Hiking Trail Conditions Report
Peaks Wildcat D, Wildcat C, Wildcat B, Wildcat A, Carter Dome, South Carter, Middle Carter, NH
Trails: Polecat ski trail, Wildcat Ridge Trail, Carter-Moriah Trail, Carter Dome Trail, North Carter Trail, Imp Trail, Camp Dodge Cutoff
Date of Hike
Date of Hike: Monday, March 21, 2016
Parking/Access Road Notes
Parking/Access Road Notes: Got picked up at Camp Dodge gate, but no real parking here ("Do not block drive"). 
Surface Conditions
Surface Conditions: Ice - Black, Ice - Blue, Snow/Ice - Frozen Granular 
Recommended Equipment
Recommended Equipment: Light Traction 
Water Crossing Notes
Water Crossing Notes: N/A 
Trail Maintenance Notes
Trail Maintenance Notes: 4-5 stepovers on Norh Carter Trail.  
Dog-Related Notes
Dog-Related Notes:  
Bugs: Not a bug, but a crazy bird encounter!  
Lost and Found
Lost and Found:  
Comments: Shortly after starting up Polecat it began to snow and didn't let up for 5-6 hours. Accumulation was only about an inch or two, but at 15 degrees and winds blowing steadily, especially across Wildcat Ridge, this spring day felt more wintry than most of the winter and I had to break out the handwarmers.

Barebooted up groomed Polecat, spiked from there. Lots of ice but totally manageable with spikes. Even descending and ascending Carter Notch, crampons would have been overkill. Hardpacked trail with few postholes made for nice walking. :)

Between South and Middle Carter I came upon a very territorial male (w/red "eyebrow") spruce grouse making strange guttural churring sounds. I stopped to pull out my phone in order to get a video, and he began circling me. As I attempted to start walking away, he began "attacking" my feet and lower legs, pecking and fluttering about. I gently pushed him away with poles and boots, but he kept coming at me, "attacking" me for 5-10 minutes and about 200 yards. All through this encounter, I was laughing so hard and trying to thwart this crazy bird that it was hard to walk. He kept getting underfoot as well. I finally escaped by RUNNING down the trail swinging a pole behind my legs... laughing hysterically all the while. Note that I absolutely did NOT hurt him, and I would hope that others will treat him kindly. He is just doing what is instinctual. I did mention to him that there would be a lot of folks coming thru here in a couple of months, so he might want to find a better neighborhood. :D So... beware the territorial male spruce grouse between South and Middle Carter!!

The rest of the hike down was rather anticlimactic. North Carter Trail was icy as was the upper elevations of Imp. Ice stopped at about 2000 ft, and it was bare ground for the most part. Did the easy 'whack to Camp Dodge and finished as the sun popped out of the clouds.  
Name: Snowflea 
Date Submitted
Date Submitted: 2016-03-22 
Link: https:// 
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