|Hiking Trail Conditions Report|
||Galehead Mountain, South Twin Mountain, North Twin Mountain, NH|
||Snowmobile trail, Haystack Road, Corridor 11 snowmobile trail, bushwhack, Gale River Trail, Garfiled Ridge Trail, Frost Trail, Twinway, North Twin Spur, North Twin Trail, herd path|
|Date of Hike:
||Friday, April 29, 2016|
|Parking/Access Road Notes:
||There was one other vehicle parked at the end of Little River Rd. It was there when I started and finished. The bridge over the Little River does not have a gate and there is now a house number on a post adjacent to Little River Rd. |
||Dry Trail, Snow - Trace/Minimal Depth, Ice - Blue, Mud - Minor/Avoidable, Snow - Wet/Sticky |
||Light Traction, Traction |
|Water Crossing Notes:
||The crossing of the Gale River along our bushwhack was a rock hop, though care was required as some of the rocks were partially covered in a thin layer of ice. We made all three crossing of the Little River on the way down. All were slightly below or above the actual trail crossings and required a brief step in an inch or so of water. |
|Trail Maintenance Notes:
||There was a large tree blocking the Frost Tr just below the outlook, another partially blocking the Twinway halfway up to South Twin, and a third about a mile or so below the summit of North Twin on the North Twin Tr. |
||Marlie led the way today. She didn't seem to have any trouble with the hidden ice. She seemed very curious when we saw a moose on the snowmobile trail but knew better than to give chase. We saw some fresh bear tracks on Garfield Ridge Tr headed up towards the hut. |
|Lost and Found:
||We started from the end of Little River Rd then followed the snowmobile trail up to Haystack Rd. We then took a left, following Corridor 11 snowmobile trail up over the height of land and down towards Gale River Loop Rd. After about a quarter mile or so after the gravel road starts we took a left past some boulders and down an old road to an old landing. The road appeared to continue SE but I chose to continue SSW through some thick hardwoods and blackberry bushes. This continued for another quarter mile or so before dropping down a very steep bank through hemlocks and down to the Gale River. After the crossing it was about two minutes later we came upon the Gale River Tr, 15 minutes below the reroute. This whack seemed to save me only a little time but over a mile of distance as opposed to walking down to Gale River Loop Rd and the Gale River Trailhead. |
Once headed up the Gale River Tr the snow started along the reroute at only a minimal depth off and on. Once headed up to the ridge the couple inches of fresh snow covered all of the boiler plate ice and foot placement became difficult. At first barebooting was fine but after a couple slips I decided it was time for traction. Due to the density and depth of the snow I opted for crampons just below the the Garfield Ridge Tr and kept them on to Galehead and up to just below the summit of South Twin. It was bare in front of the hut and in spots along the lower Frost Tr and near the summit of Galehead but I kept the crampons on because they were so useful on the hidden ice and most of the trail still had a decent base. Once again they made the climb up to South Twin a breeze and once near the top I took them off. We were treated with bright sun and barely a breeze on South Twin and I could have stayed there for quite some time. I tried microspikes over to North Twin which worked ok but the snow was balling up and the hidden ice caught me by surprise a couple times. Fortunately the grade is not too steep. The ledges heading up North Twin were mostly melted out and easy to navigate. After a relaxing break at the North Twin outlook we headed down the North Twin Tr.
Being lazy, I kept the microspikes on. They worked fine over the flat ledgy area but once headed down into the woods they became useless. Imagine trying to walk down a steep sheet of ice while standing on snowballs. I slipped once, figured that the ice could't last much longer, hugged some trees while tip toeing down, then slipped again. The second time I bashed my elbow pretty hard taking out a good chunk of skin. I then decided that the best choice would be to put the crampons back on. They were useful for the next half mile, then traction came off for good just above the highest stream crossing. The water was low enough that we took the trail proper all the way down to avoid the mud on the bypass. The herd path from the North Twin Trailhead back to Little River Rd was easy to follow with a short bypass through some hemlocks to avoid a muddy section. We saw no other hikers all day!
16.5 mi 4400' elev+ 8 hr 50 min
||iandanner@hotmail com |
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.