|Hiking Trail Conditions Report|
||Mt. Field, NH|
||Avalon Trail, A-Z Trail, Willey Range Trail|
|Date of Hike:
||Sunday, March 1, 2020|
|Parking/Access Road Notes:
||Long line of cars parked on the shoulder of Route 302 at the top of Crawford Notch. Plenty of room. |
||Snow - Packed Powder/Loose Granular, Snow - Drifts, Snow/Ice - Monorail (Stable) |
|Water Crossing Notes:
||All solidly snowbridged. The first crossing, a few tenths from the trailhead, was so solidly covered in snow that, except for one small spot, you couldn't even see the water or rocks underneath. |
|Trail Maintenance Notes:
||All signs were present, and there were no blowdowns (at least none that weren't buried under the snow). It looks like there's now a bypass trail around the deep gully on A-Z just above the junction with Avalon. If that becomes the official trail, that would be a welcome change. |
||Saw two - they were both fairly well-behaved. One of them was wearing some sort of coverings on its paws - that might not be a bad idea, considering the cold temperatures (maybe 5 degrees at the summit). |
|Lost and Found:
||There were a few items at the kiosk at the junction of Avalon Trail and Mt. Willard Trail. They seemed to have been taken by the time we returned. ||
||What perfect conditions for this hike! We wore snowshoes car-to-car, and that was definitely the correct choice. About 80% of the hikers we saw were wearing snowshoes. Thanks to those efforts, the trails were all in very good condition - packed powder the whole way, with very good traction for the snowshoes (which was important on the steep sections). Snowshoes are necessary not just for the flotation but also for the traction - if you tried to bareboot, you'd be slipping and sliding everywhere. We saw one barebooter (the only one all day) struggling up the steep upper section of A-Z, and when he stepped aside to let us pass, he postholed up to his waist. Oddly enough, he had snowshoes strapped to his pack, and his son (who was with him) was wearing snowshoes. I gently advised that he should put his snowshoes on. That steep upper section of A-Z, which is the most difficult part of this hike, was not too bad, because the trail conditions allowed the snowshoes to grip securely so that I wasn't sliding on the way down. The grayjays at the summit are quite chubby from all the food that hikers have given them.|
Mt. Willard Trail, Mt. Tom Spur, and Willey Range Trail going toward Willey are all solidly packed out (though I'd still recommend snowshoes for them). A-Z Trail going toward Zealand had tracks, but they weren't too recent.
Moral of the story - trail conditions are very good right now, and please keep them that way by wearing snowshoes. Thanks Mary Ann for joining me, and it was great to see Pete and Diane on the 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.