|Hiking Trail Conditions Report|
||Mt. Garfield, NH|
||Skookumchuck Trail, Garfield Ridge Trail|
|Date of Hike:
||Sunday, February 28, 2021|
|Parking/Access Road Notes:
||Plenty of space. Lot is a solid block of ice so don't pull in too quickly |
||Ice - Breakable Crust, Snow - Unpacked Powder, Snow/Ice - Frozen Granular, Snow - Drifts, Snow - Wet/Sticky, Snow/Ice - Postholes |
|Water Crossing Notes:
||Step over or step on rock. Some are also snow bridged |
|Trail Maintenance Notes:
||Garfield ridge trail is super overgrown and the trees like to aim for eyeballs |
|Lost and Found:
||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.
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.