Hiking Trail Conditions Report
Peaks Scar Ridge - West Peak, NH
Trails: Ski trails, herd path, bushwhack
Date of Hike
Date of Hike: Saturday, July 21, 2018
Parking/Access Road Notes
Parking/Access Road Notes: Loon Mountain has a huge parking lot 
Surface Conditions
Surface Conditions: Dry Trail 
Recommended Equipment
Recommended Equipment:  
Water Crossing Notes
Water Crossing Notes:  
Trail Maintenance Notes
Trail Maintenance Notes:  
Dog-Related Notes
Dog-Related Notes:  
Bugs: Some black flies at higher elevations on the ski trails, none bothered us in the woods 
Lost and Found
Lost and Found:  
Comments: Took Brookway (gravel maintenance road), Lower and Upper Boss ski trails to Loon's North Peak. There are paths through the grass on Lower and Upper Boss from Loon's mowing machine. It appears as if they've cut a 10' wide swath of grass on Upper Boss since spring.

The Black Mtn herd path started maybe 3' above the "Out of Bound" signs near the top of Upper Boss. The herd path is well-defined, easy to follow. The real bushwhack to West Scar starts where the herd path takes a left turn north to Black Mtn. There's a big rock on the left and a fallen tree across the herd path here.

Getting to West Scar: we decided to stay on the north side of the Scar Ridge to avoid blowdowns on the south side of the ridge. Set our compass for 130, whacked down Loon for ~ a quarter mile, then up West Scar. We crossed over a small stream (mossy, slippery rocks) and continued up, still aiming for 130. We inadvertently drifted north between compass checks though (less steep that way), ended up turning south and heading straight up West Scar when we saw the high point through the trees on our right.

When we got close to the high point, we found a herd path, followed it for a few minutes to the summit. There are lots of blowdowns around the summit. The blowdown situation reminded us of South Weeks in June.

Getting back to Loon: we tried to follow the ridge back, encountered a dense spruce/hemlock stand almost immediately, so we went down the north side of the ridge maybe 100' and used compass settings of 310/320 (adjusting for detours around more spruce traps) to get back to Loon. We stayed closer to the ridge on the way back than we did on the way out, missed the stream entirely.

Overall, a tough whack due to steep, uneven terrain, and semi-dense growth. Got lots of cuts, bruises, and scratches through our clothes and on our necks. Needed a full face mask for this hike!

Consensus is that it's one of the hardest whacks on the NEHH, but not necessarily the hardest. We encountered worse on Elephant (ME) last year when we wandered into an absolutely huge field of blowdowns, then ended up in an truly impenetrable spruce trap.

The view from the top of Loon was absolutely fantastic. There are wild strawberries growing all over Upper/Lower Boss, will be ready to pick in August if the animals don't get to them first.  
Name: Places We Go 
Date Submitted
Date Submitted: 2018-07-23 
Link: https:// 
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