|Hiking Trail Conditions Report|
||Bondcliff, Mt. Bond, West Bond, Mt. Guyot, Zealand Mountain, NH|
||Lincoln Woods Trail, Bondcliff Trail, West Bond Spur, Twinway, Zealand Spur, Zealand Trail, Zealand Road, snowmobile trail|
|Date of Hike:
||Sunday, March 21, 2021|
|Parking/Access Road Notes:
||Zealand Road is closed and still fully covered in snow/ice. |
||Snow/Ice - Frozen Granular, Snow - Drifts, Snow - Spring Snow, Snow/Ice - Postholes |
|Water Crossing Notes:
||Bridge still closed on Lincoln Woods (between Osseo and Black Pond); no easy rock hop. Brook crossing on rail grade of Bondcliff Trail was still fairly well snow bridged for now (bareboot traffic may change that soon). Lower two crossings of Bondcliff Trail proper were open, but rock hoppable. Top two crossings were snow bridged. All crossings on lower Twinway and Zealand trails were solidly snowbridged (for now). |
|Trail Maintenance Notes:
||Lots of bowed over trees on the ridges. |
|Lost and Found:
||Temperatures dropped into the 20s last night, setting up the snowpack first thing this morning (looks like that may not happen again tonight).|
Lincoln Woods Trail had full snow/ice pack. Could be snowshoed or barebooted first thing this morning. Bondcliff Trail rail grade was initially lined with bareboot postholes. Hope someone can try and smooth things out with snowshoes when its soft. This may be the first stretch of this traverse to develop spring monorail (not there yet, but could be soon). The postholes may result in it becoming a nasty, narrow monorail very quickly.
Though it was bulletproof this morning, I put on snowshoes at the turn. Unfortunately the last folks through yesterday barebooted and churned things up a lot; it subsequently froze solid and was less than optimal to walk on this morning. A bit awkward prior to the top water crossing (very narrow footbed on side slope). Firm/not as bad up to Hillary Stumble (still virtually a snow ramp), but also awkward from there to treeline (frozen solid). Treeline to the summit of Bondcliff was mostly snow free.
From Bondcliff to the col was probably more bare than snow covered. I barebooted this stretch; a snowfield still exists on one of the south facing slopes, but otherwise there's a lot less now here than in February. Above the lowpoint of the col, snowshoes went back on and stayed on for the duration. Noted a few deviations from the trail and some deadends; may result in spruce traps if one follows those tracks as these warm temperatures continue.
Good snowpack atop Mt. Bond, providing 360 views. Decent snowpack from there to West Bond as well, and into the Guyot col (Guyot campsite sign is slightly below the snow line).
South Guyot is melting out, but was able to keep snowshoes on for the short exposed rock stretch; full snowpack resumed soon after descending the cone. Unable to turn the corner now (could last month), as the snowfield to Guyot proper is melting out. Summit of Guyot proper still has lots of snow (can stand on the treetops and get 360 views).
Deepest snow of the day was on the Twinway, as was the first sign of the relatively fresh snow/drifts from a few days ago. Looks like whoever came over yesterday had a heck of a time trail finding with the deep snow (some blazes are buried) and bowed over spruce trees. There is no prominent packed out footbed from Guyot to Zealand right now.
A bit more traffic from Zealand onward, but still some dead ends to be cautious of if you don't know the trail. The top two rungs of the ladder are now exposed. The somewhat packed route deviates for quite a few stretches from there to the top of the descent; the current somewhat packed trail misses the first Zeacliff view spur (I tracked out that stretch and another to try to get it back to kosher, but no one else was out).
Decent down to the hut was actually pretty good with very few postholes. Deviates from the trail in a few places, but still pretty good going.
Zealand Trail was surprisingly not that well packed out; seems like it's getting a lot less use with the hut boarded up.
Zealand Road was also not that well consolidated prior to Hale Brook. A bit more packed out from there down. Snowmobile corridor is now idle. Apart from a couple of small bare patches on snowmobile turns, the road is still fully snow/ice covered.
Snowmobile corridor along US 302 to the winter lot still has some residual snow.
Trails stayed firm this morning, but were getting progressively soft as the afternoon progressed. Saw only two hikers on the peaks (doing an out and back from Lincoln Woods), two on Zealand Trail, and three on Zealand Road. That's it. Hopefully my snowshoe tracks will leave the trail in better shape than I found it.
Looks like it may not get cold enough for the snowpack to set up, even at elevation, so tomorrow could be VERY soft. Snowshoes highly recommended to leave the trails better for all, and a necessity to do the full traverse with the unconsolidated ridge walks.
Beautiful weather today with blue skies and temperatures possibly touching 60 this afternoon. Quiet and peaceful.
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.