|Hiking Trail Conditions Report|
||Mt. Carrigain, NH|
||Sawyer River Road, Signal Ridge Trail, herd path|
|Date of Hike:
||Sunday, November 12, 2017|
|Parking/Access Road Notes:
||Sawyer River Road is closed due to damage from Tropical Storm Philippe. Winter lot off US 302 is open. Sawyer River Road washout was just beyond the Irene washout, apparently caused by a clogged culvert. A temporary repair has provided a roadway wide enough for a vehicle to travel, so no issue hiking (or in a few weeks, skiing) through. |
||Dry Trail, Ice - Black, Snow - Trace/Minimal Depth, Ice - Blue, Mud - Minor/Avoidable |
||Light Traction |
|Water Crossing Notes:
||The main crossing was tricky. On the return trip on the abandoned trail, the minor crossings were hoppable and there was an easier way to cross the main crossing. |
|Trail Maintenance Notes:
||I believe there are 4 large blowdowns/widowmakers, and all before the old Signal Ridge junction. One large one could be moved with a rock bar. There are a few minor leaners on the swithback, which winter hikers will probably take care of when the snowpack provides easier access. Noted that someone did some recent blowdown removal higher up as well. Many waterbars are clogged though, some with rocks frozen into place. |
|Lost and Found:
||Sawyer River Road was dry.|
Signal Ridge Trail was initially mostly dry through the trailhead relo, but prior to the second relo there were areas of blue ice where the new turnpikes are catching and retaining water. Also some muck on that second relo. Thereafter, to the old junction was fairly smooth going.
The third relo was also fairly dry.
We encountered some tricky blue ice bulges on the long switchback, two of which were before the first viewpoint. This is also roughly where the snow line was, but it was no more than an inch deep today. Lots of blue ice just above the long switchback, but minimal thereafter. Microspikes a good idea for the ice (with caution though, as they don't have enough purchase for angled ice like that), but overkill elsewhere.
The Forest Service has closed and barricaded the observation tower, due to a railing falling off. The trailhead sign states that the penalty for violating the order is up to 6 months in prison and/or a $5,000 fine. It was enough to keep me off it, but many others climbed the tower and miraculously survived. In the very least, the barricade should be near or at the top of the stairway (instead of at the bottom), so that folks can at least climb the undamaged portion to get the views.
For the return trip, we skipped the top relo and took the abandoned trail, which is a measurable time saver.
Weather was nicer than forecasted, with partly sunny skies and minimal wind.
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.