Mt Jefferson and Mt Adams via Lowes, Randolph, Israel Ridge, and Gulfside - 2/20

NH Tramper

Apr 10, 2012
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North Conway, NH Avatar: Cannon Mtn.
Date of Hike: February 20, 2014

Trail Conditions: We were grateful that Lowes Path was pretty well broken out. We cleared some spindrift when we encountered it but it was easy going in our snowshoes. I recall a blowdown, or two, but I think they were on Randolph Path. Minor in any case. Our luck ended. This trail wasn't recently packed out and was well blown in but we went at it, sinking a lot in places, but before we knew it we were on Israel Ridge Trail and moving towards Edmands Col and the Gulfside Trail. The windslab started to support us making life a bit easier as we slabbed side hill. It was bony enough up there that avy danger on those lower angles was on the low side. There was little blowing snow so most everything has settled. We did a lot of packwhacking I'll call it, sticking to minor, low angle stretches of wind slab -- instead of talking the trail directly over the higher angle Jefferson Snowfield and also avoiding rocks whenever possible.

Special Equipment Used: We brought trekking poles, snowshoes, and crampons. The crampons never left our packs, the snowshoes never left our feet, and the trekking poles never left our hands. We wore our showshoes the entire time (minus a brief visit to Gray Knob), trailhead-to-trailhead.

Comments: Hiked this one with Bill Robichaud. For him these two were 45 and 46 of the winter 48, for me they were 46 and 47 -- one to go. We had an outstanding day, some warm temps, some sun, a lot of stunning views, and wind that was completely off the hook. We didn't start super early to avoid to 100+ superwinds, which did occur at 8:00am, but we experienced the funnel that is Edmands Col serving up winds that were surely 90. It was a riot trying to stay upright as we crossed the ice at the north end of the col. Soon we were again somewhat protected. The summit winds of Mt Jefferson were maybe 75 or 80, still strong but more manageable. The Mt Adams summit was roughly the same two hours later. Winds were settling but not nearly as fast as predicted, and the direction change we hoped for happened later than expected as well. As was, we did our best to allow travel with our backs to the ridiculous winds and to stay in protected zones, all while being cognizant of avy dangers. What a GREAT hike this was. Very exciting, an epic.

Mike "Tramper" Cherim
North Conway NH

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