Hiking Trail Conditions Report
Peaks West Huntington, Mt. Huntington, South Huntington, NH
Trails: Hancock Notch Trail, bushwhack
Date of Hike
Date of Hike: Wednesday, March 22, 2023
Parking/Access Road Notes
Parking/Access Road Notes: Second car in the plowed Hancock Notch Trailhead, room for plenty more 
Surface Conditions
Surface Conditions: Snow - Packed Powder/Loose Granular, Snow - Unpacked Powder, Snow - Drifts, Snow - Spring Snow, Snow/Ice - Postholes 
Recommended Equipment
Recommended Equipment: Snowshoes 
Water Crossing Notes
Water Crossing Notes: All bridged or hoppable on Hancock Notch Trail, for now 
Trail Maintenance Notes
Trail Maintenance Notes: All good as far as I saw 
Dog-Related Notes
Dog-Related Notes: None 
Bugs: None 
Lost and Found
Lost and Found: None 
Comments: Third attempt at bushwhacking the Huntington range; this time opted to ascend West Huntington first. Found a surprisingly open forest along the west-facing ridge. Final climb up West got steep but starting early in the AM is the way to go before the snow softens up from sunshine, still remarkably supportive off-trail. Judging by previous photos of the summit canister heights, ~5' snowpack at the summits, possibly more.

Traversing over to Mount Huntington (North peak) from West was overall enjoyable, thick in places but seemed to be in bands along the hillside, just had to push through and get to the next band of open forest, summit ridge for North was open and a very enjoyable trek. North to West Huntington was a steep initial descent made easier by side-stepping snowshoes down-slope. Reaching the col found more beautiful, mature conifer forest - made the travel super quick and enjoyable over to West Huntington's summit. 14-minute each way, out-and-back.

Lots of would-be spruce traps but thankfully the snowy mounds were still frozen solid and easy to just walk over in the early morning, snow was definitely becoming slushee material by 10:30 as I made the descent north off North Huntington to meet back up with the Hancock Notch Trail.

Caught HNT just west of the junction with Cedar Brook Trail and had a rock solid snowshoe track to quickly exit back to the trailhead. As its hitting mid-40s by 11am hikers may want to come prepared with snowshoes, this snow is not going to be supportive much longer - already there are deeeeeep deep post holes from bare booters, especially near water crossings from anyone who got off the narrow snowshoe pack.

Great day off trail, saw a couple in the parking lot but never anyone on or off trails for the remainder of the day, very peaceful with the blue skies and spring beginning to warm life back into the forest.

As usual, there is a link below to a quick write up of my day in the Huntington Range with some good ol' color photography. Enjoy!
Happy Climbing!
Name: Erik Hamilton 
Date Submitted
Date Submitted: 2023-03-23 
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