Trail Conditions: well packed out, solid base throughout, pretty soft on the sides. ascent up the osceola trail has some icy spots because the snow has been cleaned away in areas due to glissading. no major blowdowns, one step-over i think.

Equipment: snowshoes or crampons recommended. microspikes are enough but made it difficult in spots.

Comments: another great day in the whites. first 1.3 miles out to trail junction are a super-sidewalk, once you hit the osceola trail up to the ridge it gets steep fast. we started in microspikes (carrying snowshoes) and were too stubborn to switch on the way up, which in hindsight we should have. the micros were enough in most spots, but some areas are extremely steep and would be easier with something more serious for traction. we used some of the trees and slightly off-trail portions where we could get a better grip. it was a quick ascent overall (only 2.8 miles to east summit from car). trip over to osceola was quick and painless, with the snow being a little softer. we took out our sleds for the return trip, but quickly learned that they made it dangerous. straight up buttsliding was fast enough for us and we made it down in good time. for a short hike, you certainly get a workout going up!