|Hiking Trail Conditions Report|
||Saddleback Mountain, Saddleback Mountain - The Horn, ME|
|Date of Hike:
||Wednesday, May 20, 2020|
|Parking/Access Road Notes:
||Dry, snow free dirt parking area off ME 4. Can hold 20 cars. One car plus mine when I started at 06:30, 4 in the lot when I ended (most people congregating at the falls just past the trailhead). |
||Dry Trail, Standing/Running Water on Trail, Snow - Spring Snow, Snow/Ice - Postholes |
|Water Crossing Notes:
||Water levels are high. Crossing rocks are submerged. Prepare to create some ingenious moves to keep feet out of water. No crossing is treacherous, just sounds like it with all the water gushing. |
|Trail Maintenance Notes:
||Couple of blowdowns. Not bad. Most white blazes are in good shape. Winter wore down blazes above treeline but they are still there. All signs are up. Nice new sign for The Horn summit. 2-3 carins above treeline took a beating. I fixed what I could. Scree walls intact. |
||Good trail for dogs. All water points open now. |
||A few black flies.Not bad. |
|Lost and Found:
||Coke can. Packed it out. I’m keeping the $0.05. ||
||Great snow free trail all the way from the trailhead, past Piazza Rock, until just before Mud Pond. This is at 2500-2800 feet. Then it’s snow, snow, snow to tree line. I put on snowshoes after dealing with the water crossings around Mud Pond. I took them off at tree line. |
This is soul breaking spring snow. I postholed in snowshoes as the trail-bed is being undermined by flowing melt-off. Much of the trail is still under 3-4 feet of snow. Good news: it is melting wicked fast. My snowshoe postholes in the morning gave way to bare, wet rock by afternoon. It was at least upper 50s on the summits.
From tree line across both summits there are still patches of deep snow. But they are not long enough or tricky enough to require donning extra gear. Prepare to posthole to your hip. It’s inevitable.
Rungs drilled into the rock ledge approaching treeline on Saddleback are exposed. I ascended and descended these IN SNOWSHOES. #badass-snowshoe-skills. Then promptly got caught in a major snowshoe posthole and went careening onto my face. #wannabe-badass-snowshoer.
So, with the warm weather coming you decide if you will posthole with boots or snowshoes. The snow on the trail is too unstable to support much of anything. Either way it’s gonna burn some calories.
Berry Pickers Trail was completely unbroken. Blue blazes visible above the snowpack.
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.