Hiking Trail Conditions Report
Peaks Carter Dome, South Carter, Middle Carter, NH
Trails: Nineteen Mile Brook Trail, Carter Dome Trail, Carter-Moriah Trail, North Carter Trail, Imp Trail
Date of Hike
Date of Hike: Sunday, March 8, 2020
Parking/Access Road Notes
Parking/Access Road Notes: This parking lot gets more and more crowded every year. People seem to be parking in a considerate manner, though -- creating rows were rows weren't designed to be, but leaving plenty of room for folks to be able to pull out of their spaces. When we got there at 7:15 this morning, there was some evidence of creative parking from last night's hut guests -- but it all seemed to work out for everyone. Kudos to everyone for making it work for as many people as possible. 
Surface Conditions
Surface Conditions: Snow - Packed Powder/Loose Granular, Snow - Wet/Sticky 
Recommended Equipment
Recommended Equipment: Snowshoes, Light Traction 
Water Crossing Notes
Water Crossing Notes:  
Trail Maintenance Notes
Trail Maintenance Notes:  
Dog-Related Notes
Dog-Related Notes:  
Lost and Found
Lost and Found:  
Comments: We (and everyone we saw except for two people, a couple -- and it was nice to see you again, you two) microspiked this hike as it was well packed -- except for one section. There was evidence of postholing-to-the-side and footprints here and there on the trails, probably from yesterday's hikers after the sun warmed up everything. Nothing that made the trails difficult to hike on today, though.

The exception to the packed out part was Carter Dome Trail from Zeta Pass to Carter Dome. We reached that part and saw a fellow coming down from Carter Dome in microspikes and carrying snowshoes, so we figured that section was as packed out as what we'd been experiencing. Also saw someone who had left the parking lot the same time we did but did the other Carters first (super fast!), and was about to go down from Zeta Pass -- apparently that way was packed solid too. We headed up toward Carter Dome and, while for many in the microspike-world the trail was solid-ish enough, it was not the sidewalk we'd been experiencing. Not postholed really, but definitely a deep footprints with soft snow everywhere kind of mess. I told the girls we'd put the snowshoes on at the summit and wear them back down to the intersection to smooth out the trail. That was our intention....and then we stayed too long on Carter Dome, I got extremely chilled (very cold and windy up there today), and we decided to get back down to the junction ASAP. So our apologies.....we meant to have our snowshoes on for that section during the descent, but we didn't -- I regret not wearing them for that particular section.

Once back at the intersection, we took some steps toward South Carter in microspikes and were happy to find that from that point on, the trail was indeed packed. We met four other folks (all solo males) coming the other way on the loop as we hiked -- all carried snowshoes and used spikes. I don't think anyone out there today made much of a dent (except for that section heading up Carter Dome).

That being said -- had we descended an hour or so later, we would have had to put the snowshoes on at some point since the sun and warm temps were starting to warm the trails. So bring the snowshoes, even if you hear the trails are super-packed, because at some point during your descent (or on a ridge in drifted snow), you may need to put them on to avoid sinking. We were surprised we didn't get to that point today - we could see where others had the day before though. We got within 0.2 miles of the road before we started making dents. Never postholed or sunk deep enough to justify putting the 'shoes on that close to the road.

The temps are getting warmer and warmer, so remember to bring the snowshoes even if trip reports say everything is a sidewalk. Once that sun hits the trails and the temps get above freezing, it will be Posthole City for anyone not wearing the 'shoes.  
Name: TrihAlexSage 
Date Submitted
Date Submitted: 2020-03-08 
Link: http:// 
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