Hiking Trail Conditions Report
Peaks Middle Carter, South Carter, NH
Trails: Imp Trail, North Carter Trail, Carter-Moriah Trail, Carter Dome Trail, Nineteen Mile Brook Trail
Date of Hike
Date of Hike: Monday, May 22, 2023
Parking/Access Road Notes
Parking/Access Road Notes:  
Surface Conditions
Surface Conditions: Dry Trail, Wet Trail, Standing/Running Water on Trail, Mud - Significant, Snow/Ice - Monorail (Unstable), Snow - Spring Snow, Snow/Ice - Postholes 
Recommended Equipment
Recommended Equipment:  
Water Crossing Notes
Water Crossing Notes: The only one of note was on Imp, about 3/4 of a mile up. It's swollen enough to give one pause, but unless small kiddos are involved, it shouldn't be a huge concern.  
Trail Maintenance Notes
Trail Maintenance Notes: The trail to Imp Ledges was fine, indeed magnificent. On the ridge and down from Zeta Pass, there were significant and substantial blow-downs. I took care of the worst with my folding saw, but there's still a lot up there. 19 Mile Brook was in good shape, albeit muddy and quite deafening. There's a LOT of water coming off the mountain.  
Dog-Related Notes
Dog-Related Notes: Two pups on the ledge sunning themselves with mom. Dogs in their natural habitat, living their best lives.  
Lost and Found
Lost and Found:  
Comments: It was a good start to the day; a reasonably painless ascent to the ledges, where I enjoyed majestic views of the Presidential Range. Past that, things got crummy fast. On North Carter, the monorail is melting and becoming unstable rather quickly, but it wasn't truly horrid just yet. On the ridge, you'll have to consider every single step, and count on slipping, sliding, postholing, and just about everything else that you don't want to do. Bonus round: you'll break through in places and find the deep puddles that lie beneath, waiting to soak your feet. It took me seven hours to do this loop in nicer conditions, nine to do it yesterday, and it was a slog for every inch of the ridge. On the way down from Zeta Pass, things cleaned up fairly quickly.
Traction? I bare-booted it, which was fine so much as it could be. I never really slid from lack of traction, more from the monorail just disintegrating. Fielder's choice. If you brought lightweight snowshoes, maybe it might help on the ridge. Spikes couldn't hurt. Bare boots didn't seem to be a problem either. Again, fielder's choice.
It seems the snow line is about 3,500 feet right now. Looking over at the Dome, things didn't appear to be much better, but that was a gander from more than a couple miles away, obviously. That said, I have no hopes it's a meaningfully easier trip. If you don't need the Carters for your May grid, let this one lie until mid-June when things will be much nicer and more enjoyable.
That said, I did get to see some gorgeous red trilliums low down on Imp, and the ferns are uncoiling themselves. Everything was verdant and lovely in the hardwood forest, which was nice.

Photos and a more detailed report are on my blog, as always. Share and Enjoy!  
Name: Protean Wanderer 
Date Submitted
Date Submitted: 2023-05-23 
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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