|Hiking Trail Conditions Report|
||Mt. Flume, Mt. Liberty, Little Haystack Mountain, Mt. Lincoln, Mt. Truman, Mt. Lafayette, Mt. Garfield, South Twin Mountain, Mt. Guyot, Mt. Bond, Bondcliff, NH|
||Lincoln Woods Trail, Osseo Trail, Franconia Ridge Trail, Garfield Ridge Trail, Twinway, Bondcliff Trail|
|Date of Hike:
||Saturday, April 20, 2019|
|Parking/Access Road Notes:
||Wet Trail, Ice - Blue, Wet/Slippery Rock, Ice - Breakable Crust, Standing/Running Water on Trail, Snow - Drifts, Mud - Significant, Snow/Ice - Monorail (Unstable), Snow - Spring Snow, Slush |
||Snowshoes, Light Traction |
|Water Crossing Notes:
||There’s an incredible amount of water. It’s not possible to keep your feet dry. Large sections of the Lincoln Woods trail are completely inundated. The same goes for sections on Bondcliff. The regular brook crossings are also very high. |
|Trail Maintenance Notes:
|Lost and Found:
I had done all the peaks in this list, but never all at once and at this time of year. It was a fiasco. It is a slog, but the conditions were right to make this one outing especially miserable.
1) The snow is still very deep. When you see a blaze above 3000 feet, it will usually not be more than knee high. It’s very difficult to follow the trail since you are basically walking through a spruce car wash. My thought: when in doubt go straight and see if the “tunnel” doesn’t open back up.
2) It was extremely wet and foggy. It was nearly impossible to see anything in the fog at night. I lost the trail many times. There were some footprints, but as comforting as they were, they seem to vanish mysteriously. I started hiking with compass in hand and sticking to a bearing so I wouldn’t get turned around too much. Early in the day, without the compass, I did a full 360 thinking I was going to rejoin the trail farther ahead. That got my attention. Every time I saw a blaze I felt blessed.
3) I got lost. Many times. It took me over an hour to figure out how to get off Garfield. The fog is very unnerving. But approachin Guyot I was really lost. Fortunately I had my iPhone and was able to use Google Maps to get a fix on the Guyot summit. Amazing and in the rain my phone still worked. I was so worn out by Gardfield, I had no intention of peak bagging. But Guyot helped me get home. In these conditions you could be on the trail and not know you found it. I intend to bring some kind of GPS as a backup for any future winter hikes.
4) More about fog. It’s hard to walk when you can’t see. Even on the easier patches, my pace was dramatically cut. It must have taken me nearly an hour to negotiate the rocks on Bondcliff in the foggy night.
5) I hate snowshoes. I had to wear them (I wear them when I have to) and I’m sure they made the hike possible, but hey also cause a lot of grief. Got tripped up many times and found myself chest deep in many spruce traps I never thought I would retrieve my feet from. My sincere appreciation to snowshoers and postholers alike for making the postholes that showed me where not to step.
6) Walking through trees is annoying. Walking through dripping wet trees for a full day feels desperate.
7) The snow is rotting. You can fall through any where any time even with snowshoes. The soft snow makes every step is harder than it was a month or two ago.
If you are looking for a miserable desperate experience. This is a good hike this time of year. For me, it was a massive misjudgment. I was expecting a long strenuous day hike, not 25 desperate hours. Never again in spring.
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.