|Hiking Trail Conditions Report|
||Baldpate Mountain - East Peak, Little Baldpate, ME|
|Date of Hike:
||Wednesday, May 6, 2020|
|Parking/Access Road Notes:
||Parking is a dirt skirt off of East B Hill Rd in Andover. From US 2, turn onto ME5. Follow this 11 miles to a stop sign in Andover. Turn left onto the unsigned road. Follow this for 6-7 (?) miles. When traveling up the road, look for the yellow DOT hiker crossing sign. The parking lot is 0.25 miles past this sign on the right. This lot can hold 5 cars. It was snow free, dry and firm. I was the only car on arrival. A truck had joined when I finished (both Maine plates). |
||Dry Trail, Wet Trail, Snow - Packed Powder/Loose Granular, Standing/Running Water on Trail, Snow - Spring Snow, Snow/Ice - Postholes |
||Snowshoes, Traction |
|Water Crossing Notes:
||Dunn Falls is spectacular right now. But with higher water levels this crossing presents some serious issues. After exhausting other crossing options, I elected to remove shoes and socks and wade through the freezing water. It is only about 6 feet across and the deepest point was mid-shin. The feet went numb instantly but I made it across and put on my warm & dry socks and shoes. On the return trip my feet were soaked anyway so I just walked through the crossing. All other crossings are negotiable without getting feet wet. |
|Trail Maintenance Notes:
||One major blowdown still blocking the trail on the knob approaching Surplus a Mountain. Well, it’s more like two big trees... This is just before the views of East Baldpate come into view. There are some faded, but still discernible, blazes in the open woods on the shoulder of Surplus Mtn. Otherwise good trail! |
||Good trail for dogs. Lots of water right now. |
||Black flies waking... Swallowed one. The rest await your blood!! |
|Lost and Found:
||Appalachian Trail (AT), Southbound|
Super glad I brought the full winter pack (snowshoes, traction, gloves, hat). Unfortunately I was wearing my summer boots. No go. My feet were soaked and freezing. Note, take back out the winter boots for the next two weeks...
Nice, snow free trail up until the shoulder of Surplus Mountain. This was about 2200 feet. Then it was deep snow alternating with open trail. Frustrating. Part I elected to just post hole because it wasn’t that deep. Then it would suddenly be deep snow and I would post hole over 36 inches. Then there would be long stretches of open trail with no snow. Then super long stretches of deep (6 inches or more) of soul breaking spring snow.
In hindsight I should have just donned the snowshoes at the start of the shoulder traverse of Surplus Mtn then removed them for the open stretches. I wasted so much time and energy post holing thinking that the snow would end soon...Descending to the shelter was the most aggravating. Deep snow interspersed with open sections filled with sharp, pointy rocks. I tore up my favorite snowshoes.
But, from the Frye Notch shelter to tree line snowshoes are required. No ifs, ands, or buts. This side of the mountain does not get much sun, period. No matter the season. I kept snowshoes on (both ways) until treeline. After that the rock ledges were somewhat clear. I could ascend bare boot without postholing. Descending, however, I wore traction over the snowfields. I would then remove them to traverse the bare rock.
The snow made the steep parts just below tree line very steep. Luckily this was sticky spring snow and allowed for the construction of “steps.” On the descent I had to turn around and hike down backwards.
Moral: on this trail bring full winter gear until June.
Lots of moose activity. One apparently is a southbound AT thru hiker. I swear his/her tracks went all the way from Dunn Falls up and over the summit of East Baldpate. Seriously.
Disclaimer: Reports are not verified - conditions may vary. Use at own risk. Always be prepared when hiking. Observe all signs. Trail conditions reports are not substitutes for weather reports or common sense.