Hiking Trail Conditions Report
Peaks Orange Mountain, Rimrock, Mt. Cardigan (South Peak), Mt. Cardigan, Firescrew Mountain, NH
Trails: Holt Trail, Holt-Clark Cutoff (Cathedral Forest Trail), Vistamont Trail, Skyland Trail, South Ridge Trail, Ranger-Cabin Trail, Clark Trail, Mowglis Trail, Manning Trail
Date of Hike
Date of Hike: Saturday, January 3, 2015
Parking/Access Road Notes
Parking/Access Road Notes: Plenty of parking at the AMC Cardigan Lodge. 
Surface Conditions
Surface Conditions: Dry Trail, Ice - Black, Wet Trail, Ice - Blue, Snow/Ice - Frozen Granular, Leaves - Significant/Slippery, Snow/Ice - Postholes 
Recommended Equipment
Recommended Equipment: Light Traction, Traction 
Water Crossing Notes
Water Crossing Notes: Several along this loop, all easily hopped or crossed on bridges. 
Trail Maintenance Notes
Trail Maintenance Notes: All trails in great shape. Debris along the way, but nothing major. 
Dog-Related Notes
Dog-Related Notes: Didn't see any, but large amounts of ice may have been tricky for them. 
Bugs: Nope. 
Lost and Found
Lost and Found: Nothing and nothing. 
Comments: I was originally going to hike the Ossipees, but opted for a grand tour of the Cardigan area instead.

All routes were frozen solid. The only truly packed trails were the Holt/ Holt-Clark Cutoff leading to Vistamont. Vistamont was broken out by boots all the way to the summit of Orange. Same thing on Skyland. From Rimrock to South Peak, there was a light track, but looked to be blown over. Leaving South Peak was a little obscure heading into the trees. The climb up to the Cardigan summit from the fire warden's cabin is steep and icy, but there was enough snow on this side of the mountain to grab onto. I wore Hillsounds all day, but did see two people in full crampons, which wasn't a bad idea. The summit was a mix of bare ledge, ice and frozen snowpack. Dropping off the Cardigan summit ledges on Mowglis, there was much more ice and less snow on top of it. There was one short stretch that was a little sketchy and would have been a long slide down. Firescrew had some significant ice on the ledges, but enough snow where you could skirt around the worst spots. The Manning Trail dropping off the Firescrew ledges was frozen posthole hell, the roughest footing of the trip. Lower Manning was a lot of dry leaves and bare ground until it hit the old road. Of course, all this has likely changed now from the storm.

Lots of people out, despite the chilly temps. 10 degrees when I started. The Cardigan summit was cold, but hardly any wind, just a light breeze. I was the only one who came over from Orange, saw a number of folks who hiked over from Firescrew first. A great day to be out in one of my favorite areas!  
Name: KenM 
Date Submitted
Date Submitted: 2015-01-04 
Link: http:// 
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