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Hiking Trail Conditions Report
Peaks
Peaks Stairs Mountain, Mt. Davis, Mt. Isolation, NH
Trails
Trails: Rocky Branch Trail, Stairs Col Trail, Davis Path, Stairs Spur, Davis Spur, Isolation Spur, Isolation Trail (East)
Date of Hike
Date of Hike: Friday, May 6, 2016
Parking/Access Road Notes
Parking/Access Road Notes: Plenty of room at the end of Rocky Branch Road (aka. Jericho Road, aka. FR 27), only vehicle on departure and return. 
Surface Conditions
Surface Conditions: Dry Trail, Ice - Black, Wet Trail, Ice - Blue, Wet/Slippery Rock, Standing/Running Water on Trail, Mud - Minor/Avoidable, Snow/Ice - Monorail (Stable), Mud - Significant, Snow/Ice - Monorail (Unstable), Snow - Spring Snow, Snow/Ice - Postholes 
Recommended Equipment
Recommended Equipment: Light Traction 
Water Crossing Notes
Water Crossing Notes: Crossings (5, count 'em, 5 of them) on the middle section of Rocky Branch Trail (between Shelter #1 and the former Shelter #2) were not rock hoppable. Waded each one in calf to knee deep, fairly fast moving water. All other crossings were rock hoppable with care, on sometimes wet rocks. 
Trail Maintenance Notes
Trail Maintenance Notes: The lower 2 miles of Rocky Branch had a few easy stepovers. Stairs Col was good up to the wilderness boundary, a few stepovers beyond it. Davis was generally a wet mess, with a multitude of stepovers, several trees down in the trail, and several across it. Most were easy to negotiate, a couple had to be gone around. Very brushy in spots, but generally alright to follow. Summit spurs in decent shape, the Davis spur seems to split near the summit, and is brushy between sections of ledge. Isolation East is generally wet, though there are some sections of decent going, a few stepovers here too. The middle 4 miles of Rocky Branch is a mixed bag. The upper part is brushy and has a lot of birch deadfall, with other stepovers thrown in for good measure. The lower part with all the relocations is easier to follow when ascending vs. descending.  
Dog-Related Notes
Dog-Related Notes:  
Bugs
Bugs: A few on the summits, fairly annoying. 
Lost and Found
Lost and Found:  
 
Comments
Comments: Having read TimC's report from Wednesday, I steeled myself for the inevitable, ugly conditions. True enough, I did encounter a fair amount of snow at times, especially between Stairs and Isolation, but with the exception of the section between Davis and Isolation, the going was fairly decent. Sure it was wet, sure there's rotting spring snow up high, sure I punched through a few times, sure it was sometimes tedious, but someone's got to be the guinea pig. The monorail, where there is monorail (mostly between Isolation and partway down Isolation East), is pretty unstable in spots, surprising at times! Fantastic views from the peaks, Washington going in and out of the clouds when I was on Davis and Isolation. Only saw two people all day, a couple doing Isolation via Rocky Branch (the Rt. 16 end). A really great day up on the ridge, and in the Rocky Branch valley.  
Name
Name: Bill Robichaud 
E-Mail
E-Mail: bill.robichaud@gmail.com 
Date Submitted
Date Submitted: 2016-05-06 
Link
Link: https:// 
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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