Hiking Trail Conditions Report
Peaks Mt. Hale, South Hale, NH
Trails: Herd path, North Twin Trail, Firewardens Trail, Lend-A-Hand Trail, bushwhack, Little River Trail
Date of Hike
Date of Hike: Saturday, December 28, 2013
Parking/Access Road Notes
Parking/Access Road Notes: Parked at the end of Little River Road - more room now than mid winter due to minimal snowbanks. 
Surface Conditions
Surface Conditions: Snow - Trace/Minimal Depth, Ice - Blue, Snow - Packed Powder/Loose Granular, Snow - Unpacked Powder 
Recommended Equipment
Recommended Equipment: Light Traction 
Water Crossing Notes
Water Crossing Notes: Small brook crossings were open or cracking. No major crossings via this loop. 
Trail Maintenance Notes
Trail Maintenance Notes:  
Dog-Related Notes
Dog-Related Notes:  
Lost and Found
Lost and Found:  
Comments: Very little snow in the lower elevations. The skier path (immediate left after crossing the snowmobile bridge) and North Twin Trail had minimal snow with some flat blue ice patches. Some wore Microspikes. I found it barebootable without much issue.
The Firewardens Trail is well packed out by boot traffic right now. A little bit of blue ice where the trail climbs above the birches. Snowpack suddenly increases to 6" adjacent to the false peak and saddle. Most wore Microspikes. I was able to bareboot it without much of an issue.
Lend-A-Hand Trail had some significant blue ice patches. Since we were descending, we could sort of pick and choose our way around them. If doing an out and back on this trail prior to more snowfall, some may be more comfortable with crampons.
We hopped off the trail at the marshy area in the saddle (frozen over). Snowpack was over a foot deep (mostly frozen granular with an inch or two of powder on top) on the ridge in places, while only a dusting in some wind exposed areas. We had generally good woods up to the South Hale cliffs (the ones you can see from Zealand Notch...only views of the day for us today, but very rewarding) and pretty good woods from there to the recognized summit.
We then backtracked to the small dip north of the summit, then tried to slab down the west side of the ridge. Initially we had mediocre at best woods with a lot of hidden rock crevaces. As we dropped down, there was also a lot of blue ice hidden under an inch or two of powder. Within a few hundred vertical of the summit, snowpack dropped to maybe 1-3 inches.
We eventually popped into birch glades, then slabbed down to the side of the Little River, working our way across a steep embankment until we hit the abandoned Little River Trail (old railgrade), which provided pretty smooth sailing back to the North Twin Trail.
Most were happy with Microspikes. I barebooted the whole thing and with careful footwork in a few descent areas, was okay. If we get more snow Sunday night, I'd be bringing snowshoes if I were to return.  
Name: rocket21 
Date Submitted
Date Submitted: 2013-12-28 
Link: https:// 
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