|Hiking Trail Conditions Report|
||Zealand Mountain, Mt. Guyot, West Bond, Mt. Bond, Bondcliff, NH|
||Zealand Trail, Twinway, Zealand Spur, Bondcliff Trail, West Bond Spur, Lincoln Woods Trail|
|Date of Hike:
||Sunday, September 14, 2014|
|Parking/Access Road Notes:
||Tons of room at Lincoln Woods and the Zealand Trailhead when we started and finished. Who knows in between. |
||Dry Trail, Wet Trail |
|Water Crossing Notes:
||Bridges on Zealand Trail, easy rock hops on the lower Bondcliff Trail crossings. The upper crossing on the Bondcliff Trail was dry at the trail crossing, but we heard water flowing once we hiked a few dozen yards downhill from the crossing. |
|Trail Maintenance Notes:
||Everything was in great shape on the trails. Just a couple minor step-overs on the flat stretch of the Bondcliff Trail (the old Wilderness Trail) which are no worse than some of those railroad ties! |
||We saw 3-4 dogs, all between Zealand and Bondcliff, and all were super-well-behaved and happy. Nothing extraordinarily difficult for them on this hike other than the ledge below Bondcliff which won't be an issue for most. |
||Nope. It's fall, no bugs! |
|Lost and Found:
||A mostly sunny forecast calling for diminishing winds and a request from Theresa to visit the Bonds led to this fantastic hike. We started out at 6:25AM from Zealand Road and finished right at 6PM, and we never felt rushed. The clouds were slow to burn off and the winds slow to ease, and we were getting a bit concerned after Zeacliff where things were still solidly socked in and the winds were howling. The trees were also caked in a fair bit of rime ice; winter is coming fast!|
Folks coming out from the Guyot campsite (including 2 or 3 flag crews from the day before) were telling us about how they were getting knocked over by the winds. But luckily as we approached treeline on Guyot, the winds eased greatly, and it was no more than 20mph at times on the crossing, and the clouds were burning off. We got some cool undercast peeks from there towards Franconia Ridge and the Bonds. By the time we hit West Bond, the wind was completely gone, and the clouds were mostly gone in the Pemi. A lot of the higher peaks in the Whites had a ring of clouds circling just below their summits, and it made for some really cool views.
It was a great day for this hike despite the questionable start. The Bonds are always a great hike, and I enjoyed seeing the Bondcliff Trail below Bondcliff for the first time without snow. What a nice stretch of trail, light on the rocks and mostly nice grades. Even the final 5 mile stretch out flew by with the great company. Thanks Theresa for the "push" to do this on this day, it was a great one!
A shoutout to the 75-year-old gentleman we ran into just below Zealand who had finished his NH48 the day before on West Bond! Congratulations again!
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.