|Hiking Trail Conditions Report|
||Mt. Hale, South Hale, Zealand Mountain, NH|
||Zealand Road, Hale Brook Trail, Lend-A-Hand Trail, bushwhack, Zealand Spur, Twinway, Zealand Trail|
|Date of Hike:
||Sunday, April 7, 2019|
|Parking/Access Road Notes:
||Plenty of parking at the Zealand winter lot on Rt. 302 |
||Snow/Ice - Monorail (Stable), Snow - Wet/Sticky, Snow - Spring Snow |
||Snowshoes, Light Traction |
|Water Crossing Notes:
||The ones on Hale Brook Trail are still snowbridged, but their days are numbered. The two above the hut are still easy peasy. One on Zealand Trail has "blown out," but water level was very low so it was a rock hop. Zealand Ponds are thawing, so I did not walk across but stayed on the trail. |
|Trail Maintenance Notes:
|Lost and Found:
||Mt. Hale, South Hale (Zeale), Zealand Mtn.|
Wanted to do something a little different for my final two April G3 peaks...
Zealand Road is plowed down to dirt/asphalt for about 3 miles, to the Bethlehem water supply access, which made for easy walking. Mud was not an issue.
Spikes up Hale Brook Trail as temps were still below freezing and the hardpacked trail was glazed with ice.
Snowshoes from Hale summit to Zealand Falls Hut. 3-4 inches of new snow atop a very firm and deep base, but it was sticky with the 40-degree temps! Went about a mile down LAH, then bushwhacked through beautiful open woods to South Hale/Zeale, a NH 100 highest peak. (My last visit there was in 1992!) Getting off Zeale to the col was a bit tricky as the little summit is guarded by some cliffs (views!) on the south side. I went left, then right, then left, then finally farther right and steeply down! (It looked as though some of it could have been down climbed, but being solo, I didn't want to risk a fall.) There were some scrappy sections, but for the most part nice woods. A lot of the scrubby stuff is buried under 4-5 feet of consolidated snow (more views!). Thankfully, spruce traps were not an issue this day. I very much liked. :)
With a bit of snow meltage, the Zealand sign is slowly poking up a little higher. Mine were fresh tracks on Zealand although, from the hut, a couple of folks made it to within 10 minutes of the summit, and I met another couple who was attempting the Zea-Bonds traverse. (I warned them not to follow my tracks!)
With some foot traffic from here to the hut and out, the snow was a bit less sticky than on the BW. Kept snowshoes on to just below the hut, then barebooted out, staying atop the hardpacked surface. The long boardwalk bridge is almost completely free of snow, but a couple of the bridges in more shaded spots still have 3+ feet on them.
Long walk out Zealand Road assuaged by switching to running shoes and drinking the IPA that I had stashed at Hale Brook Trail.
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.