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Ski
Hiking Trail Conditions Report
Peaks
Peaks White Cap Mountain, North Kennebago Divide, ME
Trails
Trails: Big Island Road, unnamed road, bushwhacks, herd paths
Date of Hike
Date of Hike: Saturday, January 18, 2020
Parking/Access Road Notes
Parking/Access Road Notes: Big Island Road is only plowed down to its junction with a road that heads off to the east toward "L" Pond. You have to walk the rest of Big Island Road (and Beaver Pond Tote Road?) to the unnamed road that heads up the east side of White Cap. This road had been plowed two winters ago, but it likely won't be any time soon as there are at least four sizable washouts along it now. 
Surface Conditions
Surface Conditions: Snow - Unpacked Powder, Snow - Drifts 
Recommended Equipment
Recommended Equipment: Snowshoes 
Water Crossing Notes
Water Crossing Notes: None of note 
Trail Maintenance Notes
Trail Maintenance Notes:  
Dog-Related Notes
Dog-Related Notes:  
Bugs
Bugs:  
Lost and Found
Lost and Found:  
 
Comments
Comments: Big Island Road, unnamed road to eastern side of White Cap, bushwhacks + herd paths

Tough day getting these two. The eastern side of White Cap is sickly steep in places so the more boots and time, the better. Once up on the ridge, find that snowmobile swath that brings you over to the col between White Cap and NKD to make the going much easier. We got all loopy in the col as many do, but eventually found the herd path on the way up NKD. Turned around and headed up to White Cap; once there we decided to call it and not go for Boundary - this would have put us near 20 miles for the day and likely well into the evening. The extra 6-7 miles of road walk, plus the steep ascent up White Cap and trail breaking in anywhere from 6-18" of powder, just simply wore us out.

We ended up being out over 9 hours, 11.4 miles and nearly 2600' elevation gain. Never a dull moment with the six pack.

Scouted the roads leading into the central six pack, from south, east, and north. This Winter is gonna be tough if now is any indication. Morton Cutoff doesn't bring you nearly as far as in past years (at least not yet?), and Tim Pond just isn't plowed beyond its junction with Tea Pond Road, maybe 1-2 miles in out of the 9 total to four corners. And Big Island Road from Goburn Gore - well, you can get pretty far down, but not as far as last couple winters.

On the plus side, Snow Chain of Ponds is quite doable since North Road is plowed to within a mile of the summer "trailhead". A friend and I did this the following day and it was just about 8.5 miles, pretty easy. But expect to break trail as these peaks aren't traveled much at all in Winter.

So, expect to have to break trail along the roads to get to White Cap / NKD, and could do Boundary the same way, heading up the same unnamed road then heading off to the right around White Cap and straight for the border swath. Cupsuptic Snow is gonna be real, real tough to reach in these conditions. :(

Your road access may well vary; spend the time ahead of hike day scouting the roads; it's worth it.  
Name
Name: Erik Bertrand 
E-Mail
E-Mail: erik@bertpc.com 
Date Submitted
Date Submitted: 2020-01-21 
Link
Link: http://www.facebook.com/erikbertrand/media_set?set=a.10155852237184567&type=3 
Bookmark and Share 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.

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