|Hiking Trail Conditions Report|
||South Crocker Mountain, Mt. Redington, North Crocker Mountain, ME|
||Caribou Pond Road, Appalachian Trail, Crocker Cirque Campsite Spur, herd path|
|Date of Hike:
||Saturday, November 26, 2022|
|Parking/Access Road Notes:
||We spotted a car where the AT crosses Rt 27. Large parking area here. We’d heard it’s not usually plowed in winter but it had been, at least so that you could drive through it even if only some of the unsocial parking spots looked like they’d been plowed. Should be doable by any car though see tires may be helpful. We then drove up to Caribou Valley Rd (signed and called Caribou Pond Rd on maps) and, while thankful that it was plowed, noted that it was VERY icy. We parked about 1.25mi in and even this was sketchy. That said, others chose to drive the whole way in. It’s not that you couldn’t make it so much as that it’s just rather risky with all the ice. There are also large potholes and such that would probably rule out low clearance vehicles. Personally, I’d recommend AWD and chains for the roads given current icy conditions. We did not have the latter. |
||Ice - Blue, Snow - Packed Powder/Loose Granular, Snow - Unpacked Powder, Mud - Minor/Avoidable |
||Light Traction |
|Water Crossing Notes:
|Trail Maintenance Notes:
||The Appalachian Trail is blazed in white. I don’t specifically recall how often but I’d assume infrequently. The Crocker Cirque Campsite Spur was blazed in blue (connects with the AT), and Redington Spur wasn’t blazed but marked occasionally with surveyors tape of various colors. Other than Redington Spur, I don’t recall any blowdowns. |
||Hardy winter dogs with proper protection should be fine. |
|Lost and Found:
||A nice redline combined with new NE 4ks for both Kyle and I. See his report on the following day for the Bigelows. We were supposed to hike Sugarloaf/Spaulding/Abraham that day together but due to a variety of factors, did not. Temps were not quite as cold as I’d anticipated but the wind was just as strong. Both we and everyone we seemed to meet on trail that day commented on how much chillier it was than what they thought it would be like. |
We threw on microspikes immediately knowing the road conditions. We had a 2 2/3mi road walk to the gate, then another 1/2mi to the trail. Though I’d meant to, we did not check our what the water crossing was like on the AT southbound. The trail northbound toward the Crockers had been broken out that morning by several bootprints after yesterdays minor snow. Nowhere near enough snow depth for snowshoes. No ice really. A gradual climb up to Cirque Pond, then a stiff climb up to the ridge, then a mostly easy ridge walk to the summit. Snow depths increased some but no base and still not nearly enough for snowshoes. Nice to run into and talk with a couple from MA. From the AT sign, we turned left to take the short spur path to the true summit of South Crocker. No views due to clouds. We retraced our steps just a few yards then followed the footsteps to Redington. I do not recall the yellow blazed boundaries the guidebook talks about but beyond that found the description very accurate (and anything else was probably my being oblivious). The trail is marked some with occasional flagging. We caught up to Rick and Dan who broke the trail ahead of us. They did a mighty fine job of following the path considering it was their first time there!
A little hard to find the canister on the summit. The path ahead leads you to the view. Paths left seemed like they’d lead us to the canister but alas it was to the right. We were not able to open it. We descended moderately back to the col, then more steeply up to South Crocker where the clouds had lifted by the time we returned and offered nice views. Nothing crazy but a number of blowdowns along the herd path, mostly on the Redington side. We broke trail over to North Peak. Not hard to follow even without footprints or a lot of blaze. Fairly obvious trail corridor. Moderate grades mostly. Pretty restricted view from the view spur at the summit. We found tracks that had ascended to North Crocker and followed them down. Some nice views along the way. We noted that the snow depth was greater over here than anywhere else we’d been although was still not enough to warrant snowshoes.
Lastly, I’ll just note that it is a LONG and kinda obnoxious contour out along the AT northbound. I guess the idea is that the trail avoids the ridge and the PUDS by not going over Stony Brook Mtn. This could be grueling after a long day of trailbreaking. Personally, if I knew I’d be trail breaking, I’d definitely want to be ascending this way, and descending toward Caribou Valley. Even in other situations, I may prefer going that way. Gaia had us at about 14mi with 4100ft of gain some of which was due to the road walk at the beginning. Took us 7.5hrs to complete
||Liam Cooney |
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.