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Jerm wrote:
>For those of you planning on coming up to Crag Camp on Friday night. The
>shortest route starts at the Appalachia parking lot on Route 2 and follows
>Air Line to Short Line to Randolph Path to Spur Trail.

Some comments based on past winter experience: [Disclaimer: I know nothing
about current snow-level, snow-pack, conditions, etc. So none of what
follows may apply at all.]

1) Air Line has an extraordinarily steep section, however I don't remember
if this occurs before or after the intersection with Short Line. Gut feel
is that it is beyond SL, but maybe check a map. This stretch is tedious if
significantly snow covered, merely treacherous if ice/verglas covered.

2) Many of these trails don't get used that much in the winter, thus are
often unbroken. Besides requiring more energy, they can be a little
difficult to find/follow.

3) Because of #2, try to do it in daylight rather than by headlamp. Even if
there's no snow, the forest is fairly dark. These aren't like the wide,
eroded, superhighway of the Tucks trail that you could follow in a full
moon,  with a cyalume, or by braille.


>...and hiking time according to the guidebook should run around 2 hr 50 min.

If snow covered? Unbroken? How heavy a pack? Way back in the day when I did
a winter north-to-south Presi traverse in a party of 5, we decided on the
Air Line to get up to the Madison/Adams col (the idea of a ridge appealed
to us). With 65lb packs, 3' of new snow, and an unbroken Air Line, we
reached tree-line at nearly dark (4:30p - it was December) after starting
at around 8:30am. At tree-line we were knocked over by 75mph winds -
stamped out a tent platform about 100 yds back down the trail at a
level-ish, wider spot. (None of this matters to you guys of course - it was
just a cheap excuse to tell a story.)

-Marc

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