Date of Hike: 5/21/2011

Trail Conditions: On 5/21, W River Trail is closed due to muddy trail condition by AMR. The AMR Gatekeeper told us to go on E River Trail for 1 mile or so, then take bridge at right hand side to cross the river to hike to reach to W River Tr to reach to Lower Wolfjaw. Before passing bridge, rain started a bit heavily, so we decided to wear rain jacket and put cover on our backpack. After passing bridge and we got on W River Trail, trail became muddy but not so terrible. We enjoyed watching many waterfalls and high speed current on the river. 0.7 miles on W River Tr, we reached to the trail junction and took right turn to go on Wedge Brook Tr to Lower Wolf Jaw. As this trail goes along with brook, some trail sections are eroded and a lot of rocks are on the trail which prevented us to hike faster. Moreover, trail is continuous steep ascent and we spent considerable amount of time to go up. (approx. 1mph slow pace) Near the summit of Lower Wolf Jaw, many ledges and all rocks are wet. We observed ice and snow, but, no traction needed. From Lower Wolf Jaw to Upper Wolf Jaw, hiking down to col was also challenging due to muddy, wet steep descent rocks. From the Col to Upper Wolf Jaw is easier compared to previous hike down to the col. But it was still very steep ascent. From Upper Wolf Jaw to Armstrong, there are multiple ladders, ledges which require some scrambling. For short person like me, it was indeed challenging hike. This section (ADK Range Tr to Upper Wolf Jaw, Armstrong) has more ice and snow, but, we didn't attach Microspikes to our boots and it was manageable. Or we did some short distance bushwhacking to avoid to step on icy trail. After reaching Armstrong summit, we took a brake because sun was shining. We met 5 hikers over there and chatted for a while. After then, we started to hike out. Once we got to the Col between Armstrong and Gothics, we decided to hike out w/o hiking to Gothics since we really didn't start hike early enough to cover 5 peaks in Great Range. We will hike at Gothics at Sawteeth hike altogether next time.

At the last 1-2 miles before getting back to the parking lot, hiking path is dirt road and/or concrete. I felt very tired on the bottom of my feet after 10 hours hike...

Special Equipment Required: I did NOT use any winter traction, although there were snow and ice at the higher elevation( > 3500 ft).

Happy Hiking,