|Hiking Trail Conditions Report|
||Mt. Hale, Zealand Mountain, Mt. Guyot, West Bond, Mt. Bond, Bondcliff, NH|
||Hale Brook Trail, Lend-A-Hand Trail, Twinway, Zealand Spur, Bondcliff Trail, West Bond Spur, Lincoln Woods Trail|
|Date of Hike:
||Wednesday, October 26, 2016|
|Parking/Access Road Notes:
||Zealand Road had a dusting of snow but was not slippery. |
||Snow - Trace/Minimal Depth, Wet Trail, Ice - Blue, Wet/Slippery Rock, Ice - Breakable Crust, Leaves - Significant/Slippery |
||Light Traction |
|Water Crossing Notes:
||All easy w/low water levels |
|Trail Maintenance Notes:
||There are 4 blowdowns on Hale Brook Trail, the 2nd of which is quite large (~14" diameter) and requires a walk around. At the top of LAH there is one more recent blowdown. |
||Percy was ecstatic over bagging Zealand and the Bonds. Such an unabashed peakbagger he! |
|Lost and Found:
||Hale Brook Trail had about an inch of fresh snow from the start increasing to a couple inches up high. Oodles of critter tracks kept me entertained up and over Hale. Lend-A-Hand was a bit tedious due to some ice-glazed rocks and half frozen wet spots. I carried spikes but did not feel a strong need to wear them... although others might.|
Was an honor to hike this day with the newly appointed President of AVSAR (Androscoggin Valley Search and Rescue) and his mighty avalanche pup. I felt very safe in such esteemed company! ;p The 3 of us met at Zealand Hut and did the rest of the hike together. As we climbed higher, the surroundings became more and more wintry and spectacular. Lots of rime ice and feathers clinging to spruce, a veritable winter wonderland. Were we hiking in trail runners, shorts and T's just 2 weeks ago?! It was light winter boots and high gaiters today (as well as mitts and hand warmers!). There were even some almost knee-deep drifts on Guyot.
The Zealand Hut caretaker said we would need spikes going over Guyot, but we did not find this to be the case, with pretty good traction there. The worst footing was coming off Bond toward Bondcliff over those nasty rocks which were glazed with a coating of ice. Thinking our spikes would not have helped much anyway given the thin glazing, we successfully barebooted it but were quite happy to reach the col. For Percy's sake, we opted for the bypass (west) of the Hillary Step; however, looking UP it from the bottom, it didn't seem so bad/icy this day.
Surprised to meet a few folks (9) on the trail today, most notably the trio on West Bond who had become separated from their dog Banjo. If anyone knows, was this dog ever reuinited with its people?? :( Also, we met 2 hikers at 3200' going up Bondcliff Trail as we were descending. It was 3:10 pm. They had started at noon, with no lights or maps, and were "just going to the cliffs," 1000 vertical feet above. O_O We strongly suggested they turn around, which thankfully they did.
Thanks to Al and Percy for a fun traverse of Zealand and the Bonds!
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.