|Hiking Trail Conditions Report|
||Mt. Resolution, Mt. Parker, Mt. Langdon The Crippies, Mt. Pickering, Mt. Stanton, NH|
||FR 27, Rocky Branch Trail, Stairs Col Trail, Davis Path, Mt. Parker Trail, Mt. Langdon Trail, Mt. Stanton Trail|
|Date of Hike:
||Saturday, November 9, 2019|
|Parking/Access Road Notes:
||We stashed one car at the Mt Stanton trailhead and then drove to where the gate is along Jericho Road. Only car at both trailheads in the morning. One other at each upon our return. Jericho Road in good shape to the gate with just a dusting of snow. |
||Dry Trail, Ice - Black, Snow - Trace/Minimal Depth, Wet Trail, Ice - Blue, Snow - Packed Powder/Loose Granular, Wet/Slippery Rock, Snow - Unpacked Powder, Leaves - Significant/Slippery, Slush, Snow/Ice - Small Patches |
||Light Traction |
|Water Crossing Notes:
||The only unbridged crossings I remember were of small brooks on Rocky Branch Trail. They were rock hoppable but the rocks were wet and many also had black ice on them requiring significant care. The washed out bridge at the beginning of the trail is hard to scramble up though particularly if you’re short so if you can’t safely do that, you may be crossing the river here whic would usually involve wading. See my notes about this in the comments section. |
|Trail Maintenance Notes:
||The occasional yellow blazes on Rocky Branch Trail in this section are useful to let you know you took the proper turn on a relocation, off a logging road, etc. I believe Stairs Col Trail was blazed in yellow at its beginning but this quickly stopped as it entered the wilderness area. A spot or two where we questioned whic way the trail went. I think this was mostly due to deadfall and the footed being obscured. No blaze on Davis Path in the wilderness area but there was some yellow blaze on Mf Parker Trail even possibly in the wilderness area (on ledges). Yellow blaze on Mt Stanton Trail too. I don’t recall much about Mt Langdon Trail. A spot or two among the ledges on Stanton where we questioned which way the trail went but no big route finding challenging on any of these trails. Although I’m sure there’s more, the only blowdowns I specifically remember were on Mt Parker Trail and Mt Stanton Trail with Mf Parker Trail having the most and being the most difficult. Nothing too difficult that needs immediate removal though :) |
||My friend brought his dog and he did fine without a jacket or booties surprisingly. Only part the dog needed help with was getting up the bridge at the beginning of Rocky Branch Trail. No others seen. |
|Lost and Found:
||A nice day out redlining with another redliner and his friend :) Temps were in the high teens to start at 7:30 and sunny and temps were in the 30s when we finished at 4:30. |
The road walk and RB Trail were a nice warm up. Some tricky brook crossings due to icy rocks and of course getting up on the bridge was difficult (Jericho Road was closed a couple years back after a big storm adding a 1.7mi road walk to access the trail; then, at the beginning of the trail, the bridge got washed out requiring a very difficult scramble up it or wading across the river; there is a delipadated stool to help you get up onto the bridge but you probably shouldn’t trust it and a sturdy rock should likely replace it). There was a thin layer of snow everywhere. My fellow hikers deduced one spot without snow that had been dug up to be from a bear likely looking for grubs. We later saw bear prints. Once at the jct we briefly stopped at the shelter and fueled up before going up Stairs Col Trail which gains a lot of elevation and is quite steep in its upper section. Snow depth certainly increased along this to a few inches at most and our feet began to slide around a bit. We again saw bear tracks and the tracks of an animal either dragging something or with a tail. There were great views of the ledges in Stairs Mtn through the trees along this this trail!
It was an odd feeling to descend a bit to the jct with Davis Path. Felt even odder to be there exactly a week ago when it looked totally different without being snow covered! We enjoyed flatter terrain along Davis Path and then got on Mt Parker Trail and only had to climb briefly before we got great views from ledges near the summit of Mount Resolution. After descending a bit, we enjoyed a nice long flat(ish) section between here and Mt Parker although this is where most of the blowdowns we encountered were. I really enjoyed the trail in there :) We kept an eye out for the spur tral to the southerly knob in this section (0.6mi south of Mt Resolution) and I saw it on the right. It isn’t signed or anything but you should be able to find it if you’re looking for it in this area. It becomes a bit more overgrown as you continue down it. Make sure to continue up after reaching the first view as the spur continues on. We “broke” trail here in maybe 6 inches of snow which was the deepest of the day.
After whining about a false summit or two, we made it to Mt Parker and had lunch. Not too long before, we met a young man on the trail that also turned out to be a redliner although he’d just learned that what he was doing had a name 😂 A family of 3 came to the summit of Parker shortly before we departed and had ascended Stanton. From Parker to the Langdon Shelter was an easy downhill. Then the real work began of ascending Langdon, the Crippies, Pickering, and Stanton, on already tired 10+ mile legs. It was doable but slow and unwelcome at the end of the day. The ascent to Langdon was moderate but felt long. The descent between Langdon and the 1st Crippie was real gross with a long, steep, narrow sidehill section with poor footing and some ice. We had microspikes with us but never used them even though we could (should?) have. After that unpleasant section, the trail was nicer but still many ups and downs but with generally less snow. The two steep and gravelly sections in the lower portion of Mt Stanton Trail were definitely noticeable and just after the we were done with the last one of these, the leaves became very thick and really obscured the trail down low to the point where I really had to look for blaze.
||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.