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Casual Hiker
03-24-2011, 10:10 AM
I am planning a Monadnock hike on Saturday with my wife, and we're thinking of just doing some of the less frequented trails like Parker and Lost Farm. Has anyone been over there who could give me a trail condition update? Is there still snow, or is it mostly mud? I would like to be able to plan what to bring.

Thanks!

kerry13
03-24-2011, 11:40 AM
As of last weekend most trails still had substantial snow cover up to 3/4 and given the weather since, I doubt much has melted. We wore micros going up until Pumpelly Ridge where snow is only in sheltered areas. I barebooted down White Dot but should have put on the micros as there were many places which warranted them. Sheltered trails will still have fair amount of snow in spots and lots of ice. Mud was beginning to be an issue lower on the Dot and likely to be issue on Parker trail and areas where rain runoff has been an issue.

Quietman
03-24-2011, 12:49 PM
I doubt much has melted.

The 3" of new snow that we rec'd on the 21st has not completely melted yet so Kerry's info is accurate.

Casual Hiker
03-24-2011, 12:51 PM
Exactly what I needed, thanks. We'll bring our spikes and be prepared.

erugs
03-24-2011, 04:00 PM
Enjoy your hike. Others before me have given you good tips. Spring brings confusion as to gear as two men from Keene recently found out. Here's a bit from the story in the Union Leader:

Wednesday, Mar. 23, 2011

JAFFREY Ė Two Keene hikers were rescued from Mount Monadnock when they became lost due to darkness and newly fallen snow.

State Fish and Game officials said Nathan Ekblom, 25, and Benjamin Reynolds, 28, had headlamps, some warm clothing and a few basic essentials but were not prepared to spend Monday night in the below freezing temperatures.

The hikers lost their way in the area of the Red Spot and Pumpelly trails shortly after they began their descent and called 911 for help. Monadnock State Park manager Patrick Hummel, who spoke with the hikers, was unable to talk them down due to snow covering up the trail markers and windblown snow filling in their tracks.

Two Fish and Game conservation officers and Hummel hiked up and found the pair just after 1 a.m. Tuesday and led them down to safety. Progress was slow descending the mountain, because of icy trails and 3 to 4 inches of fresh snow on the ground, but the rescue party and hikers made it to the park's headquarters by 2:40 a.m.

Raymond
03-24-2011, 11:36 PM
If you descend on the White Arrow Trail, be careful on that real steep part where it first drops off the summit. I was coming down there last month and slipped and was scrabbling for my life trying to get a foothold with my snowshoes. I was about halfway down and it looked way too far to just trust that I could slide down the rest of the way without crashing into a rock.

Lying in the snow, I managed to shift my fanny pack around my waist to the front, pull out my MicroSpikes, and trade them for my snowshoes. Then I backed down the slope with my hands on the snowshoes for four points of purchase, if thatís the word I want.

I later discovered that one of the snowshoe bindings was broken ó and that was only the third time I had ever used them!* I donít know if the binding broke while I was wearing the snowshoes ó it seems as if the shoe would have detached itself from my boot ó but I donít see how it could have broken while it was riding in my backpack, either.

Last Friday on Watatic, the Wapack Trail was mostly ice (very scary descending it), the State Line Trail mostly snow, with a thin crust that sometimes broke through unexpectedly.

* Although I bought them in 2002.

Casual Hiker
03-26-2011, 04:59 PM
Thanks again for the info. We went out today up the old toll road to the Thoreau Trail, headed down Lost Farm to Parker and then back out. The spikes were invaluable in several spots, although the conditions were a real mix of dry ground and snow cover. It was a great day, though, and we enjoyed it thoroughly.