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Hiking Trail Conditions Report
Peaks
Peaks West Bond, Mt. Bond, Bondcliff, NH
Trails
Trails: Lincoln Woods Trail, Franconia Brook Trail, bushwhack, West Bond Spur, Bondcliff Trail
Date of Hike
Date of Hike: Saturday, September 21, 2013
Parking/Access Road Notes
Parking/Access Road Notes: Plenty of room at Lincoln Woods early this morning and early this evening...also missed the Highland Games traffic. 
Surface Conditions
Surface Conditions: Dry Trail, Mud - Minor/Avoidable 
Recommended Equipment
Recommended Equipment:  
Water Crossing Notes
Water Crossing Notes: All rock hoppable at today's levels. 
Trail Maintenance Notes
Trail Maintenance Notes: Plenty of stepovers on Franconia Brook Trail and upper Bondcliff Trail (below Bondcliff). A few stepovers on old railgrade portion of Bondcliff Trail, but wilderness conforming I guess. We removed a few. One of the lower water crossings on the traditional Bondcliff Trail could use some rock work, as it looks like the water jumps the bank whenever the water rises, pushing it down and scouring the trail. 
Dog-Related Notes
Dog-Related Notes: Might not be a good idea to take Fido on the V Guitar slide due to the loose rock. 
Bugs
Bugs: Minimal, other than some random none biting flies clouding near Bond. 
Lost and Found
Lost and Found:  
 
Comments
Comments: Trails were generally dry. Hellgate valley already seems past peak in terms of foliage...brownish yellows. Some isolated color in other valleys.

Took Lincoln Woods Trail (though the refurbishing would be more than it was, but it was nice to have the new footbed where they have it) to the Franconia Brook Trail (minor/avoidable mud in places), then hopped into the woods at the Hellgate Brook crossing.
Alternated between the north and south side of the brook for awhile, looking for a herd path. Generally okay woods if you move away from the brook with plenty of logging roads (some okay for awhile, others useless). Eventually found a herd path on the north side of the brook just after it turns southeast after the tributary. Sort of lost it in open woods just prior to bailing to go the slide.
The V Guitar slide (not too much of a trek above the brook) on the south side was generally loose rock with some slabs on the left side. The loose rock gave way in places, while the slab was dry enough and at a reasonable enough angle to friction climb. After a brief spruce interlude, we picked up the narrower part of the slide and followed that to its top, then slabbed to the next slide to the east (maybe 100 feet away, but very thick), then took that to its top, then after some brief thickness, popped onto the ridge.
Initially we had good going on the ridge, but after the false bump it was thick for awhile. Near one of the last crags, we picked up a herd path and followed it to West Bond (it departs on the northwest side of the summit and goes to some very nice secondary ledges only a few dozen feet below).
West Bond Spur and higher elevations of the Bondcliff Trail were generally dry. Lots of people on the ridge.
Hadn't been on the Bondcliff Trail below Bondcliff without snow in a few years...it's unfortunate to see how quickly erosion is taking its toll. Hopefully some waterbars and steps can be built in problem places before it gets any worse. Some mud in the normal places down low. Started raining as we neared the wilderness boundary - quite a contrast to the blue sky we had first thing in the morning.
Long day, but awesome to explore some remote areas.  
Name
Name: rocket21 
E-Mail
E-Mail: rocket21@franklinwebpublishing.com 
Date Submitted
Date Submitted: 2013-09-21 
Link
Link: http://www.franklinsites.com/hikephotos/NewHampshire/mtbondwestpeak-2013-0921.php 
Bookmark and Share 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.

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