|Hiking Trail Conditions Report|
||Mt. Whiteface, Mt. Passaconaway, NH|
||Blueberry Ledge Trail, Rollins Trail, bushwhack, Dicey's Mill Trail|
|Date of Hike:
||Saturday, May 16, 2020|
|Parking/Access Road Notes:
||Only a few vehicles in Ferncroft early this morning. Overflowing early this afternoon, with more than half out of state, and many of those parking in places they shouldn't (such as next to a no parking sign). |
||Dry Trail, Wet Trail, Ice - Blue, Mud - Minor/Avoidable, Snow/Ice - Monorail (Stable), Snow/Ice - Monorail (Unstable), Snow - Spring Snow |
||Snowshoes, Light Traction, Traction |
|Water Crossing Notes:
||Only one of significance was on Dicey's Mill; higher than normal, but doable with care and some slightly submerged rocks (or log balancing). |
|Trail Maintenance Notes:
||A few stepovers and duck unders. |
||New sign near the parking lot stating dogs should be leashed. |
||Surprisingly none yet. |
|Lost and Found:
||Though it may feel like it's almost summer at the base, it's still full-on early spring at elevation. Snow is hanging on later than normal.|
Blueberry Ledge Trail was snow free until a few tenths before the staircase view, where occasional ice patches started. Saw a big bear, who practiced extreme social distancing when he saw me. Due to the rain, the ice was smoothed over and quite slippery. Spikes went on soon thereafter due to the ice monorail. Snowpack showed up prior to the Wiggin junction. Scramble ledges were thawed enough to take the spikes off, however the quasi-chimney is still filled with ice and a little iffy getting into (ice bulge at the entrance would be dangerous to descend with only spikes; would recommend something more aggressive than spikes if doing an out-and-back in the coming days).
Full snowpack at the south peak ledges, so snowshoes went on for the ridge walk. A consistent 3 feet of snowpack for a good portion of the Rollins Trail. There is a place where the more recent packed route deviated from the actual trail (and for a fair distance), so both that and the kosher trail are not packed and there was evidence of recent hikers postholing significantly. A few blue ice bulges in opportune areas starting about halfway across.
Cut off the last bit of Rollins and found traces of my bushwhack from last month; still pretty good bushwhacking conditions on snowshoes this morning (barely sinking in).
Dicey's Mill Trail above Rollins was much more packed out than Rollins. Snowshoes were fine, but so were spikes this morning. Still deep snow, so snowshoes would be a good idea to carry even if doing an out-and-back in the coming days. Some of the steeps prior to the summit are still fully snow covered, with the exception of the final scramble (melted down to rock).
Below Rollins on Dicey's, I kept snowshoes on for perhaps half a mile, then wore spikes until the transition to hardwood, at which case the snow and ice disappeared. No snow or ice to be seen below the water crossing. Trout lily, violets, and bellwort in bloom in the lower elevations.
Unfortunately there were a lot of folks completely unprepared for the conditions, wearing shorts and sneakers with not even any traction (starting mid afternoon for Whiteface). Snowshoes are still necessary for the ridge with warming temperatures for safety reasons (particularly in these times). Saw a couple of folks up to their nether regions when trying to 'socially distance;' others didn't bother due to the depth of the postholing required without snowshoes.
So-so weather this morning, but nice partly sunny afternoon weather.
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.