Ammonoosuc Ravine Trail (11/23/14)

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Mar 5, 2012
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Conditions: We headed up into the Ammonoosuc Ravine drainage for some ice climbing yesterday. After topping out of the primary drainage, we hiked the Westside Trail to the Crawford Path and down Ammonoosuc Ravine Trail to the Cog base station. Westside and Crawford Path had enough snow and ice to warrant crampons or microspikes, but not enough to completely cover the rocks. In some sections we were walking on firm snow, in others we punched through a crust, and in many spots we were scratching along on rock. Ammonoosuc Ravine Trail is a combination of packed snow and ice flows between the hut and the stream crossing. From the stream crossing down to the gem pool, everything gets softer and more slippery. By the time we reached the gem pool, it was wet snow packed into an ice glazing on rock. From the gem pool back to the Cog is pretty easy going with more water puddles than ice on the trail.

Weather: Hovering right around freezing, socked in with fog/clouds the whole day. It was very calm until we got above treeline, and then we had 20-30mph wind with gusts above 40.

Special Gear: Traction of some sort definitely required. Yaktraks would cut it from the gem pool up the steep section of the Ammonoosuc but microspikes or crampons are needed to get up the last bit to Lakes. Once above treeline, there isn't enough snow for snowshoes, but some sort of traction is useful because of the snow/sleet/freezing rain combination that hit over the weekend. Bare boots along the Crawford Path and Westside Trail would be possible.
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