Date of Hike: Sunday 12/5/2010

Trail Conditions: Bare at trailhead, river crossings a little tricky (I fell in the second one as the branch I was walking across had a thin layer of ice. Luckily I had waterproof snow pants as I ended up sitting 6-8" deep in the river).

Starting about a half mile from the Liberty trail junction and lasting right up until you get to the Liberty trail junction is the biggest mess of blow-downs I've ever seen. LOTS of large conifers are down across the trail, often in large groups, which makes it a serious pain to pass through. You'd think a hurricane hit the area or something.

Otherwise, plenty of ice, bring traction. Very little snow even high up, which I think is unusual for this time of year.

Special Equipment Required: spikes recommended, though the friend I was with bare-booted it just fine, it did slow us down.

Comments: Seriously, when did all those blowdowns occur? You can even see a large patch of them while coming down the summit cone, it looks like a miniature version of the Ammonoosuc avalanche fallout. I don't think the trail passes through this part, but what you do encounter on the trail is very significant.