Trail Conditions: the side spur from Marshfield Station has three blowdowns. An easy step over that will not be so easy when the snow melts, a walk around that is not an issue now but may be over the trail proper, and a very large duck under that does not seem to represent a problem. With more snow, this will become difficult. I will clear them in spring as needed. The main Ammonoosuc Ravine Trail was hard packed with a little powder covering. Not much ice below the trees. Above the trees it was hard packed snow, boiler plate ice (minimal), and some exposed rocks here and there.

Special Equipment: I packed expecting to get wet wearing a waterproof parka over a base layer skipping the usual fleece jacket. I put the pack cover on early. I barebooted to Gem Pool without slipping or postholing. I put on crampons at Gem Pool for the steeps which provided perfect traction. Snowshoes would have worked. Light traction would have as well although I expect more slipping would have occurred. It was not very windy above treeline but my facemask and goggles were nearby and with the very poor visibility, I carried a compass in my chest pocket with my bearings back to the hut in mind. It was calm, but cairns were not visible from each other, and I expected conditions could have changed quickly with a winter storm coming and big winds predicted.

Comments: I left half expecting to not get far above treeline with a winter storm warning and a windy day predicted up high. Mount Washington was on my radar, but after coming off Monroe, the sleet was starting and combined with near zero visibility, it was not a wise choice. Feeling grateful to have been able to summit Monroe, I headed out for what turned into a very quick descent back to my truck. It was another great day and I was glad to sneak in a 5,000 footer between the bitter cold of Saturday and the afternoon storm Sunday. On the ride after, Twin Mountain was 40F and it dropped to 27 in Jefferson 10 minutes later.