|Hiking Trail Conditions Report|
||Little Attitash Mountain, NH|
||Access road, ski trails, bushwhack, herd path|
|Date of Hike:
||Sunday, November 28, 2021|
|Parking/Access Road Notes:
||I parked on the south side of the road right by the service road in what’s shown on Gaia with the little parking icon and says “Premium Lot”. When skiing is actually happening you’re probably supposed to park across the street (and not hike on ski trails). Also, there’s some ice/snow in the middle of the road here as you drive through the ski area. Perhaps from the snow-making?? |
||Dry Trail, Ice - Black, Snow - Trace/Minimal Depth, Ice - Blue, Snow - Unpacked Powder, Snow/Ice - Frozen Granular |
|Water Crossing Notes:
|Trail Maintenance Notes:
||I wouldn’t recommend it since this property owned by Attitash. |
|Lost and Found:
||Day 28, Peak 27. 2nd hike of the day after hiking Spruce Mtn in Jackson earlier. A bit colder and less sunny in Bartlett. |
The old trail has some faded red blaze on it and is marked by cairns around ledges too.
I started up a road right by where my car was parked. It went S, then E/SE, then NW. Certainly a more gradual ascent than heading up the ski trails but as if often goes, you see a jct, aren’t sure which way to go, take another road that leads out onto the ski trails, then say “screw if, I’m going straight up”. So from about 1300ft on, I mostly followed the ski trails, much more steep than the road. Thus far, I had not hit any snow making machines. There were some on at the very bottom but the road wasn’t close to them. Then, I believe after a building partway up the mountain, maybe close to around 1600ft, I hit snowmaking machines and was trying to not get terribly sprayed by them the rest of the way. I followed footsteps up through the snow for some of the way. The snow was deep enough at times to posthole although you usually stayed on top of it.
No one around the ski lift at the “summit”. I went behind the skin patrol building, put on some dry layers, and looked for this old path I’ve heard of to the summit. Not an obvious starting point anywhere I could see (perhaps because they’ve got some lumber and such piled up, perhaps blocking it) so I just took a bearing and started whacking up due south. Now beyond the snow making machines, there was only a very thin layer of snow on the ground. Not really sure after how long but it wasn’t too long before I stumbled upon an old red blaze! I didn’t think I was on a trail and the trail wasn’t immediately discernible from that spot but I soon was able to discern it and stick to it for a ways. This ended at the first nice open ledge you come to with a few cairns and an old ice axe attached to a tree. I didn’t see a trail behind the two cairns by the ice axe. I then noticed two other cairns very close by that would seem to indicate a right turn. I went that way but no sign of the old trail there either so I looped back around. Hmph! Disappointed, I resolved to just start bushwhacking again. Rather unfortunate that I lost the path too as the woods are young spruce here and can be tight and not terribly pleasant. I eventually found the path again by a cairn on a wooded ledge that soon brought you to more open ledges on the south side of the ridge. I believe I lost the path one final time as I neared the high point. Not hard to find though as it’s a nice, big ledge you’ve got to scramble up onto. The fact that I saw fluorescent Orange tape on the jar from a distance below helped too. You’ve got to wrap around the back side of the boulder/ledge to scramble up it. More snow will likely make the first step onto the boulder easier…not so sure about the second one to the tippy top and jar though. I signed in and headed out the same way…
Or so I tried. I thought I could follow my tracks out which I was mostly successful in doing, but when I thought I was coming to the aforementioned ledge with the ice axe on a tree, thinking “oh good, I’m here, maybe I’ll make it down my dusk after all!” I realized that this was definitely not the ledge I thought it was…yet my tracks were here. I checked Gaia and I somehow managed to make a small circle. Yikes. And here I thought I could outsmart a bearing, haha. I more carefully found my way out this time and came to the ledge with the ice axe. Easier going from there as I found the herd path. I was able to stick to it for a bit longer on my way down thought it seems to fizzle out as you approach the top of the ski area.
I went left down a way without snow making machines going instead of going down the way I came up. Very Rocky on this side of the mountain but not much snow/ice at first. When I did see ice (of which there were some decent-sized) patches, they were easy to avoid. Then I hit more snow-making-machines. This got interesting as there was either ice underneath the snow or the snow for some reason was super slick (I’m not a skier so I don’t know anything about the snow they make). You could easily fall and then slide a LONG ways leading to some serious injury if you didn’t self-arrest. Glad I had my poles. I exercised caution so that if I did fall, I wouldn’t go far. That only happened once and I quickly stopped. I then stuck close to the edges of the woods which felt safer or followed in footsteps that someone made earlier which provided good traction. I also side-stepped. I must say that it was fun at times to “ski” down the mountain without skis though ;)
By the time I was out the snow-making-machines it was almost dusk. I walked out the last little bit in the dark as I neared the dirt road I started on. Fell several times on it at the very end. There was a tiny bit of ice on it but don’t think that’s why. It was frozen though. Would that have caused me to repeatedly fall?
Got back to my car shortly before 5pm. The hike took 3.5hrs, longer than expected. This was mostly due to the whack/herd path at the end. It’s a long ridge with some thick woods and you can’t count on following the herd path the whole way. Some great views from the ledges and the ski trails though! Loved the antique ice axe too ;) 337 more days and 338 more peaks to go…
||Liam Cooney |
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.