Madison & Adams

Date of Hike: 1/27/18

Valley Way: 3.8 miles  /  Osgood Trail: 0.9 miles  /  Gulfside Trail: 0.4 miles  /  Airline:  4.9 miles
Total Miles: 10.0 miles (5,192 feet elevation gained) AMC White Mountain Guide Online

Trip Report:
- As the week was coming to an end I was eyeing the weather to hopefully catch a break for a comfortable weekend hike above treeline.  Saturday's forecast was close to perfect, weather in the low 30's above 5,000 feet with winds around 30 MPH with some gusting.  My friend Todd also was watching the weather and sent me a text early Saturday morning saying he was heading up to do Madison and Adams, so I joined him and we hit the trail just before 8AM.
- We took the safest and easiest route to treeline, the Valley Way, over mostly tame grades and excellent footing because of the packed down snow which has buried all the roots and rocks.  It's not the most exciting trail in the Whites but we made quick work of it breaking above treeline in about one hour and forty minutes.
- Above treeline, conditions were closer to November than late January, mix of bare ground with minimal ice and patches of snow.  I switched into my old beater spikes and Todd barebooted both Madison and Adams.  The wind was whipping at times but it felt refreshing and actually made it easier to regulate our body temperature without heating up too much on the ascents.
- Views were great in every direction with clouds slowly creeping in and above from the west, along with a soft fading alpine glow to the east.
-  With it being such a nice morning above treeline, there were other hikers out and about between Madison and Adams, a group of four with overnight gear, a happy duo, and a couple of solo hikers.
- On the descent we decided to stay above the trees a little longer and headed down the Airline along Durand Ridge.  Once below treeline we snaked through the blowdown patches from the October 30th storm, followed by picking our way down some nice ice flows, and then booked it down the final two miles over packed snow making it back to Appalachia around 12:30PM.
- I had not been on the Northern Presi's since October, so it was great to get back up with favorable weather and fast conditions, making for one of the easier winter ascents I have had for these peaks, and it was my 40th time on Madison!

Weather Warning sign at treeline 

 Views from Mount Madison

Mount Madison's summit

Carter and Wildcat Range

Crescent Range

 A frozen Star Lake with JQ Adams and Mount adams

Sun shining through the clouds

 Heading up to Mount Adams and the view of Washington from the summit

JQ Adams, Star Lake and Mount Madison

Mount Jefferson, Clay, and Washington

 Halo Boulder!

Mount Jefferson

Mount Madison's summit cone.  The lack of snow above treeline is amazing...and sad :(

Ice flows on the Airline 

Meanwhile, Sarge went for a quick morning hike up Mount Crescent with Whitney.  Here he is at Castle View saying to mommy, "I think I see daddy up there!" :) 

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