Not Quite Ready for Winter . . . Mount Madison

Date of Hike: 10/19/15

Howker Ridge Trail: 3.5 miles  /  Pine Link Trail: 0.7 miles  /  Watson Path: 0.3 miles  /  Osgood Trail: 0.5 miles  /  Valley Way: 2.4 miles  /  Randolph Path 1.7 miles
Total Miles: 9.25 miles (4,235 feet elevation gained)

Trip Report:
- On Monday Whitney and I planned for a Presidential Range Traverse BUT that soon turned into just a hike up Mount Madison.  Mount Washington had over eight inches of snow over the past thirty-six hours.  So we made a go for it even though I only had my crossover trail runners and not my winter boots.  The temperature and wind was not too bad, temps above treeline were around thirty and winds were in the high twenties with gusts in the high thirties.  What did us in were two things, the snow cover was just enough to cover the tops over our footwear which eventually would be bad news for me, and the snow hid the holes between boulders making our ascent up Pine Link and Watson Path tedious and slow.  So we made the smart decision to head down once were summited Madison.
- Could we have made it across the range unscathed, most likely yes even with my freezing toes, but with nasty weather coming in for that night into the next day, (hurricane force winds and heavy rain) we played it safe as all it takes is one tiny misstep to enter a world of sh!t in the Presidential Range!

 Early morning starting off from the trailhead on Pinkham Road B

Stairs Falls and Devil's Kitchen

Bear Den and crossing by another mini waterfall and up a leaf filled trail

After a few miles we the trail becomes dusted with snow

Popping out on one of the 'Howks' and admiring the views

Mount Madison in all its glory

Looking north into Maine

The snow depths increases to a couple of inches and the pace slows

Breaking out above treeline

Whitney makes here way up in winter like conditions

Heading up to the summit and looking down on the Osgood Ridge

 Mount Adams and Washington from the summit of Mount Madison

Dropping down to Madison Springs Hut, Whitney is happy to be back hiking in the snow!

Madison Springs Hut

Madison Springs Hut

The descent back down the Valley Way and Randolph Path

Signs spotted along the way

Route for the day, click here for details

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