Hiking Trail Conditions Report
Peaks Galehead Mountain, South Twin Mountain, North Twin Mountain, NH
Trails: Gale River Trail, Garfield Ridge Trail, Frost Trail, Twinway, North Twin Spur
Date of Hike
Date of Hike: Saturday, December 3, 2016
Parking/Access Road Notes
Parking/Access Road Notes: Gale River Rd was open, essentially snow free and in good shape for driving on our drive in. There was one car in the Gale River lot before we got there, and another when we returned. It was snowing some when we left and temps were below freezing, so it may be slick tomorrow. The drive across 3 was slow due to the snow and the apparent lack of ice or grit, and just after getting on to 93 we hit a traffic jam heading south. It took us roughly an hour to go a short distance watching flashing blue lights up by the exit to Cannon. Just as we got there the police cars all took off with no signs of an accident so I don't know what was going on. The drive through the Notch was slow as the forecast mostly cloudy snow and wind coated the pavement, but by then some plows and sanders were seen. South of Lincoln the skies cleared and the pavement was dry. 
Surface Conditions
Surface Conditions: Standing/Running Water on Trail, Snow - Wet/Sticky, Mud - Significant, Slush 
Recommended Equipment
Recommended Equipment:  
Water Crossing Notes
Water Crossing Notes: Rock hops with wet boots for humans. Pepper mixed wading with jumps.  
Trail Maintenance Notes
Trail Maintenance Notes: I recall taking out some blowdowns on Gale River, Frost and North Twin Spur, The Spur still has a lot of ice/snow covered firs bending into the trail that one can push aside like a gate. There are a couple of blowdowns still needing work on Gale River, a multi stem yellow birch fairly low (easy walkaround) and a ways further up a larger duckunder. The birch only needs a good saw, the duckunder needs an axe. I took out a couple of branches so it doesn't require a whackaround, intending to get a couple more on the hike out, but Pepper had gotten so far ahead I didn't want to stop. The Gale River re-route had lots of mud pockets, yuck. There is open water running in Gale River, with just a little bit in Garfield Ridge. All signs in place. 
Dog-Related Notes
Dog-Related Notes: Pepper had fun despite some snowballing. I applied mushers wax to his paw pads, and some Vaseline on the tops and lower legs, and in the not too cold temps he easily removed the snowballs. There was no way to keep his paws dry given the crossings, water running in the trail and mud holes. He wore his M sweater but only on South Twin was there much of a wind, and he seemed to enjoy it running across the summit rocks looking for a view, and even noseplowing the new snow. 
Lost and Found
Lost and Found:  
Comments: There was very little new snow low, maybe an inch on reaching Garfield Ridge, a couple inches on Frost and the Twinway up to South Twin, with some drifting. We were lucky, the trail between the two Twins had more snow and it was drifting, but 6 of the hikers we saw today had gone across it once or twice by the time we got there, so the biggest problem was simply hiking in mealy snow, not depth. By tomorrow it may have drifted over in places and be fairly deep. Snowflea said snowshoes would have been useful there when she broke trail. We only saw 7 other hikers all day, including the amazing Snowflea. I barebooted the whole day although I could have used spikes in the upper trails; my feet don't like the pressure points. I did see 3 Quebecois, who may be camping overnight, who were wearing traction, one in crampons. The steep section from South Twin down to the Hut was actually much nicer in today's snow than it was a couple of weeks ago, with the gaps filled in and my steps cushioned. There were no views with the summits in the clouds; some snow fell during the hike. It was a typical gray December day, brightened by running into Snowflea who is getting so close to finishing her amazing quest. The drive home was a pain, but getting this hike in using the summer trailheads was an unexpected bonus. Thanks Pepper for another great day on the trails.  
Name: Pepper and Me 
Date Submitted
Date Submitted: 2016-12-03 
Link: https:// 
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