Hiking Trail Conditions Report
Peaks Snow Mountain (Cupsuptic), ME
Trails: East Branch Road North, bushwhack
Date of Hike
Date of Hike: Monday, February 18, 2019
Parking/Access Road Notes
Parking/Access Road Notes: Tabitha and I spent two hours driving around the various logging roads trying to get to Big Canyon Road since we were told by Border Patrol that it was getting plowed because there was logging going on. We never figured it out - either they had old information or I misunderstood what they told me. In any event we found a route to East Branch Road North (Morton Cut-Off, Burnt Mountain Road, East Branch Road North) and decided we would enter from the south. East Branch Road North is not getting plowed so we parked at the junction with Burnt Mountain Road. There was plenty of space to get out of the way of logging truck traffic. 
Surface Conditions
Surface Conditions: Snow - Packed Powder/Loose Granular, Snow - Unpacked Powder, Snow - Drifts 
Recommended Equipment
Recommended Equipment: Snowshoes 
Water Crossing Notes
Water Crossing Notes: Didn't see any. 
Trail Maintenance Notes
Trail Maintenance Notes: It's a bushwhack. 
Dog-Related Notes
Dog-Related Notes: Didn't see any. 
Bugs: None. 
Lost and Found
Lost and Found: Nothing. 
Comments: Did this one with friends - Tabitha, Lynn, Chris, and Doug.

The original plan to enter from the north had to be scrapped late last night because we weren't able to find a way to get to Big Canyon Road or Snow Mountain Road. We went towards Greentop, which was the way last year, and found nothing. Finally went Burnt Mountain Road and got to East Branch Road North where vehicle traffic ended. East Branch Road South is being plowed and we saw logging trucks on it this morning - just not sure where it loops around too. Burnt Mountain Road towards Big Canyon Road is not being plowed - only snowmobile traffic.

The decision was to park at the end of East Branch Road North and hike in along the road until we decided to head into the woods. The first mile is getting used heavily by snowmobiles because it is now part of the (temporarily?) re-routed section of ITS-84. It looks like on the snowmobile trail map this route used to follow East Branch Road South but it's been changed since it's being plowed for logging this winter. Even after the turn-off there was, albeit a much smaller amount, of snowmobile traffic that went all the way to the end of East Branch Road North.

The plan was to follow the road until it started to turn south and then head into the woods. The satellite images showed some open-looking woods so we would head up to the col and then angle towards the summit. We saw our opening at about 1.8 miles - wide open woods with partially-filled snowmobile tracks heading towards the col. To our delight they went all of the way to the col. We did a minor course correction from time time but we were pretty much picking one track to follow vs. another one. We ended up on the west edge of the col and then worked our way up to the summit.

There were only a few times where we ever cam close to "bushwhacking" - most of the trip to the top was in pretty open woods. Once we started climbing we were usually near the summer herd paths but never id actually find them. Instead we just picked our way from open spot to open spot. The canister was well hidden behind a wall of frozen branches. The last entry was from October. It was a fun trip with good people - took us just under 4.5 hours to do the 8.2 mile round trip. Was #90 for the winter NEHH.  
Name: Michael & Monica 
Date Submitted
Date Submitted: 2019-02-18 
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