|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, snowmobile trail|
|Date of Hike:
||Sunday, February 21, 2021|
|Parking/Access Road Notes:
||No issues at Lincoln Woods and winter Zealand, but the latter can be an issue later in the day with snowmobile trailers taking up space. |
||Snow - Packed Powder/Loose Granular, Ice - Breakable Crust, Snow - Unpacked Powder, Snow/Ice - Frozen Granular, Snow - Drifts |
|Water Crossing Notes:
||There is a somewhat snowbridged way to get across the crossing on Lincoln Woods with the closed bridge. The rail glade Bondcliff Trail crossing was snowbridged (with one bareboot posthole through it). Lower two Bondcliff Trail crossings were open, but rock hoppable; upper had some snow to cross on. Twinway and Zealand crossings were snow bridged. |
|Trail Maintenance Notes:
||Large blowdown on Bondcliff Trail not too far off the rail grade. A few blowdowns on Twinway on either side of Zealand. |
|Lost and Found:
||Snowshoes all day.|
Lincoln Woods Trail was sugar snow. I found snowshoes to provide ideal footing, but one could boot without postholing.
Bondcliff Trail flats (i.e. Wilderness Trail) were probably best done with snowshoes; I counted 189 bareboot postholes along the railgrade to pass the monotony. Footbed is a little bit awkward from the crust that formed with the Monday-Tuesday storm. Crust not supportive when off the packed trail.
Bondcliff Trail was okay down low, but awkward above the top crossing due to the drifted in footbed covered by the crust. Snowshoes float on the crust quite well at this point. Tubbs Flex Alps had no issues gripping, but the constant sidehilling/occasional packed steps was a bit awkward. An inch or so of powder. Hillary Stumble is just about filled in; fairly easy to ascend on snow. Had to break through drifts from there to treeline.
Bondcliff Ridge was crusty, which meant we could leave snowshoes on rather than fuss around with spikes. Decent going for winter Bondcliff passage. Breeze was a little chilly on skin, but very minimal in terms of windspeed.
Much nicer conditions from Bond onward. 2-3" of powder on top of a supportive crust (for snowshoes). It would be foolish/unsafe to be up here with the winter snowpack (generally 4 feet; deeper with drifts, with a few signs/blazes getting close to the snow level) without snowshoes or flotation. No issues going to West Bond, though the track meandered a bit (I corrected one of the deviations). Tree tops are at knee level atop Bond and Guyot.
The trail over South Guyot was also crusty. The col scrub has not filled in, but the corner could be cut later on with a firm crust and no risk to vegetation.
Decent going from Guyot over to Zealand, though a little sprucy in places. Ladder near the pond is partially filled in, but still a little tricky to descend. Closer to Zeacliff, the packed track meanders from the trail in places and there are some spruce traps. Would be an unpleasant surprise without snowshoes.
Hut is wearing a bunch of plywood masks due to COVID.
Zealand Trail was fairly smooth sailing with a little bit of powder on top of the frozen granular; much better than the Bondcliff Trail counterpart. Looked like it was all snowshoe and ski traffic today.
Zealand Road was also similar until the snowmobile junction (then sugar snow for that short stretch), then a little awkward from Sugarloaf to the highway due to barebooting activity. Snowmobile trail from the end of the road to the winter lot was also sugar snow/granular.
Blue skies on either end of the hike, but some light snow/clouds on the ridge in places. Temperatures weren't too cold, but stayed below freezing. Surprisingly quiet on the trails (other than running into a group of folks on the West Bond Spur, I only recollect seeing 5 other hikers the whole day). Nice to do this one without needing a headlamp; days are getting longer!
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.