|Hiking Trail Conditions Report|
||Bondcliff, Mt. Bond (attempt), NH|
||Lincoln Woods Trail, Bondcliff Trail|
|Date of Hike:
||Saturday, February 13, 2021|
|Parking/Access Road Notes:
||Lincoln Woods is fully plowed. |
||Snow - Packed Powder/Loose Granular, Snow - Unpacked Powder, Snow - Drifts |
||Snowshoes, Light Traction, Traction |
|Water Crossing Notes:
||The bridges over the first 2 crossings are getting a little unstable. I went through on #2 and had a hard time pulling my snowshoe back out, then had to knock off 5 lbs of slush before it froze solid. |
|Trail Maintenance Notes:
||Lots of the same blowdowns as last year. The middle 1.6 mile section of this trail is a maze of endless small saplings & branches hanging into the trail. You'll definitely get whacked a few dozen times and if they are holding snow you will get covered. There's no way around them, you just have to power through. |
|Lost and Found:
|| I got a late start at 8:15 but still had planned to bag Bondcliff, Bond & West Bond. The first (& last) 4.8 miles is flat & straight so I wasn't worried about finishing after dark. It was -4 at the start and the first 3 miles on Lincoln Woods were hard, packed snow so that only took 55 minutes in spikes. At the flat start of Bondcliff, I switched to snowshoes and there was a nice snowshoe trough for easy going. I thought I had it made at this point! But as soon as Bondcliff turned left to go uphill it was all new snow that was partially broken by one guy in front of me. It was a dry powder that slowed me down a bit but the snowshoe track was still well-defined.|
I made it through the "car wash" unscathed, crossed the river twice (got wet on #2) and fought my way through endless small branches. The 3rd & 4th crossings were frozen solid and after that the trail winds around the base of Bondcliff on long, gradual switchbacks. But the trough disappeared and the snow got up to a foot deep for the next 1.5 miles. The guy who had gone up before me was coming down about .5 below the summit. At treeline I decided to switch to crampons figuring it would be hard, windblown snow on the ridge with a few bare spots. I was mistaken! The summit pitch had a 3" crust that was firm in spots but then you went in 2 feet for the next few steps. I had to fight my way to the summit which was totally bare rock.
There was absolutely no wind at all on the summit so I started making my way towards Mt Bond. It was slow going because there were segments of bare rock and then deep, drifting snow. I ended up turning around at 1:30 in the col between Bondcliff & Bond because it took me 30 minutes to go just .4 miles. In hindsight I should have taken my crampons off at the summit and bare-booted over the rocks then put snowshoes on for the snow fields, switching back & forth until I reached the scrub on Mt Bond. After that I knew the snow would get deep again & I could have broken the trail to Bond & West Bond. Besides, it was warm enough that I could have done it wearing just liner gloves and that will NEVER happen again.
Once back up & over Bondcliff I switched to snowshoes and made the descent back to the car in 3:15. I was really let down because Bond & West Bond were so close! At least Bondcliff gives me peak #41 in my quest for the solo single-season Winter 48. *sigh* If only I started an hour earlier. Oh well, I'll just have to do the whole hike all over again this week! (Fat chance there will be zero wind next time out) But at least the snowshoe trough is re-established though it needs a lot more traffic to firm up again.
||Bob H |
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.