Hiking Trail Conditions Report
Peaks Mt. Cardigan, NH
Trails: Holt Trail, Holt-Clark Cutoff (Cathedral Forest Trail), Clark Trail, West Ridge Trail, Ranger-Cabin Trail, South Ridge Trail, Hurricane Gap Trail
Date of Hike
Date of Hike: Friday, March 21, 2014
Parking/Access Road Notes
Parking/Access Road Notes: Parked at the Cardigan Lodge, the dirt road had sanded ice and very narrow (no way for 2 way traffic in my estimation) at points 
Surface Conditions
Surface Conditions: Ice - Blue, Snow - Packed Powder/Loose Granular, Snow - Unpacked Powder, Snow - Drifts 
Recommended Equipment
Recommended Equipment: Snowshoes, Light Traction, Traction 
Water Crossing Notes
Water Crossing Notes:  
Trail Maintenance Notes
Trail Maintenance Notes:  
Dog-Related Notes
Dog-Related Notes:  
Lost and Found
Lost and Found: Lost: Spring Found: Eternal Winter 
Comments: If you were thinking Cardigan will be a good spring melt out early hike this year, forget it! Higher up on the mountain some of the trail signs were completely buried and my 3.5 foot poles could not hit the bottom of the snow pack. When I put my pack down at the West Ridge/Ranger Cabin trail I uncovered what I thought was a stick. After digging down, I found it was the sign. The main route (Holt, Cathedral Forest, to Clark) was packed to the turn for AMC high cabin, and sees a lot of ski traffic. I broke several of the lesser used trails, the ranger cabin trail and hurricane trail beyond high cabin required a foot of breaking.

Holy heck was it windy! A steady 30-40mph wind necessitated face mask and goggles since I had them and was trying to shoot pictures. A couple of 15 foot high walls of blowing snow got me with ice chunks. Cloud deck was 3500 feet, barely overhead, but it allowed for regional views. Summit cone had enough crusty snows to make it up with care, but there is a ton of glacial ice underneath and if it melts out from solar radiation or rain, crampons might be necessary. I was glad I had all my full winter gear! Some shots in the gallery below:  
Name: John in NH 
Date Submitted
Date Submitted: 2014-03-24 
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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