Hiking Trail Conditions Report
Peaks Mt. Cardigan, Firescrew Mountain, NH
Trails: Holt Trail, Mowglis Trail, Manning Trail
Date of Hike
Date of Hike: Thursday, April 19, 2012
Parking/Access Road Notes
Parking/Access Road Notes:  
Surface Conditions
Surface Conditions: Dry Trail, Wet Trail 
Recommended Equipment
Recommended Equipment:  
Water Crossing Notes
Water Crossing Notes:  
Trail Maintenance Notes
Trail Maintenance Notes:  
Dog-Related Notes
Dog-Related Notes:  
Bugs: black flies out but not biting 
Lost and Found
Lost and Found:  
Comments: Today was finally the day to try the Upper Holt Trail. The last pitch does live up the reputation. Entire Holt Trail dry and snow/ice free--all this fire danger weather really helped dry things out.

Past Grand Junction, the Holt has three distinct sections. It stays easy/ moderate along a stream with cascades/falls for a long while. When you reach a 10 foot crack to climb up in a boulder, you enter a steeper slabby section (excellent grip when dry) with typical NH class 2/2+ stuff. Its not intimidating at all-just fun, though if wet might be a different story. Finally the last 100 feet of vertical are where it gets really tough. (would be ok to go back down up to this point if you wimp out I think) Basically there is a seventy foot, 45-60 degree crack climb (definitely class 3--need to pull up with upper body). This is the section that would never be good if wet or icy and is first trail in New England I would not be able to go down even when dry. Since it is a big slab with few small/no natural holds (from a hikers perspective vs climber) you must use friction climb technique with feet, and try to get as much of foot on rock as possible. Definitely got the heart pumping. People comfortable with scrambling should like it, if not, maybe skip this trail.

While descending summit, I spotted a few cairns for herd path to Grotto Cave and made out where it splits from Mowglis trail, not marked or obvious. The cave wasn't that great and there was one wet mossy ledge to detour around to get down there.

Descent of Mowglis/ Manning has much open ledge and was dry, only a few token patches of ice that had no impact on hiking. Lower Manning Trail has FIELDS of trout lily, most not im bloom yet, so it will be quite the show soon.

Challanging but rewarding hike that was better that most 4k hikes (and I've got over 100 of those)  
Name: John in NH 
Date Submitted
Date Submitted: 2012-04-19 
Link: http:// 
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