Hiking Trail Conditions Report
Peaks Middle Carter, South Carter, Carter Dome, Wildcat A, Wildcat B, Wildcat C, Wildcat D, NH
Trails: Imp Trail, North Carter Trail, Carter-Moriah Trail, Wildcat Ridge Trail, Polecat ski trail, Route 16
Date of Hike
Date of Hike: Saturday, May 4, 2019
Parking/Access Road Notes
Parking/Access Road Notes:  
Surface Conditions
Surface Conditions: Dry Trail, Wet Trail, Mud - Minor/Avoidable, Snow/Ice - Monorail (Stable), Snow/Ice - Monorail (Unstable), Snow - Spring Snow, Snow/Ice - Postholes 
Recommended Equipment
Recommended Equipment: Snowshoes, Light Traction 
Water Crossing Notes
Water Crossing Notes: None of the crossings on Imp are significant, but the trail becomes a river at about 3,000'. 
Trail Maintenance Notes
Trail Maintenance Notes: Lots and lots of blow downs, large and small, on Imp. Quite a few on Carter-Moriah, too. Going to take some time to clear these out. 
Dog-Related Notes
Dog-Related Notes: Yes. 
Bugs: Saw the first mosquito of the year at the end at 19-Mile TH 
Lost and Found
Lost and Found:  
Comments: First couple of miles of Imp trail are mostly dry with a few patches of mud and lots of down branches. Snow started to appear in small patches at 2,500' and continued this way up to about 3,200', at which point it became all snow. Also, this was about the same time that the trail became one with the river and the hike turned into a game of lets-not-post-hole-through-the-snow-into-20"-of-water. Fun times. Fortunately, the monorail was (mostly) stable and I was able to float near the top with some creative footwork.

Following the jct. with N. Carter Trail, the snow got worse; it also got deeper. The trail still goes through the trees, so if there is any moisture (there was), you're gonna get wet. It's a battle to gain the ridge, fighting soft, deep snow, a narrow corridor, and a meandering path.

The ridge from the NCT jct was slightly better, but not great. The monorail is mostly stable, but as the day warmed and the sun poked out it began to deteriorate. There are a few sections that are tricky to follow between Middle and South Carter and again between South and Zeta Pass. At one point I ended up on Carter-Dome trail and backtracked up to where I was supposed to be. Zeta Pass is a mess. The 1.0 mile from Zeta to the Dome was subjectively the worst mile of the day--narrow rail, soft snow, blow-downs, and narrow corridor, and C-M from the Dome down to the hut wasn't much better. Yuck.

Conditions improved from Wildcat Ridge jct. onward. The climb up to A is a bit posty, but footing is okay and it's not icy. The ridge was MUCH firmer than the Carters, so I was able to jog it out most of the way. Polecat still has snow for most of its length, but soon it'll be a nice, muddy mess.  
Name: Nate Weeks 
Date Submitted
Date Submitted: 2019-05-06 
Bookmark and Share 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.

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