|Hiking Trail Conditions Report|
||Mt. Whiteface, Mt. Passaconaway, NH|
||Blueberry Ledge Trail, Rollins Trail, bushwhack, Dicey's Mill Trail|
|Date of Hike:
||Sunday, April 5, 2020|
|Parking/Access Road Notes:
||Ferncroft lot was full with two vehicles overflowing early this afternoon. The growing trend up here is to request folks go elsewhere if a particular lot is full, otherwise access will be closed. Please respect our local trails. |
||Dry Trail, Ice - Blue, Standing/Running Water on Trail, Mud - Minor/Avoidable, Snow/Ice - Monorail (Stable), Mud - Significant, Snow/Ice - Monorail (Unstable), Snow - Spring Snow |
||Snowshoes, Light Traction, Traction |
|Water Crossing Notes:
||Dicey's Mill crossing was doable on submerged rocks. Still plenty of snowpack upstream, so I suspect it will be harder before long. |
|Trail Maintenance Notes:
||Took out a large blowdown on Blueberry Ledge. A few remain there and on Rollins. |
|Lost and Found:
||Please, if you're going to hike higher peaks up here, be prepared and safe. Please bring snowshoes. Please do not buttsled. Please do not attempt difficult trails that you are unfamiliar with. Especially in these times, search and rescue does not need this.|
How do you "socially distance" when there's soft, deep snowpack, and you're not wearing snowshoes? Apparently the answer is that Microspikers prefer to stand on the narrow packed trail, rather than step off and sink up to their knees or waists. It doesn't past muster of "social distancing" when Microspikers cross paths and shimmy by each other on a 2 foot wide footbed. Not surprising, considering some of these same Microspikers don't care when they leave behind massive postholes. Whatever's easiest for them, right?
Saw my first corona-masked hikers (who incidentally brought snowshoes).
Blueberry Ledge Trail was initially a mix of ice monorail and bare ground (some of it mucky). Musical Microspikes for this stretch.
Snowshoes went on a few tenths above the upper Blueberry Ledge Cutoff junction, where the snowpack went from zilch to a foot almost instantly. A few bare stretches prior to the stairway viewpoint, but increasing snowpack thereafter.
The first tricky scramble ledge has filled in with blue ice, so either crampons or a mountain snowshoe (e.g. Tubbs Flex Alps) would be wise for safe passage. The tree scramble was fairly melted out. A few above there are still using the winter routes with snow ramps. Snowpack was 3-5 feet deep in places from here up. One could see where Microspikers had postholed copiously very recently.
Rollins Trail is still heavily endowed with snow, generally 3 to 5 feet deep. Some nasty postholes from recent Microspikers, particularly where the current route deviates from the actual trail in multiple places. It is foolish and risky behavior to be up here without snowshoes in our current circumstances. The angle ledge crossings are a little tricky, as they are partially melted/partially ice.
Apart from the postholes, the ridge was very nice snowshoeing on spring snow. Where the trail descends toward Dicey's, I slabbed to the left and found fairly open woods, hitting the trail above the junction and saving 50-100 vertical feet.
Upper Dicey's was fairly well packed, though the chutes are getting icy from buttsliding. Please try to avoid buttsliding right now; I could see where someone hit a tree doing this recently. SAR doesn't need broken leg from buttsliding rescues right now (or ever for that matter, but they do happen unfortunately).
Dicey's Mill Trail below Rollins still had plenty of snowpack until the brook was audible. As the trail hit its southern facing portion, it quickly changed to patchy monorail. The snowpack resumed on the other side of the crossing until past Wiggin, but could be booted. Soon after/below that turn, the snowpack was virtually gone, but it was muddy in some spots.
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.