Date of Hike: Nov 18, 2014

Trail Conditions: The snow on the surface was crusty making footing ideal if only a little thicker. There was very little clear ice on the trail so hazards in this regard were minimal. It was warm enough that rock was wet instead of icy. It did take some courage, nonetheless, to pass all sections of the upper part of Carter Ledge Trail simply due to the exposure -- a fall would have surely been the sliding type. I didn't spike up since the crusting covering on the rocks wouldn't hold me anyway. On the above trail and on Middle Sister Trail there were a handful of blowdowns. There was also some mud that still needs more cold weather before if fully sets up. The latter trail was harder to follow due to scant blazing and a lack of traffic; at one point, a sharp turn, I had to stop and look around to regain the trail visually. The former trail was newly over-blazed in places and very easy to follow, until treeline when the new blazing stopped... but path-finding was still pretty easy (plus I had been on the upper section before).

Special Equipment Used: Trekking poles to help balance. Gaiters not really needed but not a bad idea. Microspikes or other traction is good to bring but as it was today, I never wore mine.

Comments: I hiked this one solo so as to complete the untouched portions of the two trails above for redline. I didn't actually need the extra .6 back and forth to the MS summit, but honestly, how could I not? Gorgeous day!

Mike "Tramper" Cherim
North Conway NH