|Hiking Trail Conditions Report|
||Galehead Mountain, South Twin Mountain, North Twin Mountain, NH|
||Gale River Road, Gale River Trail, Garfield Ridge Trail, bushwhack, Frost Trail, Twinway, North Twin Spur|
|Date of Hike:
||Saturday, April 3, 2021|
|Parking/Access Road Notes:
||Gale River Road still gated. Parked at Five Corners. |
||Dry Trail, Snow - Packed Powder/Loose Granular, Snow - Unpacked Powder, Standing/Running Water on Trail, Snow/Ice - Monorail (Stable), Snow - Wet/Sticky, Mud - Significant, Snow/Ice - Postholes |
|Water Crossing Notes:
||First crossing on Gale River Trail was rock hoppable upstream (easier in the afternoon after the ice on the rocks melted). Garfield Stream crossing was rock hoppable as well, with a little bit of ice. |
|Trail Maintenance Notes:
||Took out one minor blowdown on Gale River Trail. Recollect a larger blowdown on Garfield Ridge Trail, and one or two on Twinway. |
|Lost and Found:
||Opted for the longer Gale River Road walk rather than Beaver Brook, as we expected the latter would be sloppy in the afternoon melting. Road had 2-3 inches of powder in the morning, but the lower portion was melting out this afternoon.|
Gale River Trail was initially about 3-4" of powder on top of thawed ground. A few stretches had standing/running water and muck. Snow was melting in places this afternoon. First traces of monorail appeared near the start of the rolo, and persisted for the duration of the relo. Barebooted up to this point. After crossing Garfield Stream and reaching full snowpack soon thereafter, we put on snowshoes. Monorail faded into regular snowpack as we climbed up to the ridge (about 3 feet of snowpack, maybe a little more judging by a super deep posthole).
A few minutes east of the Gale River/Garfield Ridge, zporter led an excellent bushwhack up to Galehead. Open woods, no cliffs, minimal brush. Some spruce trap potential in softer conditions (attempting this without snowshoes would be a fool's errand). Shaved a good 5-10 minutes off as compared to the trailed route.
Twinway had fortunately been snowshoed (close to half a foot of powder), so it was fairly smooth sailing (a little sticky in places in the afternoon). I'd estimate about 3 feet of snowpack, perhaps a little more in places.
North Twin Spur had also been snowshoed, so that was fairly smooth sailing (a little sticky in the sun, but knocking wet snow off a snowshoe is much easier than a Microspike, and no postholing). Saw snowshoe tracks heading down North Trail Trail, and heading south on Twinway.
All but one person today had snowshoes; that individual was falling and had a closer call than they knew with one of their postholes. As much as it stinks to carry snowshoes for so long, it is risk mitigation, and it leaves the trail in better shape for future hikers (particularly with temperatures going above freezing in the daytime, then setting up the snow overnight).
Beautiful weather with blue skies, mild temperatures (South Twin was the only chilly place all day), and nice contrast with snow covered trees. More late-spring like than I had expected down low, and more winter-like than I expected from Garfield Ridge up.
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.