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TJsName
02-25-2014, 05:18 PM
Does anyone have any idea if there is an optimal direction for doing the Flat Mtn Pond ski loop? Is the entire Flat Mtn Pond trail used by snowmobiles? Anything else one should know about (shelter condition, blow downs, washout, etc)? Much appreciated as always.

psmart
02-25-2014, 07:51 PM
Snowmobiles are only allowed on the southern section of trail from Sandwich Notch Road. They are not allowed beyond the wilderness boundary at the southern end of the pond. In practice, snowmobile traffic to the pond has been pretty infrequent. The multiple stream crossing tend to be a barrier in most years, but I haven't been there this year so I don't have current details. The northern section receives light use in any season and is likely to be untracked.

As far as loop direction, go counterclockwise if you prefer to ascend the steeper sections (north of the pond), and clockwise if you prefer to descent the steeps. But it's a fun trip in either direction. With the recent warm spell the snow has firmed up enough to support skis but not boots. With a little fresh snow to cover the crust it should be a good time to go.

sardog1
02-25-2014, 08:33 PM
I'm near enough to this locale that I can offer some encouragement about snow conditions. Sunday was horrible for skiing – the recent rain knocked the support right out of the snow – and I was glad I was on snowshoes. But now things have firmed up quite well, and I was glad to be on skis today. The snow is indeed pretty icy in nature and crusty, but there's a possibility of a small amount of fresh snow tomorrow (Wednesday), which would improve conditions.

Can't offer any current info on the loop, but I've also enjoyed it the few times I've been on it in the past. Pretty good bet you'll have more solitude than many other places (other than the snowmobiles as mentioned.)

Becca M
02-26-2014, 06:05 AM
Does anybody know if the parking pullout near Jose's Bridge is plowed right now?

StaggerLee21
02-26-2014, 06:23 AM
Years ago David metsky did a report on a ski trip in that area and he had some great pictures from off trail but I don't want to divulge the secret, other than to leave you a hint that you may want to look into it and get some views and a campsite, but it may require either gusto or swapping to snowshoes briefly.

bryan
02-26-2014, 07:00 AM
Parking area was plowed last week. Deep and narrow so not room for too many cars. Parking also available at the maintained end of Bennett st which theoretically would allow access via the loop road though I have not hiked through that way to confirm.

David Metsky
02-26-2014, 07:40 AM
Years ago David metsky did a report on a ski trip in that area and he had some great pictures from off trail but I don't want to divulge the secret, other than to leave you a hint that you may want to look into it and get some views and a campsite, but it may require either gusto or swapping to snowshoes briefly.
I don't believe I did, I don't remember ever skiing in that area.

TJsName
02-26-2014, 07:58 AM
Parking area was plowed last week. Deep and narrow so not room for too many cars. Parking also available at the maintained end of Bennett st which theoretically would allow access via the loop road though I have not hiked through that way to confirm.

So you can use capital letters! I knew it! :)

We might park at the Bennet street winter spot. It was plowed out similarly last year (until just before the split). Looking forward to checking it out.

StaggerLee21
02-27-2014, 05:26 AM
well, someone did a nice trip report of skiing off-trail in that area anyways, apologies to David. I believe they came up from the Livermore side though in waterville valley

TJsName
03-03-2014, 02:33 PM
Snowmobiles are only allowed on the southern section of trail from Sandwich Notch Road. They are not allowed beyond the wilderness boundary at the southern end of the pond. In practice, snowmobile traffic to the pond has been pretty infrequent. The multiple stream crossing tend to be a barrier in most years, but I haven't been there this year so I don't have current details. The northern section receives light use in any season and is likely to be untracked.

As far as loop direction, go counterclockwise if you prefer to ascend the steeper sections (north of the pond), and clockwise if you prefer to descent the steeps. But it's a fun trip in either direction. With the recent warm spell the snow has firmed up enough to support skis but not boots. With a little fresh snow to cover the crust it should be a good time to go.

Thanks again for the info. We went CW, but I wish we went CCW, and that we snowshoed up to the pond. The steeps were very difficult for us (although the snow conditions did not help whatsoever). Going CCW would have been a nice decent. It really is a beautiful area though, and being out on the pond made the winter trip worth the while.

I really could have used some kick wax and some fatter skis, but those are both on me.

TJsName
03-03-2014, 02:37 PM
Parking area was plowed last week. Deep and narrow so not room for too many cars. Parking also available at the maintained end of Bennett st which theoretically would allow access via the loop road though I have not hiked through that way to confirm.

Did you and Cynthia continue down the other end of Flat Mtn pond? It wasn't clear to me from your report, but we definitely were following two pairs of descending snowshoes tracks. Your tracks on the ponds became inverted as the loose snow blew away, which looked pretty cool.

peakbagger
03-03-2014, 04:27 PM
I think Stagger Lee may be referencing the Lost Pass Ski from Flat mountain Pond up the old railroad grade to Lost Pass and the beaver pond. From there folks had flagged a route that eventually came out on the Waterville valley ski touring system. VFTT long ago did group hike on the route.

sardog1
03-03-2014, 06:42 PM
I think I'll throw in this caution for the benefit of anyone unfamiliar with Flat Mountain Pond. It's wise to maintain a safe distance from the dam at the southern end during the winter. Don't trust the inviting snow to be supported uniformly by thick ice – it's not. And it's also worth watching your step at the northern end if you venture onto the ice.

TJsName
03-03-2014, 07:21 PM
I think I'll throw in this caution for the benefit of anyone unfamiliar with Flat Mountain Pond. It's wise to maintain a safe distance from the dam at the southern end during the winter. Don't trust the inviting snow to be supported uniformly by thick ice it's not. And it's also worth watching your step at the northern end if you venture onto the ice.

This is clearly good advice. There is a distintive sag where the water moves that we avoided for the first quater mile from the shelter. There was open water by the shelter actually, so not a bad spot to winter camp. We ran into issues with shrub traps on the nothern end, and I assume we skied right over the dam.

bryan
03-06-2014, 03:32 PM
Did you and Cynthia continue down the other end of Flat Mtn pond? It wasn't clear to me from your report, but we definitely were following two pairs of descending snowshoes tracks. Your tracks on the ponds became inverted as the loose snow blew away, which looked pretty cool.,

we headed north around the pond on the trail, when we could follow it, then broke off for our bushwhack up flat. coming down we came straight back down the ridge off flat to the pond and walked back south across it rather than using the trail. the views from out on the pond were pretty awesome.

bryan