Date of Hike: 18 February 2012

Trail Conditions:

Greeley Ponds Trail had a light dusting over hard-packed snow. Well broken out. Bareboots were fine on this part of the hike.

Mount Osceola Trail was a mix of hard-packed snow and some sections of ice. I used Grivel G-10 crampons from shortly after starting the moderate ascent on the lower slopes and kept them on over both summits and back down until the Greeley Ponds Trail junction. The upper half of this trail has some steep sections requiring great care to navigate without a slip. I was very happy to have crampons on the hike, especially for the descent. The steep drop off the top of East Osceola is a smoothed out bobsled track, and I would not have been comfortable in microspikes. Poles were very helpful on the descent as well for extra contact with the ground. The Chimney was a bit icy and also required care.

Three blowdowns on the ridge, two requiring a trip around (one of them is very large) and one an easy duck under. Crossings either solid or not enough water to be a concern.

Comments: Beautiful day to be in the woods with spring conditions and nice views alternating with cloud cover. I love the trail along this ridge and have always liked the unique view of Passaconaway behind North Tripyramid from one of the East Osceola outlooks. Saw about 20 people today, most in micros or even barebooting but also saw that many people turned back short of the summit or the slide. A group of barebooters was considering continuing from the slide on up the steeps to the summit as I was on my way out. To each his own, but I want good traction on this trail.

Had a nice chat with and took a picture for the Orange Summits Northern Pass protest team on Osceola. They were finishing summits 37/38. Good job!