|Hiking Trail Conditions Report|
||North Carter, Middle Carter, South Carter, Carter Dome, Wildcat A, Wildcat B, Wildcat C, Wildcat D, NH|
||Imp Campsite Spur, Carter-Moriah Trail, Carter Dome Trail, Nineteen Mile Brook Trail, Wildcat Ridge Trail, ski trails|
|Date of Hike:
||Thursday, May 20, 2021|
|Parking/Access Road Notes:
||Dry Trail, Wet Trail, Wet/Slippery Rock, Standing/Running Water on Trail, Mud - Minor/Avoidable, Snow - Wet/Sticky, Snow/Ice - Monorail (Unstable), Snow/Ice - Postholes, Slush, Snow/Ice - Small Patches |
|Water Crossing Notes:
||None/step over |
|Trail Maintenance Notes:
||Minimal black flies |
|Lost and Found:
||The climb up to North Carter from Imp Campsite was a shock after my prior day of dry trails and (relatively) moderate climbs. When the “real” climbing started, so did the snow. Spikes stayed in the pack though since they wouldn’t have offered any additional purchase on the mush. No monorail to speak of, but luckily post holing was minimal (if only that could have lasted).|
The trail wasn’t too bad between North and Middle Carters, with a mix of dry, avoidable pools, and somewhat stable snow (though not much of a monorail still). I managed to keep my trail runners mostly dry until a post hole off the side of a board stepped me right into a pool of water. Our well, that’s why I brought extra socks. Unfortunately from Middle Carter all the way to ~3900’ feet on the way down to Carter Notch was a terrible mix of degrading on degraded monorail with only a few mercy stretches of dry trail near the summits of each mountain. To sum it up, it was like walking on a greased balance beam most of the way. Saw the only person of the day at Zeta Pass - she was just coming down Carter Dome as I was filling my water bottles in the stream. Up Carter Dome was probably the most stable and was downright pleasant in comparison to the rest of the traverse.
The summit was dry so I changed my socks for the second time. I pulled my spikes out of my bag just in case I’d need them on the descent, but they remained as wind chimes until I got to the truck. The trail was clear and dry from 3900’ going down Carter-Moriah into the notch until about 3900’ going up Wildcat Ridge. There is a tree across the trail right at the tip of the pond, which requires carefully stepping into the marshy areas. Hopefully with the hut opening in 2 weeks they’ll get that cleared out soon.
The traverse of the Wildcats was glorious compared to the Carter traverse. There were patches of degraded and degrading monorail, but they were mostly 50-100 feet long or enough trail was showing to the side to avoid it altogether. Frequent mud and wet spots occurred, but I think I mostly avoided them (my feet and both pairs of socks were soaked from the Carters that I couldn’t tell anymore).
Coming down Polecat was rather boring compared to the rest of the day. The few remaining patches of snow were off to the bottom of the (very wide) ski trail and not even long enough to justify breaking out the sleeping pad to sled down.
Don’t bother with spikes at this point. The remaining monorail is too mushy for them to help and what ice is below isn’t significant enough that it can’t be avoided. I never had to step outside of the trail and the most treacherous things are the slimy board crossings.
||Josh Rose |
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.