|Hiking Trail Conditions Report|
||Bondcliff, Mt. Bond, West Bond, Mt. Guyot, Zealand Mountain, NH|
||Lincoln Woods Trail, Bondcliff Trail, West Bond Spur, Twinway, Zealand Spur, Zealand Trail, Zealand Road|
|Date of Hike:
||Thursday, March 14, 2019|
|Parking/Access Road Notes:
||Plenty at LWT and Zealand winter lot |
||Ice - Blue, Snow - Packed Powder/Loose Granular, Snow - Drifts, Snow/Ice - Monorail (Stable), Snow - Wet/Sticky, Snow/Ice - Postholes |
||Snowshoes, Light Traction |
|Water Crossing Notes:
||Some are opening up, but nothing that wasn't bridged or an easy stepover |
|Trail Maintenance Notes:
||NA (except for some snow fleas) |
|Lost and Found:
||Blue shirt on tree on Wilderness Tr and a hat on Bondcliff trail between Bondcliff and Bond summit. ||
||Bonds Traverse from Lincoln Woods to Zealand Road.|
LWT was firmly packed when we started just before dawn; one of us used Hillsounds, the other barebooted, with no issues. After crossing the bridge and picking up the Wilderness trail, there were a couple of inches of fresh powder on the trail and tracks of two individuals wearing snowshoes who had started earlier. We switched to snowshoes at start of Wilderness Tr. We caught up to those ahead of us about 45 minutes before the summit of Bondcliff and broke the trail though several inches of new powder after we passed them; snow was getting softer as temps warmed. Bondcliff trail should be well broken out now; apparently, Protean Hiker came up after us as well, so at least 5 sets of snowshoes have packed out the trail.
Summit of Bondcliff was largely wind-swept; lots of exposed rock with pockets of an inch or so of light powder hiding patches of smooth ice. Coming off Bondcliff there are patches of ice but there was enough hard-packed snow to get grip in most places. Trail was easy to follow up Bond until we lost it in the trees high up on the ridge; we bushwhacked part of that, a bit too far to the left, and ended up on the trail a bit to the NW of the summit, then followed the trail a few minutes back over to the summit. The path we took will be pretty choppy and annoying, and less direct than the true trail, but it gets there. The trail toward the W Bond spur was more or less easy to follow and should now be broken out pretty well, at least most of the way toward the spur junction; we followed some snowshoe tracks (probably from the day before) that led us astray a bit before we abandoned them, but with a few false starts, the track gets you to W Bond spur. Since there was only two of us, we probably left it a bit choppy at points in here, too, but others behind probably smoothed that section out if they followed our tracks. The open sections (e.g. between Bondcliff & Bond) and choppy sections could be annoying if it rains, followed by dropping temperatures over the next couple of days.
From junction with W Bond spur, we followed a day-old snowshoe track that meandered a bit and involved lots of fighting through the trees to the W Bond summit and retraced our steps on the way down, so that is probably pretty well broken out now too.
Bondcliff Tr continuing to Guyot and junction with Twinway was not broken out; our track through the trees follows a fairly straight course to the open ridge where cairns are visible up to and over Guyot (windswept) and onto Twinway.
Coming off Guyot on the Twinway and into the trees, we initially could find no trace of the trail so commenced a bushwhack over to Zealand by a slightly circuitous route. There are a few very short dead ends where we backtracked and generally fought through more trees and spruce traps. If following these tracks, you will get to Zealand but probably not the most direct route. We did keep finding the true trail, but then lost it several times. Approaching the Zealand ridge, we found the trail again and stayed true to that the rest of the way up. The spur trail to Zealand summit was broken out (thanks!), though the sign at the summit is mostly buried.
Trail from Zealand summit to hut was broken out and mostly solid; should be very well tracked now, but the snow was getting really soft so snowshoes still highly recommended.
A long day given the route-finding challenges, face-slappers, and increasingly heavy snow (lots of balling up under the shoes) but still magnificent views even with the overcast.
||mtnrunr5267_at_ gmail.com |
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.