Hiking Trail Conditions Report
Peaks North Twin Mountain, South Twin Mountain, Galehead Mountain, Mt. Garfield, NH
Trails: Haystack Road, North Twin Trail, North Twin Spur, Twinway, Frost Trail, Garfield Ridge Trail, Garfield Trail, Gale River Road
Date of Hike
Date of Hike: Monday, February 14, 2022
Parking/Access Road Notes
Parking/Access Road Notes: Parked my car at Garfield side of Gale River Loop road (winter lot)- it's all plowed out, but beware: very icy under a dusting of fresh snow! Also, a couple of pretty good potholes right at the road edge- take it easy and they're not a problem 
Surface Conditions
Surface Conditions: Ice - Blue, Snow - Packed Powder/Loose Granular, Snow/Ice - Frozen Granular, Snow/Ice - Postholes 
Recommended Equipment
Recommended Equipment: Snowshoes, Light Traction 
Water Crossing Notes
Water Crossing Notes: Nothing noteworthy. Lower crossings on Garfield trail *were* bridged before getting broken up by postholing in warm conditions 
Trail Maintenance Notes
Trail Maintenance Notes: Cleared a handful of blowdowns along the way, left a few bigger ones for spring, they're easy enough to get over/around 
Dog-Related Notes
Dog-Related Notes:  
Bugs: Do postholers count? 
Lost and Found
Lost and Found: Saw a car key left at the North Twin kiosk (as well as a pair of shoes and a sock that I left there back in the fall, and a couple of empty Twisted Tea cans... I'll probably try to get back out there to clean up the trash before more gets added!) 
Comments: Beautiful evening for a hike, started shortly after 8PM with temps around 15F. North Twin trail was frozen hard-pack with a few postholes along the way, but easy enough to avoid them. North Twin Spur is pretty well packed for the most part, but a few more snowshoes along it would probably make for a better/smoother trail for everyone who follows- it's mostly frozen solid now but a few soft spots still remain here and there. Twinway down to the hut was a mix of kicked-in steps, postholes, and butt-sled luge track. Wasn't terrible overall, but definitely needed to watch your step going down! Frost trail to Galehead was pretty well packed and frozen, a couple of postholes here and there, but easy enough to avoid them. Garfield Ridge trail between the hut and Gale River trail was very similar to the Frost trail- frozen hard-pack with a few random postholes along the way. After the Gale River Trail intersection, it was a complete mess- looks like one person (maybe two) went through and broke out the trail with snowshoes while the snow was still fresh powder, and then two or three barebooters followed when it was warm mashed potato snow. Couple that with lots of low-hanging branches and a few blowdowns (now cleared), and that was probably the worst two miles of trail I've done in a long time! I tried to kick as much snow into the postholes as I reasonably could, but the trail is still a mess- probably going to require some significant fresh snow to make it decent again. Between the Garfield trail intersection and the summit was a frozen snow luge track, though plenty of traction to be had on the fairly smooth snow- a welcome respite after the previous two miles! Summit was too chilly to hang out for long, -3F with 25mph sustained wind. Garfield trail on the way down was quite variable- some nice frozen hard-pack, but otherwise lots of postholes, and looks like some skiers (and/or a fat biker- saw tracks from both!) did a great job of throwing a bunch of snow chunks into what was once a nicely packed trench- so the trail was a wonderful combination of postholes, foot divots, and ice balls... with the hard-packed section very difficult to distinguish from where the skis just skimmed the snow down to the same height- also likely why there were so many postholes along the way! Usually I'll make pretty good time going down Garfield trail, but it was slow going today, having to watch every step to make sure I wasn't going to twist an ankle along the way! Once down to the flatter lower elevations, it was in much better shape, but the upper switchback sections were certainly less pleasant! The last stretch through the pine trees out to the road has melted down and refroze to a couple of inches (or less in some spots) of ice- made it nice and fast, but definitely a good place to use spikes, just watch out for protruding roots! Got out to my car just before 6AM, temp was 3F.  
Name: Zippy 
Date Submitted
Date Submitted: 2022-02-14 
Link: https:// 
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