Hiking Trail Conditions Report
Peaks South Carter, Middle Carter, NH
Trails: Nineteen Mile Brook Trail, Carter Dome Trail, Carter Moriah Trail, North Carter Trail, Imp Trail, Camp Dodge Cutoff, NH 16
Date of Hike
Date of Hike: Tuesday, March 5, 2024
Parking/Access Road Notes
Parking/Access Road Notes: Plenty of parking at the 19 Mile Brook trailhead, and most/all the ice has melted away. 
Surface Conditions
Surface Conditions: Wet Trail, Ice - Blue, Wet/Slippery Rock, Standing/Running Water on Trail, Snow/Ice - Frozen Granular, Mud - Minor/Avoidable, Snow - Wet/Sticky, Snow/Ice - Postholes 
Recommended Equipment
Recommended Equipment: Snowshoes, Light Traction 
Water Crossing Notes
Water Crossing Notes: Definitely some precarious spots. Lots of little run off streams throughout. The stream crossings on the Carter Dome Trail were definitely tricky, and I suspect they'll only become more so. Both are no longer frozen, and while manageable at the moment with some very careful foot placement and waterproof boots/gaiters, they are definitely swollen and fast, and scrambling up the opposite banks, still snow-covered with plenty of hidden roots underneath, became a bit of a process ;) Nothing of major concern for most of the rest of the way, aside from lots of spots where you could definitely hear water rushing under the snow (not on any marked streams, just run offs)--sometimes the snow on top could be trusted, other times you'd suddenly find yourself a foot deep into a small runoff bed. Again, nothing dangerous per se, just walked away with a few trust issues ;P There was one more slightly larger crossing shortly before the Camp Dodge Logging Rd. that wasn't marked on Gaia or any maps I had, so not sure what that's about. Again, not dangerous per se at this juncture, but definitely requires some strategy and waterproof boots. 
Trail Maintenance Notes
Trail Maintenance Notes: Maybe a dozen or so blowdowns, including one larger one right at the trailhead, but all easily stepped over or ducked under. 
Dog-Related Notes
Dog-Related Notes: I'd be concerned about how they'd fare with the water crossings on Carter Dome Trail, but would probably be fine aside from that. 
Bugs: None! 
Lost and Found
Lost and Found: None 
Comments: So many mixed emotions about this little trip! Started out in surprisingly gorgeous weather, and the fairly snow-free trail for the first mile or so meant spikes were more than sufficient. Shortly into Carter Dome Trail, I switched to snowshoes due to the deeper and looser snow. Mostly easy going at first, but it did quickly become fairly postholed. Still not the end of the world, as everything was soft and forgiving. Everything became a bit rougher as the postholes became more frozen further up the Carter Dome Trail past the crossings, and eventually staying within the middle foot or so of the path was the only way to prevent suddenly sinking a couple feet deep in unpacked snow. Again, though, not awful once you got in the swing of it :)

While I had originally hoped to grab Carter Dome as well, I opted for saving that for another day, as dealing with that heavier, more inconsistent stuff coming up had slowed me down a bit. Similar conditions over to South Carter, but stunningly gorgeous trip over to Middle Carter from there--nasty weather notwithstanding! The postholes did subside at some point along the Carter-Moriah trail as well, and everything was a bit more firm, solid footing and easier going, so that was quite welcome!

Easy enough going back down North Carter Trail at first, but everything became a bit more obnoxious before long. Lots of seemingly normal snow that would collapse into hidden run-offs, random spots where formerly well-packed snow would suddenly become completely soft and try to swallow you up, then be followed by rock hard postholes, then long stretches with no snow whatsoever--just muck and slick rocks. So yep, way down was a bit of a slow process as well, but definitely entertaining! Lots of snowshoes-on/snowshoes-off-because-I-guess-there's-no-more-snow-now/snowshoes-back-on-because-I-was-very-wrong/frustrated-groans-because-it's-just-mud-again sort of action.

All in all, though, not entirely miserable, and really quite beautiful (with outstanding views between Middle and South Carter, and some absolutely gorgeous woods) for the most part :). Would definitely be wary of how that may change in the next few days, though.  
Name: Amelie Crowe 
Date Submitted
Date Submitted: 2024-03-06 
Link: https:// 
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