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  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Gorham NH

    One of those hard to beat January Days on Madison

    The long range forecast was looking real fine for Friday so I scheduled a tentative hike up Madison with Jazzbo for a hike up Madison via the normal route. We were in no rush so got a casual start from Appalachia in the AM. I had a recent "boot issue" a week before so had to pull a reserve pair out of the closet so I wasnt looking for long day. Lots of folks already in the parking lot and headed up by the time we headed up the trail. Despite being on the north side of the mountain the sun was high enough that the sun came in through the hardwood until we transitioned back to the uphill slog section. We did get a few peeks through the trees north towards Berlin and north country and it was looking good. We met some folks headed down from a hike timed for sunrise on top of Adams. The trail was a side walk, totally no need for anything more than Hillsound Microspikes for me all day. No "kittens" were harmed. The last stretch from Valley Way Campsite was borderline for the Hillsounds, I expect Kahoolas might have been inadequate. It was a smooth buttslide chute with borderline bite for traction. I just consciously started kicking in a bit and didnt here a lot of complaints from Ray following my footsteps.

    Popping out at the Hut it was a classic blue, not a hint of clouds anywhere and not bit of wind. Plenty of folks came through while we had a long break. There were a few spots in the sun where there was some melting going on. Not much snow pack up in the bowl, I remember years where the bowl was flat smooth and featureless, its was all sharply defined. Ray elected to switch to crampons for the climb up to the summit but I stuck with the Hillsounds. The traction was fine and we worked out way to the top. Not a bit of breeze on top of Madison. It was definitely a 100 mile plus day, the usually slight low level smog on the horizon but it did not appear to limit the distance or the view. I had been playing with the Granit Lidar imagery the day before and noticed that along the Mt Crescent range in Randolph that some terrain features visible on Lidar that are not visible with tree cover stand out quite well. We talked to a few other folks for awhile and then headed down. I was considering switching to crampons for the hike down the upper section of Valley way but the snow chutes were just firmed up from the days traffic that I had no issues. We headed down the Valley Way and got down after the sun had dropped down so we were in the shadows.

    Hard to beat nice winter day on the summits.

    Hard to beat the day and nice to see quite variety of folks on the trail.
    Last edited by peakbagger; 02-01-2020 at 04:58 PM.

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