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Hiking Trail Conditions Report
Peaks
Peaks Carter Dome, South Carter, Middle Carter, North Carter, NH
Trails
Trails: Wild River Trail, Moriah Brook Trail, Highwater Trail, Black Angel Trail, Carter Moriah Trail, Carter Dome Trail, Imp Shelter Spur
Date of Hike
Date of Hike: Sunday, July 22, 2018
Parking/Access Road Notes
Parking/Access Road Notes: The Forest Service road is open and in good shape; they obviously had to do a lot of work to get the road usable in a few places. The fee lot had a couple cars when I arrived and a few more when I left. 
Surface Conditions
Surface Conditions: Dry Trail 
Recommended Equipment
Recommended Equipment:  
Water Crossing Notes
Water Crossing Notes: Moriah Brook bridge is gone. The USFS got it out just in time since the Halloween storm did a lot of damage there and elsewhere. With the low flow the actual crossing was an easy rock to rock, but getting down the steep eroded banks to the Wild River is a bit of a pain. In my case on our first crossing I found a solid rock between some roots but stepping on it the top section broke off and it sent plunging me into more. I have some colorful and swollen hands as a momento. After that I was even more careful. I checked the old Spider Bridge and current Black Angell crossings and they were easy rock hops. All other brook crossings were easy, but it was dry and water levels are quite low. 
Trail Maintenance Notes
Trail Maintenance Notes: All signs are present. Black Angell and Moriah Brook have the usual assortment of blowdowns but I don't recall any being more than step or straddle overs or duck-unders. Black Angell's water bars, and there are a lot of them, were mostly functioning well, and with that a very nice footbed exists up to the scramble section. The scrambles were fine in the dry conditions. Carter Moriah is also a nice footbed for most of its length up to its upper section, but it does have a tricky spot to stay on trail on a descent at the Beaver Ponds. That may not be an issue going up. It's upper section used to be hard to follow but it's been fine the last couple of times, although it can be wet at other times of the year. Highwater suffered some more damage in the Halloween storm, and it is brushy in places and at some of the blowdowns care must be taken to find it on the other side. I lost it once after one when it took a turn but found it by going down a bit and then taking a right angle route until I hit it. As with Moriah Brook at the beaver ponds going in the other direction from mine would make it easier to stay on the trail. The saw work clearing the blowdown section on either side of South Carter is awesome to see, especially if "seen" as to how it must have looked prior to the trail work. 
Dog-Related Notes
Dog-Related Notes: This is a long route, with some potentially difficult scrambles in the upper Black Angell. There are some scrambles between Imp and North Carter as well. It is a mostly dry hike across the ridge, but Black Angell and Moriah Brook had plenty of nice sip n dips for Pepper even in dry conditions. There is a nice flow around 4000' on Black Angell and Moriah Brook has one not too far from the ridge. Just north of Middle Carter there is an open area and a short spur towards a view of the Wild River valley. I went out on the ledge edge but they have pulled away from the rest of the ledge leaving a small gap covered by branches of small trees. Pepper just trotted over and just as I was about to warn him, he stepped on one of them and fell about 8 ft. He was unhurt, and I was able to lower myself to lift him out, but we'll probably skip them on our next hikes. 
Bugs
Bugs: I had a couple skeeters buzz me; but they were a non-issue. 
Lost and Found
Lost and Found:  
 
Comments
Comments: Given the proximity of the campground, I would think a little trail work would be advisable to provide a decent drop into the Wild River at the old Moriah Brook bridge crossing as there is for Black Angell where it crosses upstream. The Highwater Trail section I was on was mostly pleasant, but I wouldn't recommend it for the casual hiker or those unfamiliar with whacking or redlining lesser used trails, unless they have a good GPS track and know how to follow it. We've done this hike several times so even I have a sense of where the trail goes. Perhaps the parallel Wild River section would be preferable but I haven't been on it since the Halloween storm. We did a clockwise loop; perhaps a counterclockwise one would find the trails easier to follow for those unfamiliar with them. I refilled my water at the Imp Shelter water source. We ran into several slackpacking AT Hikers we had met the prior Saturday on the Kinsman trail between the notches. I wasn't surprised to see only a few people on the Wild River side and then in those in the lower Moriah Brook, but there weren't the expected crowds on Carter Moriah. It was a splendid Summer day for this favorite hike, with excellent dry conditions. It is so nice to hike on mostly uneroded footbeds, in solitude, through healthy forests, with plenty of sip n dips for my buddy. The ridge views are much better in winter, but still nice.  
Name
Name: Pepper and Me 
E-Mail
E-Mail:  
Date Submitted
Date Submitted: 2018-07-22 
Link
Link: https:// 
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