Hiking Trail Conditions Report
Peaks Firescrew, Mt. Cardigan, NH
Trails: Holt Trail, Manning Trail, Mowglis Trail, Clark Trail, South Ridge Trail, Hurricane Gap Trail, Holt-Clark Cutoff (Cathedral Forest Trail)
Date of Hike
Date of Hike: Friday, April 24, 2015
Parking/Access Road Notes
Parking/Access Road Notes: Plenty of parking at the AMC Cardigan Lodge. Shem Valley Road had a new coat of snow this morning, which was gone in the afternoon. The road is washboarded pretty good right at the beginning, but otherwise in good shape. 
Surface Conditions
Surface Conditions: Dry Trail, Ice - Black, Wet Trail, Wet/Slippery Rock, Standing/Running Water on Trail, Snow/Ice - Frozen Granular, Mud - Minor/Avoidable, Snow/Ice - Monorail (Stable), Mud - Significant, Snow/Ice - Monorail (Unstable), Leaves - Significant/Slippery, Snow/Ice - Postholes 
Recommended Equipment
Recommended Equipment: Light Traction 
Water Crossing Notes
Water Crossing Notes: Several along this loop, all easily hopped or bridged with actual bridges. 
Trail Maintenance Notes
Trail Maintenance Notes: All trails in good shape, mostly. Looks like there was some concentrated damage along the Mowglis Trail where it enters the woods just before climbing the cone on Cardigan. Someone had dragged the broken branches off-trail. Holt-Clark Cutoff has one severely eroded section that could use some love. Lots of mud on the cutoff too. 
Dog-Related Notes
Dog-Related Notes: Saw one coming up from the West Side. 
Bugs: Too much damn wind. ;) 
Lost and Found
Lost and Found: Found some trash near the Croo Bridge that I packed out. 
Comments: A good day for one of my favorite loops. I decided to go up Firescrew first this time for a change of scenery.

I started out in a new light blanket of snow along the lower trails, which had melted off by afternoon. I bare-booted the whole loop, but carried spikes. Snowshoes not needed. More snow and ice up higher, as everything has refrozen. Still about 12-18 inches of snow in some spots (deepest snow I saw was along Hurricane Gap Trail), I noticed some pretty deep postholes.

As noted in the trail conditions section, trails had a little bit of everything today. Dry, leaves, mud, snow and ice.

Outside of the woods, all ledges are mostly clear, but wet and icy in spots. There was one icy pitch going up the steeps to Firescrew where I bushwhacked around it.

Winds were HOWLING at the fire tower, so I didn't stay on top too long. The tower was also dropping a lot of ice. Wind chills were in the 20s up there, but warmed up nicely once off the summit.

As I was descending, I passed a group who were going to the High Cabin for the weekend to celebrate a 50th birthday party. Fun!  
Name: KenM 
Date Submitted
Date Submitted: 2015-04-24 
Link: http:// 
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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