|Hiking Trail Conditions Report|
||Smarts Mountain, NH|
||Lambert Ridge Trail, Ranger Trail|
|Date of Hike:
||Sunday, March 17, 2019|
|Parking/Access Road Notes:
||At the left fork onto Dorchester Road there was a sign saying “road closed - local traffic only” but everyone went down that way and parked at the regular hiking parking anyway. Nobody seemed to mind. The road had LOTS of potholes but was actually quite easy to drive given that it was snow covered in the morning and pretty muddy in the afternoon. My small SUV with FWD did fine.
First car there at 9:30 (another showed up shortly after) and last car to leave at 3:15. 3 cars there in total today and evidently 8 fit yesterday without a problem. |
||Snow - Trace/Minimal Depth, Ice - Blue, Snow - Unpacked Powder, Snow/Ice - Frozen Granular, Snow - Drifts, Snow/Ice - Monorail (Stable), Snow - Wet/Sticky, Snow/Ice - Monorail (Unstable), Snow - Spring Snow, Snow/Ice - Postholes, Snow/Ice - Small Patches |
|Water Crossing Notes:
||A number of small ones. A couple with snow bridges intact, more without bridges or failing bridges. It’s that time of year!! None seemed that large and I doubt they could give you much trouble unless there were a BIG rain event. |
|Trail Maintenance Notes:
||One very large blowdown on...I forget. It was the upper part of one of the two trails. Either on the part where they coincide or not too long before that I believe. A few smaller duck unders. All in all not that bad in the way of blowdowns. Up high there of course were limbs you had to push through but it didn’t quite present the danger of losing an eye that some other trails I’ve recently been on did ;)
The white blaze on Lambert Ridge isn’t placed particularly frequently making the trail hard to find at times (the packed trail deviates some from the actual trail but not by much). The blaze started showing up somewhere around the garage on the way down Rangers Trail. Once it popped up it was relatively frequent. |
||I imagine they’d do fine on these trails. May be a bit slippery for them now with all the ice on Lambert Ridge Trail. Some spots, particularly on Ranger Trail for them to drink from. |
|Lost and Found:
||5 people did this loop today including me and I was the only one in snowshoes. I started with them at the car and nearly kept them on until I was back. That said they were a royal pain in the ass at the beginning due to minimal snow depth, some protruding rocks, and some bare spots on the lower ledges. I’m sure I beat up my crampons on them pretty good. I also slid or nearly slid on the ice several times down low in my snowshoes. Be careful! |
I didn’t notice much damage from the microspikers once they passed me or when I followed them down Rangers Trail, but one tall man said he sank to his hip a couple of times so I recommend small, light snowshoes with a good crampon for the moment. The Ranger Trail has a more consistent snowpack than Lamber since it’s more in the trees (wind still blew through it though!)
Be warned that there’s a bit of a maze of trails probabky about 2/3 of the way in Lambert. I tried to break the correct trail where the packed trail deviated from it. One time pretty successfully, the other time not so much. Although the upper Ranger Trail has no blazes it wasn’t easier to follow as there’s more of a corridor. I didn’t stop to check my GPS like I didn’t on Lambert Ridge but I never really doubted that I was on the trail.
||Liam Cooney |
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.