Hope Springs Eternal : Adams and Madison

Date of Hike: 4/19/15

Airline: 4.5 miles  / Gulfside Trail: 0.3 miles  /  Osgood Trail: 0.5 miles  /  Watson Path: 1.5 miles  /  Valley Way: 2.4 miles
Total Miles: 9.2 miles (5,000 feet elevation gained)

Trip Report:
-  The original plan on Sunday was for a quick hike up North Moat with Whitney before she had to go to work, but we both were a little tired so we slept in and I ended up heading up to Appalachia mid morning as the clouds cleared off the Presidential Range.
-  With longer days and warmer weather my options of hiking and exploring have doubled even though there is still plenty of snow left in the woods.  I decided to head up Airline to hopefully catch skiers in the King Ravine as I hiked above them along the knife edge of Durand Ridge.  On the way up the Airline I passed by Ian and his dog Marlie who where also hiking Adams and Madison.  After chatting for a few minutes I headed up the trail and broke above treeline and took off my snowshoes for good.
-  Unfortunately, I hiked along the ridge I couldn't spot any skiers to take picture of down in King Ravine but I was able to zoom in on the Great Gully where there was still plenty of snow.  Views from Durand Ridge are pretty sweet in all directions and today was one of the better days with clear views for 75 plus miles. I took in and admired the great views as I headed up above the ravine and then up the summit of Adams where I took a nice break and relaxed.
- From Mount Adams I crossed path again with Ian and Marlie soaking up the sun as I dropped back down to Madison Springs Hut.  At the hut I thought about taking Pine Link to Watson and then up to Madison's summit but decided to just book it up the Osgood Trail since it's more direct and qucik.  Just below the summit I ran into Bob n Geri, their dog Dutsy and their friend Rachel and her dog Max.
- Once at the summit I really didn't feel like backtracking and taking the Valley Way Trail back down so I opted to stay above the trees longer and descend the Watson Path.  I made the right decision as I was able to rock rock hop almost all the way until treeline until I was back in the snow where things got really interesting.  The snow was rotting and soft and postholing on descent happened with or without snowshoes from time to time, basically it was spring time hiking in the woods at it's finest!  Eventually, I made it back to the junction with the Valley Way Trail where I ran into Jason, Brent, and his dog Lucy who had just hiked Waumbek and were heading up to spend the afternoon roaming around above treeline.
- From here I quickly descended back down to Appalachia without falling through the snow.  Unlike the Watson Path, the Valley Way Trail see a tremendous amount of use so the snowpack stays solid longer than the lightly used trails.
-  I was happy to not hike the Valley Way Trail top to bottom and and happy I will not have to from here on out until next winter!  Other than that and outstanding day for a hike!

Appalachia and the Airline Trail

 Heading up Airline

 Breaking above treeline

 Zoom in of the Great Gully Trail 

 The Great Gully in King Ravine

 Hiking along Durand Ridge

 The King Ravine

 Madison Springs Hut and Mount Adams

 Heading up to Mount Adam's summit

 Airline to Adams

 Looking down at Star Lake and Mount Madison

 Jefferson, Clay, and Washington from Mount Adams summit and a shot of Star Lake

 The Great Gulf

 The Mount Jefferson snow field!

 Two hikers descending the lower snow field

 Ian and Marlie!

Heading down to Madison Springs Hut

 Mount Madison summit

 Looking back up the Watson Path

Heading below treeline on the Watson Path

 Duck Falls in Snyder Brook

Stuff spotted along the way

Route for the day, click here for details


  1. Good report, great photos and captions! Exactly what I was looking for... :)

    1. Thanks Inna! Hope to run into you again on the trails this upcoming spring and summer :)