|Hiking Trail Conditions Report|
||Mt. Field, Mt. Willey, Mt. Tom, NH|
||Avalon Trail, Willey Range Trail, A-Z Trail, Mt. Tom Spur|
|Date of Hike:
||Sunday, February 16, 2020|
|Parking/Access Road Notes:
||Roadside US 302 was busy. Enough room to park roadside without going over the white line. |
||Snow - Packed Powder/Loose Granular, Snow - Unpacked Powder, Snow - Drifts, Snow/Ice - Postholes |
|Water Crossing Notes:
||All three are snowbridged, but barebooters did manage to posthole through the first one this afternoon. |
|Trail Maintenance Notes:
||Some duckunders and stepovers on Avalon Trail and Willey Range Trail. |
|Lost and Found:
||Busy day with many Massachusetts Microspikers reaping havoc, leaving behind many postholes and peeing on the trail (I guess that's to be expected when the snow is deep enough to go up to one's hips if attempting to go to the bathroom off trail without snowshoes). If you don't want to play into the Massachusetts Microspiker stereotype, New Hampshire has many wonderful stores where you can buy awesome mountain snowshoes without paying any sales tax!|
Snowshoes roundtrip with snowpack generally 3-4 feet deep. Avalon Trail was solidly packed up to the Willard junction; I suspect it's a sidewalk to that summit and that most any choice of gear would work at the moment. Beyond there, the trail was still fairly solid up to the A-Z junction, though there were assorted postholes. Passed one Microspiker who was told by their group leader to leave their snowshoes at home, then was abandoned by the group as they struggled with the lack of traction in the powder.
Above A-Z on the Avalon Trail, Massachusetts Microspikers were spinning their wheels trying to get up the steeps. Snowshoers were sailing right by them, moving about 50% faster on the steeps, and with a lot less effort. Softer beyond Avalon with more damage being done by those without snowshoes.
The route to Willey is deviating from the actual trail in some places due to active drifting. Passed one Microspiker who was leaning on a tree, looking exhausted, after passing through a postholed, drifted area. Other stretches were better packed. The scrambles are fairly well filled in with snow at this point. Noted tracks heading down toward Ethan Pond Trail.
Also a bit soft in places between Field and Tom. Looks like a decent snowshoe trough heading toward Zealand on A-Z. Mt. Tom Spur was still soft in places with some postholes in the drifted areas. Was also surprised to see the upper A-Z not particularly packed out yet (above the top crossing). Fortunately I think the last folks down were on snowshoes, so hopefully this will set up without postholes and divets tonight.
Decent afternoon weather with temperatures about freezing at the base. Peekaboo views from the summits with passing fog and some breaks of sunlight.
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.