|Hiking Trail Conditions Report|
||Mt. Abraham, ME|
||Snowmobile trail, Fire Warden's Trail|
|Date of Hike:
||Monday, March 20, 2017|
|Parking/Access Road Notes:
||The access road - West Kingfield Rd. - from Rt. 16/27 is fine. Rapid Stream Rd. is a mix of ice, water and mud. AWD / high clearance recommended. It was okay today for the ~0.6 miles to the winter-parking area before the road turns into a snow-mobile trail. Room for max. 2 cars. About a 2.5 miles walk to the TH from this area. |
||Ice - Blue, Snow - Unpacked Powder, Snow - Wet/Sticky |
||Snowshoes, Traction |
|Water Crossing Notes:
||All bridged but they are a bit sketchy. |
|Trail Maintenance Notes:
||A widow-maker just at the beginning of the FW trail and a few blowdowns on the steep sections of the trail (may be easier walk-under when the snow disappears). |
||Fine conditions on the snow-mobile trails. The lower section of FW trail to the treeline will be extremely hard and above treeline the conditions are outright dangerous. I recommend not taking dogs on this hike before conditions have improved considerably. |
|Lost and Found:
||Started out with micro-spikes thinking the snow-mobile trails would be hard-crusted but I changed to snowshoes within 10 minutes. An easy walk to the TH. |
At the FW I was delighted to see that the trail had been broken out by a single snowshoe hiker. However, about 1/4 of a mile before the steep section begins (marked by a sign for an outhouse) the tracks stopped. The person who had broken it out had turned around. Considering how hard it was after this point it was an understandable decision. I decided to continue but thought my chances were slim but at least I could break out the trail a bit further. Tough walking in heavy, wet snow and snowshoes balling up often.
The trail is well-blazed and I followed it without any real problems until something like 1/3 of a mile from where the trail breaks out in the open. There I lost it. I was clearly above the trail but all attempts to get back on the trail failed. I think there is so much snow there that the trail is completely covered making that whole steep side contiguous and as such it really makes no difference whether you are on the trail or not. I finally broke out in the open at a point I think is some 100-150 yards above the trail.
Above treeline it is mixture of ice and hard snow-crust. It is absolutely crampon and axe territory - and why I did not bring these "tools" I don't know. No excuse really - just a bad mistake. After some deliberations I switched to Hillsounds, left the snowshoes behind and went for it. With as much caution as I could muster and careful use of poles and Hillsounds I made it up and down but was extremely relieved to get back to my snowshoes.
A big thank you to the person who broke out the lower parts of the trail. I would not have made it without this considerably help.
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.