View Full Version : Adams, Madison, and a night at Gray Knob

03-08-2010, 02:11 PM
Last year almost exactly to the day we had plans for this very same trip but with the forecast for heavy rain we decided to scrap that trip. Fast forward to this year and the weather gods could not have been more giving than the gem of the two days they provided.

Our plan was to play hooky from work on Friday. Drive up and try to be on the trail by noon. Due to the huge dumping of snow that the higher elevations got and the lack of any trail conditions we were able to come across we figured our safest bet was to use the Lowes Path to Gray Knob. Our prediction of a well broken out path was correct. It was perfect for snowshoes. Wide, flat, and very hard packed but not icy.


The heavy snow in the trees did make for sections that were more like tunnels as opposed to trails.


After about two and a half hours we reached our accommodations for the night Gray Knob. Gray Knob is a high mountain shelter run by the Randolph Mountain Club. It's open year round with a caretaker, sits at about 4300 feet, has a running spring, and thankfully sits just at about treeline. To say the snow was deep there is a mild understatement. On the measuring stick the depth was 106 inches.



With the warm temps and still winds we were treated to a fantastic sunset


The next morning we got up bright and early to try and bag Adams and Madison before the expected high winds picked up. While climbing the snow fields above Gray Knob we could already see climbers coming off Madison doing a Presi Traverse.



After reaching the top of Adams we beat a healthy retreat down the airline trail to the Madison Hut. The snow was absolutely perfect for snow shoes. The sky was clear, temps were in the low 20's, and the views were to say the least breath taking.



We dropped the packs at the Hut and decided to make a quick run for the top. On our way up we got a nice framed shot of Mt. Washington and the clouds looked like speech bubbles above the observatory.



The winds were really stating to blow at this point so we didn't stick around for long.
Our return trip took us across the vast snowfields via the Gulfside trail, back by the shelter then out the Lowes Path. For us our Winter hiking season was officially over and our thoughts now turn to greener trails. Living so far away from this hikers paradise really gives you an appreciation for all this beautiful state has to offer and weekends like this will always remain in our memories long after the snow has melted.

03-08-2010, 09:24 PM
Great trip report and your picctures are fantastic. Thanks for sharing.

KD Talbot
03-09-2010, 09:05 AM
Great pictures and TR, Billy! You're right, great memories!


03-09-2010, 09:54 AM
Wow, what a great trip you guys had!! very Nice!! Do you need to make reservations for the lodge? Im really interested in trying out that trip next year and would love any info you could provide!! Again congrats!!

03-09-2010, 01:25 PM
The shelter is first come first serve. All sorts of good info located here:


03-09-2010, 06:33 PM
That shot of the lenticulars on the presis is AMAZING. Looks like a great trip. I love staying there...

Hope all's well!

Anna LeBlanc
03-09-2010, 08:33 PM
Beautiful photos and a wonderful TR.Thank you for bringing us along.



Snow Miser
03-10-2010, 07:47 AM
Yes, great photos and TR. Thanks for posting for us to see.