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Ski
Hiking Trail Conditions Report
Peaks
Peaks Smarts Mountain, NH
Trails
Trails: Ranger Trail, Lambert Ridge Trail
Date of Hike
Date of Hike: Sunday, December 16, 2012
Parking/Access Road Notes
Parking/Access Road Notes: Parking for six to eight cars in the small lot off at the trailhead just off of Dorchester Road. 
Surface Conditions
Surface Conditions: Dry Trail, Ice - Blue, Ice - Breakable Crust, Snow - Trace/Minimal Depth 
Recommended Equipment
Recommended Equipment: Light Traction, Traction 
Water Crossing Notes
Water Crossing Notes: Rock-hoppable, but be cautious. Some rocks are icy. 
Trail Maintenance Notes
Trail Maintenance Notes: There are a few blowdowns around the 1,800' level on the Ranger Trail that will require some big saws.  
Dog-Related Notes
Dog-Related Notes: This is not a good hike for dogs right now due to significant flow ice above 2,500'. Josie and Polly made it to the summit and back down again, but there were a couple of iffy spots for both of them. Better to wait until there's enough snow cover to bury the ice before taking dogs up this route.  
Bugs
Bugs:  
Lost and Found
Lost and Found:  
 
Comments
Comments: The notoriously muddy Ranger Trail is now solidly frozen, and that was our route up today. The lower portion was a pleasure. The flow ice began at about 2,500', and at 2,800' we put on Microspikes, which stayed on to the summit. Past the junction of the Ranger and Lambert Ridge trails there are some spots with significant flow ice that are tricky to negotiate (especially for dogs) even with light traction.


At the summit cabin we put on more serious traction -- Hillshound Trail Pros -- for the descent down Lambert Ridge. They worked great, but blowing snow made the famous open ledges on this route slippery and difficult. The snow also obliterated the well-known views. If I were to do this climb again tomorrow under the same conditions as today, I'd stick to the Ranger Trail both ways.


We met just one person, a member of Upper Valley Search and Rescue who was out for a training hike.


It's always a pleasure to hike with the Dingman; thanks for the day, Clay.


Photos at link below.  
Name
Name: The Feathered Hat 
E-Mail
E-Mail: stevebjerklie at yahoo.com 
Date Submitted
Date Submitted: 2012-12-16 
Link
Link: http://www.flickr.com/photos/99682097@N00/sets/72157632263890735/ 
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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