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Ski
Hiking Trail Conditions Report
Peaks
Peaks Mt. Garfield, NH
Trails
Trails: Skookumchuck Trail, Garfield Ridge Trail
Date of Hike
Date of Hike: Sunday, February 28, 2021
Parking/Access Road Notes
Parking/Access Road Notes: Plenty of space. Lot is a solid block of ice so don't pull in too quickly 
Surface Conditions
Surface Conditions: Ice - Breakable Crust, Snow - Unpacked Powder, Snow/Ice - Frozen Granular, Snow - Drifts, Snow - Wet/Sticky, Snow/Ice - Postholes 
Recommended Equipment
Recommended Equipment: Snowshoes 
Water Crossing Notes
Water Crossing Notes: Step over or step on rock. Some are also snow bridged 
Trail Maintenance Notes
Trail Maintenance Notes: Garfield ridge trail is super overgrown and the trees like to aim for eyeballs 
Dog-Related Notes
Dog-Related Notes:  
Bugs
Bugs:  
Lost and Found
Lost and Found:  
 
Comments
Comments: Well, now I understand why no one climbs Garfield this way in the winter.

Snow at the base was wet and sticky. Very crunchy and the top layer was breakable. Somewhat drifty even down low. I passed one person early on in microspikes hoping to get to the ridge and maybe summit Lafayette. Passed a snowshoer around 3200 ft who had been breaking out the trail. Larger drifts didn't start until around 3600 ft and the snowshoe track would come and go. Closer to the ridge, I was sinking down 6-8 inches in snowshoes.

Once above treeline, snow is very hard packed just from nature. Garfield Ridge was also very drifty and there was no trace of a trail. Very hard to follow, and I got very off trail twice. I was able to keep getting back to the trail should be, but then lose it again. I saw maybe two trail markers on my way to Garfield. There was a lot of snow, and I was basically postholing in snowshoes.
I probably sunk down a foot on average for the entirety of the ridge. Garfield itself was very popular and there were maybe 8-10 people at the summit at 1300.

Coming down skook sucked. The trail is very postholed from the hiker in spikes (who made it all the way up to the ridge) and there were _many_ 2ft+ deep holes. I tried a little to smooth it over, but it was staring to get a bit dangerous trying to not be attacked by branches and making sure my snowshoes wouldn't get sucked into the holes so for maybe half of the steeper part I broke out a new trail to the side of the other one. The good news is that it'll probably have snow blown over it before the next time anybody uses it, filling the post holes.

OK fine, so one person was able to hike it in spikes, but I would strongly suggest snowshoes.

Nice day, very mild for winter. Great way to finish my SSW48 and check off skook for redlining.  
Name
Name: Emily 
E-Mail
E-Mail:  
Date Submitted
Date Submitted: 2021-02-28 
Link
Link: http:// 
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