Hiking Trail Conditions Report
Peaks Vose Spur, Mt. Carrigain, Mt. Nancy, NH
Trails: Signal Ridge Trail, Carrigain Notch Trail, bushwhack, Desolation Trail, Nancy Pond Trail, herd path
Date of Hike
Date of Hike: Wednesday, August 18, 2021
Parking/Access Road Notes
Parking/Access Road Notes: Parked at Nancy Pond Trailhead on 302. Biked to Signal Ridge Trailhead and picked bike when completed. 
Surface Conditions
Surface Conditions: Dry Trail, Wet Trail, Wet/Slippery Rock 
Recommended Equipment
Recommended Equipment:  
Water Crossing Notes
Water Crossing Notes:  
Trail Maintenance Notes
Trail Maintenance Notes:  
Dog-Related Notes
Dog-Related Notes:  
Bugs: Lots of spiders and really...LOTS 
Lost and Found
Lost and Found: Found two poles on the bushwhack between Vose Spur and Carrigain summit (were 10 feet apart from each other in a blowdown pile I would have thought no one but myself was goofy enough to crawl over). Carried them to the top of Carrigain and left on cement piling of fire tower--hope someone carries them to bottom (had my 'beat up bag' on my back and straps are not in best shape to have carried them rest of way). If yours look hope another report pops up where they make it to the bottom and back into proper owner's hands. 
Comments: Maintained Trails were in excellent shape. Lots of ripe Raspberries and Blackberries along Nancy Pond Trail.

Carrigain Notch Trail to Vose Spur Bushwhack:

Found the 'Big Rock' in the middle of the trail and decided to forego looking for the herd path that is further up the trail (at least according to other reports) and cut a hard left and directed myself straight at the ridgeline whereas I've seen most GPS tracks I can find with an internet search run up to the scree field. Decently tough going from that point until the ridgeline. Dense spruce patches and moss fields over rocks that I fell into once or twice. Moved along well enough gaining elevation along the way with a bit of line planning every 20 or 30 feet and found the ridgeline where a faint herdpath could be seen and followed to the scree/talus field. As long as I stayed within 10-15 feet of the breakline of the ridge either way I was able at this point to see signs of other traffic although it was still tight enough that I was 'trying' and plenty of ups, unders or overs to deal with.

At scree field continued to walk straight up and easily saw cairn set up to reenter woods. More of the same to to the top of Vose Spur--faint signs of a herd path and once the terrain started to level out the path became easier to discern. Short story of this part of 'whack was to find ridgeline and continue to gain elevation. Nothing I got into nor saw was so insane I thought I would have to retrace and find another route. Summit cannister intact although could use a new ziplock bag.

From here I backtracked about a hundred feet to a side path I had noticed that started off in the general direction of the col between Vose Spur and Carrigain (led a bit WSW off of the summit). There is a giant pile of blow down between the summit cannister and the direction I wanted to go (west) so I figured it would be a good place to start to find my way off the top. That seems to have been incorrect and if you try this part of the whack out my initial advice from top of Vose Spur is to battle through the blowdown or find another path leading off the summit more(walk off the summit a bit more to the north of top and then head due west).

Worked my way down from here but was heading a bit too far to the Southwest due to a heavy(ish) spruce field and when I hit just about the height of the col and had to wrap around to the Northwest along what was a 10(ish) foot drop off before I could find a spot to drop down and continue on my way. I was slightly heading a bit to the WSW continually and apparently wasn't course correcting enough. Had sightings of the second scree field at some point while trying to get centered in the col so had a chance to take eyes off of GPS and shoot straight for it. Long story short coming off of Vose Spur to col is try more on a NW route early and then cut west or just take on whatever is front of you and head due west from cannister.

From second scree field to where the flat ridgeline below Carrigain one will be in for a 'whack you won't forget. I walked north on the scree field to gain a few extra easy feet of elevation (maybe 50-75') before I reentered the woods. Where I entered seemed like a used entrance point for all of maybe 10 feet. I saw no discernible paths of any kind at this point (although at some point I did come upon two trekking poles--see lost and found) and essentially just committed to crawling straight up regardless of what I was going through. Leveled off eventually with a few scratches and was able to eventually see more and more signs of a herd path over moss that was a bit beaten as I got closer to the summit of Carrigain staying on the middle of the ridge line and gaining elevation as much as I could. Found old mattress springs and then was at the top. I showed just shy of 1.6 miles from Notch Trail to summit of Carrigain and took me 3 hours on my chosen 'whack with more than 2 hours of it being from Vose Spur to Carrigain.

Mt. Nancy:

Very easy herdpath to follow starting at the very south end of Nancy Pond. There is about a quarter mile on the .6 that is all up. Not many trails are steeper. Could not find an 'official' marking for the summit at the top so sat at the view point and had a sandwich and went back down. If passing by it's a quick and easy/albeit steep (pointing out again it was surprisingly steep for a bit) 'hundred highest' to snag.

Hopefully some of that rambling for the Vose Spur whack is useful to someone when coupled with other reports!  
Name: eakenrea 
Date Submitted
Date Submitted: 2021-08-19 
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