Hiking Trail Conditions Report
Peaks East Osceola (attempt), NH
Trails: Greeley Ponds XC Ski Trail, Mt. Osceola Trail
Date of Hike
Date of Hike: Thursday, February 18, 2021
Parking/Access Road Notes
Parking/Access Road Notes: X-Country Ski and Snowshoe lot had 5 cars when I left around 11am. Empty at 730am.  
Surface Conditions
Surface Conditions: Snow - Packed Powder/Loose Granular, Snow/Ice - Frozen Granular 
Recommended Equipment
Recommended Equipment: Snowshoes, Traction, Ice Axe 
Water Crossing Notes
Water Crossing Notes:  
Trail Maintenance Notes
Trail Maintenance Notes:  
Dog-Related Notes
Dog-Related Notes: One section might be too steep 
Lost and Found
Lost and Found:  
Comments: Greely Pond Trail head lot was not plowed so I approached on Snowshoe from the X-Ski/Snowshoe trail just a quarter mile earlier up 112. No one around at 730am. Mostly frozen with a little give on the trail. Not sure if barebooting would punch through but didn't find out as Snowshoes or Skis are required on this trail. Got to the Mount Osceola Trail after 1.3 miles and things started to get pretty vertical. Got about .5 from East peak and hit a tough vertical section(one previous hiker mentioned 45-60 degree angles in the snow cover). I removed snow shoes and switched to spikes but quickly realized more safety tools would have been better, as I was alone. I attempted to created foot holds with micros which would have worked but without a spotter or an axe I felt very unsecured. I went half way up only to go down in reverse. As I came down just .2 miles I saw one hiker with two dogs and then later a couple coming up. While not being too tired to get through this section, I was incredibly worried about coming back down it or slipping with no one to see me fall. Crampons and an axe might have been needed as well as a partner to spot a bit.

This was the hardest decision I've made yet while in the Whites and while it was tempting to get to 40 today(East Osceola 39 and Osceola 40), my bouts with the Hancocks and Carters earlier in the weak left me with spent legs and a dangerous possible descent that I didn't want someone else to pay for by rescuing me. I hope the three hikers(and the furry companions) were safe making their way through. I'll be back!

Name: Nick J. 
Date Submitted
Date Submitted: 2021-02-19 
Link: https:// 
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