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Hiking Trail Conditions Report
Peaks
Peaks Mt. Cardigan, Mt. Cardigan (South Peak), Rimrock, NH
Trails
Trails: West Ridge Trail, South Ridge Trail, Clark Trail
Date of Hike
Date of Hike: Sunday, January 6, 2019
Parking/Access Road Notes
Parking/Access Road Notes: Room for about 5 vehicles in the (plowed) lot. The rest of us parked on the side of the road. Cardigan Mountain Road is sanded and in fairly good condition. The final short access road to the summer parking lot is gated, and we walked up that. 
Surface Conditions
Surface Conditions: Dry Trail, Ice - Black, Snow - Trace/Minimal Depth, Ice - Blue, Snow - Packed Powder/Loose Granular, Ice - Breakable Crust, Snow - Unpacked Powder, Snow/Ice - Frozen Granular, Snow - Drifts, Snow/Ice - Monorail (Stable) 
Recommended Equipment
Recommended Equipment: Light Traction 
Water Crossing Notes
Water Crossing Notes: Anything more than a one-step crossing was bridged. 
Trail Maintenance Notes
Trail Maintenance Notes: The trail sign for the Hurricane Gap Trail at its junction with the South Ridge Trail is on the ground. Its tree fell. 
Dog-Related Notes
Dog-Related Notes: Saw a few. If they're comfortable on ice and in strong winds, they should be OK. A note, however - some people don't like it when strange dogs run up to them and start sniffing them. Please don't let your dog do that. 
Bugs
Bugs: Nada. 
Lost and Found
Lost and Found: Nada. 
 
Comments
Comments: Mostly good. A few things though -

1) At the Rimrock trail junction, it's not clear which direction the South Ridge Trail goes in the direction of Cardigan, especially since the blaze color changes at Rimrock. The sign could be oriented better, or there could be another sign just into the woods saying that this is the South Ridge Trail.

2) The trail sign for the Hurricane Gap Trail at its junction with the South Ridge Trail is on the ground. Its tree fell.

3) Following the Clark Trail from the Warden's cabin up to the summit isn't the clearest - the blazes seemed to be painted mostly on the rocks, and so were invisible if there was snow covering the rocks (as there was today). Instead, the footprints led substantially to the left of the actual trail, and soon met up with West Ridge Trail (which we followed to the summit). In today's conditions, Clark Trail probably wouldn't have been the best idea to follow anyway - it's mostly steep, open rock, and large sections of it were covered in ice.

Very fun hike! Road walk up to the trailhead is easily bare-bootable. Once on West Ridge Trail, spikes are useful, but it's possible to bareboot up to the junction with South Ridge Trail. Spikes are highly recommended on South Ridge Trail, especially on the steep section just below Rimrock (crampons wouldn't have been overkill on that one section, but wouldn't have been needed anywhere else). We all wore spikes for the entire rest of the hike. No need for snowshoes - the trails are all packed down very well. West Ridge Trail is excellent for butt-sliding, and we did plenty of that!

Very strong winds at the summit, but not strong enough to blow us over. Fairly cold temps all day. Cardigan is a great mountain any time of year.  
Name
Name: GN 
E-Mail
E-Mail:  
Date Submitted
Date Submitted: 2019-01-07 
Link
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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