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Ski
Hiking Trail Conditions Report
Peaks
Peaks Mt. Passaconaway, Mt. Whiteface, East Sleeper, West Sleeper, South Tripyramid, Middle Tripyramid, North Tripyramid, NH
Trails
Trails: Oliverian Brook Trail, Passaconaway Cutoff, Walden Trail, Rollins Trail, Kate Sleeper Trail, Mt. Tripyramid Trail, Pine Bend Brook Trail
Date of Hike
Date of Hike: Wednesday, April 13, 2022
Parking/Access Road Notes
Parking/Access Road Notes: 3 cars at PBB pulloff at 830am, 1 car at Oliverian at 9am. 
Surface Conditions
Surface Conditions: Dry Trail, Wet Trail, Ice - Blue, Snow - Packed Powder/Loose Granular, Mud - Minor/Avoidable, Snow/Ice - Monorail (Stable), Leaves - Significant/Slippery, Slush 
Recommended Equipment
Recommended Equipment: Snowshoes, Light Traction, Traction 
Water Crossing Notes
Water Crossing Notes: All crossings are open (no more snow bridges) but today water levels were low and easily rockhopped. 
Trail Maintenance Notes
Trail Maintenance Notes: Blowdowns seen on virtually all trails on this route, too many to recall. Kate Sleeper and Pine Bend in particular had some whoppers. 
Dog-Related Notes
Dog-Related Notes:  
Bugs
Bugs: a few buzzing 
Lost and Found
Lost and Found:  
 
Comments
Comments: A nice enough day for a east-west Sandwich traverse starting at Oliverian Brook Trailhead and finishing at Pine Bend Brook Trailhead. For traction I brought micros (Hillsound), snowshoes and 10pt crampons, and used all of them.

Starting from Oliverian, trail is totally dry until it passes the low sections along the brook. Around 2250-2500' the continuous snowpack starts and I switched to spikes. Kept those on until Passaconaway summit. There are frequent and substantial ice flows ascending the Cuttoff Tr and Walden Tr. Especially on this east side of Walden Tr there are some doozies, but trailside trees, branches and careful method made it bearable.

From Passaconaway summit descending Walden (west side), I kept the spikes on a did OK, but again there is PLENTY of ice, hard in some spots and softer in others. My recently minted rock spikes were biting on the ascents, but not so well to descend. Along Rollins Tr, again, packed center track but plenty of loose granular snow with intermittent ice flows, some of the narrow shelf and angled/downslope variety.

After a quick visit to the Whiteface ledges (bare rock), I backtracked to Kate Sleeper junction. The trail corridor leading away from the junction is not evident, and even recent tracks are hard to spot, though I know this trail had been traversed at least several times in the past week. I switched to snowshoes for almost all of Kate Sleeper, then back to micros about 1/10th mile from the west terminus, as the trail becomes mostly ice and is narrow at that point.

On Kate Sleeper Tr specifically, there is some packed base but it was not obvious to find it as tracks were light and there is a ton of tree litter all over obscuring the trail corridor. There is one small section of open rocks near the marshes after Downes Brook, but otherwise it's continuous snow throughout. 1-2 feet depth. I definitely postholed a bunch of times, even with the snowshoes on. Some sections with active melting from underneath were collapsing under my steps. Perhaps a lighter, more lithe individual may have been able to tiptoe over the trail with just boots and made it relatively unscathed ... but with my mass and wrecking-ball style, snowshoes were clutch.

Once on the S Slide, I barebooted up as it was almost entirely dry/rock, with small sections of snow/ice in the areas connecting the trail through the forks in the slide. From S Tripyramid, spikes went on again. From South to Middle was quite technical with the ice flows. In the col between Middle and North, I put on the full crampons so I wouldn't have to bother to do it at the summit. Descending N Tripyramid was, as expected, icy and sketchy, but really not a problem with the crampons. (Knees would disagree..) More of the same once the steep descent of Pine Bend after the ridgewalk, and I wore the crampons until a good ways down Pine Bend, switched back to micros, then eventually bareboot.

Pine Bend was definitely quite soft/slushy in the afternoon and postholing became a bigger problem as I approached the snowline and highest water crossings. It also rained a bit starting from Rollins Tr. Not sure if the light rain softened the snow any further, but it was above freezing all day. Low temp was 35 deg F at N Tripyramid summit, approx 430pm.

It was great to meet and chat with Old Man & The Saw on Rollins Tr, one of only two people I saw all day.

For trail condition videos, see link below. (expires in 24 hrs)  
Name
Name: Eric H 
E-Mail
E-Mail:  
Date Submitted
Date Submitted: 2022-04-13 
Link
Link: https://www.instagram.com/stories/ehansen42/2815992375732319036/ 
Bookmark and Share 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.

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