|Hiking Trail Conditions Report|
||North Tripyramid, Middle Tripyramid, South Tripyramid, East Sleeper, Mt. Whiteface, Mt. Passaconaway, NH|
||Pine Bend Brook Trail, Mt. Tripyramid Loop, Kate Sleeper Trail, Downes Brook Trail, Rollins Trail, Dicey's Mill Trail, Downes Brook Slide "Trail"|
|Date of Hike:
||Saturday, April 23, 2016|
|Parking/Access Road Notes:
||First & last car at Pine Bend Brook TH today! |
||Dry Trail, Wet Trail, Wet/Slippery Rock, Standing/Running Water on Trail, Slush, Snow/Ice - Small Patches |
||Light Traction |
|Water Crossing Notes:
||The numerous crossings on Pine Bend Brook Trail were easy.
The 4 crossings of Downes Brook Trail were wide and required some thought, but we were able to rock hop all of them. |
|Trail Maintenance Notes:
||Usual amount of blowdown and slop for spring conditions.
Abandoned Downes Brook Slide Trail is harder and harder to discern... |
|Lost and Found:
||Lost a hair elastic during our adventures today. ||
||Beautiful day and clear skies in the Sandwich Range this day. Noticed mountains to the north engulfed in cloud, but we were in the clear all day.|
On Pine Bend Brook we put on Hillsound spikes just above the sharp lefthand turn going up valley (2800 ft?). There were the usual steep, gnarly, icy sections but things are really melting out up there. We figured that spikes were necessary for only about 20% of today's entire route... but they are still necessary. There was a lot of on-off-on-off with the spikes.
Assumed South Slide was clear of ice but went for the direct (bushwhack) line between South Tri and Kate Sleeper trail anyway just for fun. Clocked 0.2 miles for today's route. Kate Sleeper Trail had patches of ice, and the spikes on-off slowed our progress. Lots of moose sign. Some undermining on upper Downes Brook Trail going up Whiteface, with lots of running water on this stretch. On Rollins we saw our first hikers of the day (10 people seen all day, all on Rollins Trail). Whiteface side of Rollins was icier than Passaconaway side. In fact, we were able to take spikes off and mostly barefoot up Passaconaway... mostly, but not all the way!
We continued down to the 0.3 mile Viewpoint. In order to *spice up* the final miles off Passaconaway, we opted for the abandoned, crazy steep Downes Brook Slide Trail (as opposed to the pretty but less exciting Oliverian Brook Trail). I have done this route 7 or 8 times in the past, including in winter, but the last time was 5-6 years ago. The trail is (unfortunately, in my opinion) getting harder to follow, and I would categorize it as more of a bushwhack at this point. On the upper wooded sections, a footpath can be spottily discerned. Occasionally we would lose, then regain it, usually due to blowdown obscuring the path. There was a bit of ice but not a lot. We kept our spikes on, however, as the pitch was so steep! Did see some moose tracks on the path.
On the extensive (spectacular!!!) ledges, we marveled at the endless cascades, pools, and waterfalls and decided we'd have to return on a hot summer's day. There was some ice on the upper ledges, but it was easy to navigate around. Steering clear of the slippery black moss and wet rock, we slowly picked our way down along mostly the edges of the ledges, sometimes diverting into the woods to the south.
Two hours (!) after leaving the 0.3 mile Viewpoint, 2100 ft. of descent, but only 1.6 miles later according to my GPS app, we hit the Downes Brook Trail. We still had about 2.5 miles on the DBT, 4 river crossings, and 2.5 miles on the Kanc to go, but we made it to the car before needing lights--yay. We turned on music for the last bit and discovered a fun fact: Iron Butterfly's "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida" (long version) is the perfect beat and length for the Sabbaday-to-PBB stretch.
||Snowflea & Fancypants |
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.