Date of Hike: Mar. 5, 2013

Trail Conditions: The snow was stable and well-consolidated the entire trip. Greeley Ponds Trail was well packed, with lots of ski activity in addition to snowshoes, and the crossings were solidly bridged and very supportive... for now. The single blowdown I reported in the fall is still there, cut to allow easy passage (thanks). Mt Osceola Trail was likewise very packed and in great shape. The nasty 'whack-around blowdown I reported in the fall right before the summit has been de-limbed (thanks) and is now an easy duck-under. And speaking of duck-under, and old one between summits I reported last spring has been cut up (thanks) and is now at ground level. And a little past that is a new duck-under. Not really new, per se, it's just because someone lowered all the trees (kidding). I did see some postholes and butt sledding grooves from previous adventurers, but these were some of the better conditions I've seen. I must say, those who did posthole did so in a big way -- whole legs were swallowed up. I did not take the chimney as it wasn't broken out and I would have had to get out of my snowshoes and into crampons to do it safely so I went around. The higher elevation sections of trail were slightly blown in but the most I had to break out was ten feet to four inches deep, or so. Very easy work. Two inches or less was the norm.

Special Equipment Used: I used snowshoes for the entire hike though I might have been able to get away with spikes or bare boots on many/most parts... provided, that is, I stayed in the center of the trail. I didn't see anyone all day, but two people did use Greeley Ponds Trail while I was higher up, passing the junction. They had barebooted but I didn't see any significant divots due to their passage so that's good. Due to the snow depths (the snow pack on the trail must be a good four-five feet up high), much of the higher trail's canopy is now at face level making things tight in places; there are sections of trail in which wearing glasses might not be a bad idea so as to prevent eye injury. At least be aware of this possibility when you're up there.

Comments: Hiked this one solo (another reason for going around the chimney). Great day. Really warm (maybe a little too much), not too breezy, and very sunny except at the summits. It's surprising how snowy the Kanc is compared to the grassy medians on 93 on the way up. Like night and day. This hike only took me 3 hours and 56 minutes so I visited friends in Sugar Hill the rest of the day. I wanted to do the Tripyramids I but needed to change base layers and wouldn't have a spare set so I opted out for safety reasons.

Mike "Tramper" Cherim
Nottingham NH