|Hiking Trail Conditions Report|
||Mt. Avalon, Mt. Field, Mt. Tom, Zealand Mountain, Mt. Guyot, South Twin Mountain, Galehead Mountain, NH|
||A-Z Trail, Avalon Trail, Avalon Spur, Willey Range Trail, A-Z Trail, Mt. Tom Spur, Zealand Trail, Ethan Pond Trail, Twinway, Zealand Spur, Frost Trail, Garfield Ridge Trail, Gale River Trail, Gale River Road|
|Date of Hike:
||Monday, March 13, 2017|
|Parking/Access Road Notes:
||Snow - Unpacked Powder, Snow/Ice - Frozen Granular, Snow - Drifts, Snow/Ice - Monorail (Stable), Snow/Ice - Postholes |
||Snowshoes, Light Traction, Traction |
|Water Crossing Notes:
||Lots of water crossings on the way to Zealand hut from South Twin, but all frozen and easy to overcome. |
|Trail Maintenance Notes:
|Lost and Found:
||Up to Avalon was a little harder than expected but well broken out and a good warm up minus dodging tons of post holes.|
Up to Field was more challenging given lack of any break out, had to put the snow shoes on and have at it. Still full on winter everywhere outside the valleys so good 3-4ft snow pack on top of fresh snow hiding previous breakouts. Makes for some fun pushing through and ducking under evergreens that would normally be above your head. Didn’t stay long on Field, winds were still gusting and we were feeling the cold for real at that point. Tom was actually worth the trip, much more broken out and the snow pack provided some views.
A-Z over to Zealand was interesting, not at all broken out so snow shoes continued, it’s a long haul through some dense woods that eventually give way to a maze of birch forest. No broken trail in the wide open woods and intermittent blazes often on strips of peeling birch bark kept it interesting.
Day 2 hit the trail in the dark, cold starts but winds were toned down. Some guys had come through the day before yet the wind and a light snow overnight made it tricky in spots. Lucky Laura and (Chicken or Rice?) Drew quickly caught up and blew by us which made for easier trail management from then all the way up to Zealand. More slogging uphill through drifts up to the Zealand Summit.
Drew’s spotty crampon tracks over to Guyot and lots of spruce wrestling and trudging through drifts. From Guyot to STwin was a different story entirely…not only no broken trail, no blazes and crazier drifts obscuring anything that looked like a path. Some gnarly post holing and backtracking didn’t help with the energy levels. Then a good mile of guess work on the ridge to STwin after you get in the trees with shoes on; (thanks AT for using white blazes)…most trees had snow all over them or the pack was enough to cover them. Thankfully we came upon two ladies coming south so at least had a known route to follow in the maze the last mile even if the crouching and wrestling continued.
Descent to Galehead hut broken out so just some controlled sliding down the near straight line 40 degree trail. Finally, we went the 4 mile never ending drawn out descent to the trail head via Gale River Trail. Tag another ~2miles to walk the forest road and a bit of rt 3 back to the car and call it a day. ~23 miles over the full trek.
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.