Hiking Trail Conditions Report
Peaks Mt. Carrigain, NH
Trails: Sawyer River Road, Signal Ridge Trail
Date of Hike
Date of Hike: Thursday, February 11, 2021
Parking/Access Road Notes
Parking/Access Road Notes: Lot is beautifully plowed with room for 12-15 cars now. I was the only one today. 
Surface Conditions
Surface Conditions: Snow - Packed Powder/Loose Granular, Snow - Unpacked Powder, Snow - Drifts 
Recommended Equipment
Recommended Equipment: Snowshoes 
Water Crossing Notes
Water Crossing Notes: The double stream crossing is flowing and is still a rock hop. Lots of little seeps on the lower part of the trail that require a quick hop or jump. 
Trail Maintenance Notes
Trail Maintenance Notes: Blowdowns are easily bypassed. 
Dog-Related Notes
Dog-Related Notes:  
Lost and Found
Lost and Found:  
Comments: If you're considering it, this would be THE weekend to knock off this hike because trail conditions have never been better! (read on)

This was #40 in my quest for the single-season Winter 48 and was the one I dreaded the most. Maybe it's because I had to break the entire snow-covered trail on a cold, windy day last time I did it. But today conditions were perfect for snowshoes with temps in the low teens and just a bit of a breeze above treeline. I got started at 9 and summited at 12:20 but I can't take credit simply because I moved fairly quickly. The trail had been broken by Maddie & Co on 2/6 and it looks like someone had actually come down this morning before I got on the trail. So it was a piece of cake & even the dead-straight 'Mile of Misery' was one fast push. Things held up until about .7 below Signal Ridge then the blowing & drifting started. It was never more than a foot deep and Signal Ridge proper was packed hard with windblown snow. This open ridge is one of the nicest .25 miles you will EVER hike! The snowshoe trough reappeared for the pitch to Carrigain summit and of course, it was cloudy with limited views once I hit the top.
The only good view was over to Vose Spur and beyond to Mt Willey but it was still spectacular. Jays soon got word of my presence so I obliged with a few crusts and soon I was surrounded by a feathery cloud! I hand-fed them because they deserved a treat for being so hardy. No need to climb the fire tower today and besides the one on Kearsarge is the only one I've ever gone up because I HATE heights. It looks like someone may have come up the Desolation Trail and I might have considered the much longer exit loop if the Pemi Wilderness didn't look like pea soup. Besides, Desolation is super-steep and not much fun descending even in the summer. Also, Carrigain Notch Trail was totally untouched near the stream crossing. So no need to bother Search & Rescue if I wasn't up to the task.
The 5.3 mile descent was a breeze and I made it back to Sawyer River Road in 1:45. The road had been groomed by the Zamboni and was rock-hard so I took my snowshoes off for the walk out. I took my time and kept looking over at Mt Tremont and down to the Sawyer River. Made it back to the car at 2:45PM for a total time of 5:45 for the 14.6 mile round-trip. Day off tomorrow!

Name: Bob H 
Date Submitted
Date Submitted: 2021-02-11 
Link: http:// 
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