Date of Hike: 12/26/13

Trail Conditions: All of the trails had more snow than I was expecting after the warm weather and rain last weekend. Crawford Path and the Webster-Jackson trails are packed pretty good which made for good footing. There is still not enough snow to cover all the rocks. The trails are not ready for snowshoes yet.

We started at the Crawford connector parking lot and there were no other vehicles in the parking lot. It was snowing with about an inch of fresh snow on the ground. The amount of snow increased as we got to the peaks with about 4" to maybe 5" of fresh snow along parts of the Webster Cliff trail. There is still a lot of ice on the trails and covered by the fresh snow which concealed it and made it even more slippery. The Crawford Path has several small ice floes. Some were solid and some were wet and soft. There were a couple on the Webster-Jackson trail too. Decending down toward the hut requires some caution too because many of the rocks are ice covered. The Webster Cliff has not had as much traffic as the other trails so it is not packed that well. The trail has a lot of shallow post holes, but I didn't post hole once all day. I just stepped in some of the existing holes.

There were a few blow downs on the Crawford Path that you can step over and one duck under on the Webster Cliff trail on the way to to the hut. The couple of water/stream crossings on the Webster-Jackson trail were basically bridged, but they are not solid so use caution. There were a few wet open areas along the trails too.

Special Equipment: We used Microspikes up to Pierce and over to Jackson. We switched to crampons for the decent down from Jackson for better traction. I kept mine on the whole way down to avoid the surprise of snow covered ice. My hiking partner switched back to Microspikes. It's personal preference at this point.

Comments: It was a cloudy, snowy day with very limited views. We only saw about 12 other people all day. Thanks to John W. for another great hike in the whites.