Hiking Trail Conditions Report
Peaks Whitewall Mountain, NH
Trails: Avalon Trail, A-Z Trail, FR192A, bushwhack
Date of Hike
Date of Hike: Thursday, February 15, 2024
Parking/Access Road Notes
Parking/Access Road Notes: Plenty of room at 6:45am roadside at the depot 
Surface Conditions
Surface Conditions: Snow - Trace/Minimal Depth, Ice - Breakable Crust, Snow - Unpacked Powder, Snow/Ice - Frozen Granular, Snow - Drifts, Snow/Ice - Postholes 
Recommended Equipment
Recommended Equipment: Snowshoes 
Water Crossing Notes
Water Crossing Notes: Snow bridged enough on maintained trail as to not be an issue, the first major crossing of the Avalon Trail is snowbridged entirely.  
Trail Maintenance Notes
Trail Maintenance Notes: A few downed birches on the A-Z heading up to the Tom-Field col.  
Dog-Related Notes
Dog-Related Notes:  
Bugs: None 
Lost and Found
Lost and Found: I think someone lost a bit of skin off their shins while producing such profound, and deep postholes down the entire stretch of A-Z trail from the Tom-Field col to snomo corridor 
Comments: While all attempts and research had been surrounding an ascent of the west-face slide, I had never (until now) thought to approach in a similar fashion as I had used to summit West Field Mtn. A rock hard Avalon and A-Z trail were dotted trailside with deep posthole ruts from when the temps were warm and sunny, and hikers were caught unprepared - these ruts are entirely rock solid at this point. Not a problem for this stretch of A-Z, but beyond the Tom-Field col, the trail is obliterated with post holes - every couple inches someone sunk up to or beyond their knees. I trekked this portion with snowshoes, well off the maintained trail, as it is completely hazardous at this point.

As if turning a page in the book of this trek, I found nothing but superb conditions once on FR 192A, now repurposed as a single track sled trail in winter. The path was rock solid, but I kept snowshoes on because I am not one to fiddle with gear once its on, plus I knew I'd be departing the packed trail soon anyhow.

For a full report, check out the link provided, which will bring those looking for a more in-depth write up. But, to keep it short - the snow was delightful off trail - 3-4" of drifted snow atop a supportive crust made for efficient woods travel. From the West Field-Whitewall col, the climb was 90% through open birch glade, 10% tight, scrappy conifer.

Found the recognized summit and all accompanying views - even with gusty, arctic winds all around overhead, the summit area was wooded/protected just enough to remain sheltered while adoring the surrounding, frosted hills.

Followed my ascending tracks back out while streamlining any off trail meandering - honestly I would not bother trying to follow my snowshoe tracks - while they will get you where you may want to visit, I can assure you, it is not without a ton of needless meandering and roaming around! Great day exploring the hills once off any "maintained trail".  
Name: Erik Hamilton 
Date Submitted
Date Submitted: 2024-02-16 
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