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Ski
Hiking Trail Conditions Report
Peaks
Peaks Mt. Passaconaway, Mt. Whiteface, South Tripyramid, Middle Tripyramid, North Tripyramid, NH
Trails
Trails: Oliverian Brook Trail, Passaconway Cutoff, Rollins Trail, Kate Sleeper Trail, Mt. Tripyramid Trail, Pine Bend Brook Trail
Date of Hike
Date of Hike: Thursday, January 21, 2021
Parking/Access Road Notes
Parking/Access Road Notes: Room for a few cars on the side of the road at Pine Bend Brook Trailhead. Room for several cars off the road at Oliverian trailhead. 
Surface Conditions
Surface Conditions: Snow - Packed Powder/Loose Granular, Snow - Unpacked Powder, Snow - Drifts 
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:  
Bugs
Bugs:  
Lost and Found
Lost and Found:  
 
Comments
Comments: What a day! We(2 people) decided to traverse as much as we could in the sandwich range in a single day -- so we ended up with 16 miles, 5 peaks, and 3.5 miles to return via bike to our cars.

The trail up to Passaconway was well packed most of the way, only a middle section was soft enough where one might consider snowshoes. But we opted to barefoot it as far as possible without post-holing. Somewhere along the way when the grade increased we switched to microspikes which was the right choice. The trail was hard packed and very easy to follow. Standard White Mountains mountain highway.

From Passaconway to Whiteface was also very well stomped out, even more so than the way up. No need for anything other than microspikes or trail crampons here.

Whiteface to the south tripryamid was a different story. The first bit until East Sleeper had been walked by someone a storm or two ago. Thus, we only had about 6-1ft of powder to deal with using snowshoes, which wasn't bad at all. After East Sleeper the only visible tracks were those of the animals -- no one had been by here in a while and it showed. We broke trail all the way, going from 6"-1.5' of snow depending on the area. The steeper incline up West Sleeper proved yet a bit more challenging but nothing too bad. That is, until the last 0.5-0.75 mile up south tripryamid, once the grade started to get steep things got really tough, lots of sliding down the slope vs actually going up, dealing with 2+ feet of powder in certain spots etc. The 1/4 mile part that is out in the open right after the Tripyramid trail joins with sleeper trail was exceptionally difficult and required extra care and lots of effort to get up. Given the steep grade, it just involved lots of sliding after small steps forward. Thankfully once it returned to treeline right below south Tripyramid evidence of the trail returned and made going a lot easier.

If you desire to do the above section just give yourself enough time, snowshoes(duh), and a bit of extra energy. Once a few more people have come through things should get even easier yet. The walk through this was area was exceptionally beautiful.

From South to Middle Tripyramid it only required light trail braking, dealing with the recent 4-6" of snow -- which felt like nothing after the trek up South tripyramid.

From Middle tripyramid down to the trailhead was super well packed out. Snowshoes used most of the way until things flattened out at the bottom.

Sadly no views given that the snow started early on in the day but the winter wonderland (mostly) made up for that!

A note on traction, most packed parts can be done with just microspikes. That being said since these trails see less traffic than say things in the presidential they're not quite as hard-packed. Thus, on some parts, you might find yourself skating down the hill with your spikes. If you have a pair of walking/trail crampons I think this would be the area to use them. I left mine in the car but wished I had brought them with me.

Happy Hiking!  
Name
Name: Ian 
E-Mail
E-Mail:  
Date Submitted
Date Submitted: 2021-01-21 
Link
Link: http:// 
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