refer too are only 6-8 feet tall which allow those views. In winter they will help hold the snow in place so they may only be a couple of feet above the top of the snow and covered resembling rocks. Up there the scrub the cairns and the rocks can start to look alike.

On my trip up North Twin, opted for North Twin on a cold windy day planning on being protected from the wind by the 6-10 foot trees along much of the ridge just exposed at the couple of view ledges in summer. The ridge had 5-6 feet of snow on it making those trees effectively 1-4 feet. My knees were warm but the cover I had expected was not what I got. The actual summit area only had a couple of feet so we had shelter there.

The choice I guess is exposure Vs. Ice & how well the trail may be broken out. Edmands shouldn't have as much ice as Ammo but it likely will not be as broken out either. I'd opt for the ice but then I know the trail well, like ice & have done it twice in late November and twice in winter.

BobC
01-03-2014, 02:39 PM
After seeing a person almost slide to certain death a few years ago on the Ammo Ravine trail (snowy conditions in May), this post interests me since I have no desire to descend that trail again in the snow. I still need to do Monroe thru Washington in winter. Using the route mentioned by bikehikeskifish (and adding Washington to the hike) sounds like a good idea, but how hard is it to find the upper part of the Jewell trail in winter? I've heard it can be tough to locate where it heads into the trees.

Barkingcat
01-03-2014, 02:53 PM
The "side hill" section you are referring to: Is that where the trail starts winding around the summit cone and you get glimpses through the trees of Mount Washington Hotel and mountains in distance? I remember it being a steep fall off to one side but also remember plenty of trees and scrub there too. I wouldn't have expected it to be a tricky area. Is it tricky in snow too or just when it is icy?

Yes; that's the spot. But remember, add a few feet of snow to that area, and the scrub all of a sudden is at your knees. About snow versus ice, I cannot say -- every time I've been on that trail in late fall/winter/early spring, there has been several feet of snow on the trail.


Also, you mentioned that it can be hard to spot coming down. From what I remember you can see that trail from miles away as it wraps around the base of the cone. Is the snow that significant there that the obvious track is buried going into the trees?

(See Mike P.'s response, below.)


The trees you refer too are only 6-8 feet tall which allow those views. In winter they will help hold the snow in place so they may only be a couple of feet above the top of the snow and covered resembling rocks. Up there the scrub the cairns and the rocks can start to look alike.

Exactly -- Mike P. has it hit the proverbial nail on the head. With enough snow, everything looks like corridor/trail.

bikehikeskifish
01-03-2014, 03:41 PM
... how hard is it to find the upper part of the Jewell trail in winter? I've heard it can be tough to locate where it heads into the trees.

I have heard it can be tough too, but I've always found it, even w/o referring to the GPS. It is on top of a ridge, so you could criss-cross that until you hit the trail.

Tim

sierra
01-03-2014, 07:29 PM
Alot of great info here so Ill just add my 2 cents. The Ammou is a great example of a trail where micro-spikes are not enough. I wouldnt think of climbing it without my crampons. Also, the Edmonds is not a trail I would use to descend in the winter, unless I was positive is was tracked out, I do not like descending routes that are not tracked out but thats just me, routefinding through deep snow is both strenuous as hell and way to time consuming for me. As far as Monroe from the crawford path via Pierce and Ike, thats a long route and you need good weather and time, I think while technically harder the Ammou is a safer route to Monroe overall.

Mike P.
01-04-2014, 11:01 AM
After seeing a person almost slide to certain death a few years ago on the Ammo Ravine trail (snowy conditions in May), this post interests me since I have no desire to descend that trail again in the snow. I still need to do Monroe thru Washington in winter. Using the route mentioned by bikehikeskifish (and adding Washington to the hike) sounds like a good idea, but how hard is it to find the upper part of the Jewell trail in winter? I've heard it can be tough to locate where it heads into the trees.

May snow, were they wearing crampons? May can be warm causing snow to ball up on crampons, on a cold winter day should not be an issue and just requires being aware of the snow conditions.

The carins are not the largest on Jewell, (nothing like some of the bigger ones but bigger than Watson Path) & the fact the trail zig-zags makes it easier to find and lose if you miss a cairn. In good weather, it should be easy, the question is how easy are the cairns to follow in bad weather.

Rainman
01-04-2014, 11:34 AM
the question is how easy are the cairns to follow in bad weather.

As for Jewell trail, as the trail approaches the trees it runs through krumholz for quite a ways. There are no cairns in this section, and it can be impossible to follow once the snow fills the void in the scrub. You really do need to know where the trail enters the trees, as it is not visible from above.

Ed'n Lauky
01-04-2014, 03:53 PM
As for Jewell trail, as the trail approaches the trees it runs through krumholz for quite a ways. There are no cairns in this section, and it can be impossible to follow once the snow fills the void in the scrub. You really do need to know where the trail enters the trees, as it is not visible from above.

These are the coordinates I have for the viewpoint right at the entrance into the trees on that trail: N 44*17.018 W 71*19.485 WGS84

BobC
01-05-2014, 11:50 AM
May snow, were they wearing crampons? May can be warm causing snow to ball up on crampons, on a cold winter day should not be an issue and just requires being aware of the snow conditions.

The carins are not the largest on Jewell, (nothing like some of the bigger ones but bigger than Watson Path) & the fact the trail zig-zags makes it easier to find and lose if you miss a cairn. In good weather, it should be easy, the question is how easy are the cairns to follow in bad weather.

The person that fell was only wearing Stabilicers and she wasn't heavy enough for them to dig into the snow too well. There were in fact two falls that were nearly fatal within a few minutes of each other; in one, there was only one last tree between her and a slide into the ravine, and luckily she was able to use it to stop her slide. It affected me so much, I almost gave up hiking altogether after that day and have feared the Ammo Ravine trail in snowy conditions ever since. Of course, it's probably an unreasonable fear, because clearly Stabilicers are from from adequate, and with the right gear the risk of course is far less.

Driver8
01-05-2014, 03:04 PM
These are the coordinates I have for the viewpoint right at the entrance into the trees on that trail: N 44*17.018 W 71*19.485 WGS84

That's the spot. I guess the Jewell, even if well hiked, gets drifted in a lot, so the path gets hidden as with sands in the wind-swept desert.

Mike P.
01-06-2014, 12:10 AM
The person that fell was only wearing Stabilicers and she wasn't heavy enough for them to dig into the snow too well. There were in fact two falls that were nearly fatal within a few minutes of each other; in one, there was only one last tree between her and a slide into the ravine, and luckily she was able to use it to stop her slide. It affected me so much, I almost gave up hiking altogether after that day and have feared the Ammo Ravine trail in snowy conditions ever since. Of course, it's probably an unreasonable fear, because clearly Stabilicers are from from adequate, and with the right gear the risk of course is far less.

In soft snow crampons will ball up with snow also and can become slick. A warm sunny day on a snowfield can be tough, it's more of a west coast thing, I've read about some shasta sliding mishaps.