|Hiking Trail Conditions Report|
||Hellgate Ravine, West Bond, Mt. Bond, Bondcliff, NH|
||Lincoln Woods Trail, Franconia Brook Trail, bushwhack, 2017 Halloween Slide, West Bond Spur, Bondcliff Trail|
|Date of Hike:
||Sunday, July 31, 2022|
|Parking/Access Road Notes:
||A few open spots at Lincoln Woods parking lot at 5:30AM. |
||Dry Trail, Mud - Minor/Avoidable |
|Water Crossing Notes:
|Trail Maintenance Notes:
|Lost and Found:
||For this trip, I bushwhacked West Bond via the 2017 Halloween Slide, with a side-trip to the Guitar Slide during the approach. Overall, this was one of the most challenging and rewarding bushwhacks in recent memory.|
From the intersection of Hellgate Brook and Franconia Brook Trail, I followed Hellgate Brook along its north side, finding moderately thick woods. At 2,400ft, I switched to the south side to bypass some blowdowns, but I quickly ended up back on the other side.
After intersecting the path of the Guitar Slide, I followed one of its gullies up to the main open area, which I ascended about 2/3 of the way up. There were many blueberries growing all along the edges of the forest.
I exited on the east side of the guitar and took a bearing directly towards the 2017 slide. Surprisingly, woods were relatively open, though I was side-hilling most of the time. I dropped down into the very dry drainage and headed for a small talus slope directly opposite of the 2017 slide; here, I found a spectacular front-and-center view of the path of destruction. One thing to note is that the woods around the talus (ca. 3400 ft.) were horrendous; I can’t imagine it would be enjoyable to drop down to this ravine from the Bondcliff Trail.
After descending back into the ravine, I reached the base of the 2017 slide. From 3,490 ft. to 4,000 ft., I found stable footing on a combination of dry slab and medium-sized rocks, with a manageable slope angle. Views to the ridge were outstanding. I bypassed the upper section of the slide due to unsafe conditions and steep grades, however, the forest was no less steep and had its own interesting features, including deep voids underneath dead trees and a number of challenging ledges. CalTopo’s slope angle shading feature shows about a 40-50 degree slope here, with some steeper sections mixed in. Woods were very thick, and I took a direct line to West Bond’s summit, which I reached after some rock-hopping; I encountered no other hikers at the summit.
For the descent, trail conditions were mostly dry, with the exception of some extensive muddy sections on the lower section of Bondcliff Trail.
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.