|Hiking Trail Conditions Report|
||Carter Dome, South Carter, Middle Carter, Mt. Lethe, NH|
||Nineteen Mile Brook Trail, Carter Moriah Trail, Carter Dome Trail, North Carter Trail, Imp Trail, Camp Dodge Cutoff|
|Date of Hike:
||Tuesday, November 16, 2021|
|Parking/Access Road Notes:
||Parked on dirt surfaced lot for Nineteen Mile Brook trailhead off NH 16. This was dusted in snow today. It is plowed after storms in winter. Large lot with some roadside parking until snow berms build up. |
||Wet Trail, Ice - Blue, Wet/Slippery Rock, Ice - Breakable Crust, Snow - Unpacked Powder, Standing/Running Water on Trail, Snow - Drifts, Mud - Significant |
||Snowshoes, Light Traction |
|Water Crossing Notes:
||Major water crossings on Nineteen Mile Brook are bridged. The rest are rock hoppable. No other crossings of note. |
|Trail Maintenance Notes:
||Good trails for dogs. |
|Lost and Found:
||A wild, cold, and windy day across several summits of the Carter Range. I was the only human I saw all day on trail.|
Nineteen Mile Brook Trail (19MB) > Carter-Moriah (AT) > Carter Dome Trail > Carter-Moriah trail > North Carter Trail > Imp Trail (south) > road walk on Camp Dodge logging road > road walk on NH 16 > end.
19MB: well blazed in blue, well maintained. Popular, gently graded path to the Carter Notch hut. Hut open today. Sign said “public welcome.” This trail was very muddy under the dusting of snow. Trail simple to follow.
Carter-Moriah: this is the AT and in general is well blazed in standard white blazes. I barebooted the entirety. The trail was simple to follow, though I emphasize that I have been on this route numerous times. All signs up, legible. I’ll break this trail into segments:
- The steep climb from Carter Notch required no additional foot gear today. Most rocks discernible. Well blazed. Signs up and legible.
- After the super steep climb, the trail eases a bit and was where the “real snow” began. Lovely, lovely powder snow. Started at 1 inch to a max of 4 inches at the summit of Carter Dome. There were several short drifts that went to my thigh, though. It was not enough to warrant snowshoes at the time of this writing. My snowshoes are peeved!! No mud or ice.
- Following the summit of Carter Dome was a trail almost worthy of snowshoes as snow through here was about 4 to 5 inches. But protruding rocks will tear up your snowshoes! Maybe after the next snowfall… No mud or ice.
- Zeta Pass over South Carter and Middle Carter was a mix of fantastic powder, exposed rock, mud and small sections of ice. I still barebooted and did just fine. Note that the next snowstorm will likely warrant snowshoes. Today’s winds were removing a lot of the powder reducing the snow footbed. The trail was simple to follow. There is a rock ledge heading towards the summit of Middle Carter that gave me pause. I was able to remember a route down it. It was so windy today. I kept a watchful eye for potential trees wanting to lay on the trail…
Carter Dome Trail: I took the Mt. Hight bypass (again). This small section is freshly blazed in blue. Easy to discern footbed. Just powder. Maybe 2 inches in most parts.
North Carter Trail: not blazed, simple to follow (but again, I have been here several times). Much running water on trail. Snow depths 2-3 inches on the upper section. No additional footwear. No significant ice. Nice, ruggedly mellow trail. Pretty decent footing. Signs at junctions up, legible.
Imp Trail (South): not blazed until the 0.9 mile segment leading from the Camp Dodge logging road to the trailhead. Then it is blazed in yellow. It was simple to follow the trail. This effin’ trail. Man. I’m kinda done right now with this trail. My feet ended up in ice cold water/mud so many times… So, from the junction with North Carter Trail (signed), descending to towards the trailhead, it becomes a mixed bag of snow (1-2 inches), mud (several feet deep), running water on trail, trail that walks directly in stream beds, more mud, ice covered rocks, poor footing, and more rocks dusted in snow (with a complementary layer of slippery moss just below that!!). Chose your poison, I guess. I barebooted without issue. I may have thrown some small branches around in frustration about the crap footing…
Camp Dodge logging road: there is a small wooden arrow affixed to a tree at the junction of an old woods road and the Imp trail that continues 0.9 miles to the trailhead. I went left onto the logging road. It must be travelled with some frequency as I was able to discern a footbed and the path was clear of debris. In short order I was dumped out at Camp Dodge. A most interesting place! I stayed straight in the camp road and met up with NH 16. The road to the camp is gated and locked.
Best of luck in the coming weeks!
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.