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peakbagger
04-20-2015, 08:46 AM
Kind of odd getting used to a normal winter and normal spring conditions after a couple of years of early springs. I hiked the Kinsmans this weekend and the snowpack is still quite deep and the monorail less pronounced. Not sure why its like this this year or maybe I just caught conditions a little different this year?. On this hike the monorail is not elevated from the surrounding rotten snow. In the past generally the monorail would maintain a reasonable width until the point where the snow pack on either side has dropped down leaving an elevated ridge. Once that happened, then the monorail would start deteriorating to the point where it became a exercise in futility to stay on top of it. On this last hike with snow shoes the actual packed monorail had already deteriorated to the point where despite the trail being in trench in spots, it was quite easy to miss the crest and posthole with snow shoes off the side.

Given the forecast for the week, I expect the snow conditions will change vastly by next weekend, so maybe its time to revisit south facing slope or drag the kayaks out of storage and give them a new coat of varnish. :rolleyes:

sardog1
04-20-2015, 10:51 AM
This might be the week to combine hiking and kayaking, if you're willing to schlep a boat up the trail and foolhardy enough to ride it back down in the torrent. :eek:

Ice went out locally this weekend – I'm now twenty-four hours late with my paddle oiling ...

peakbagger
04-20-2015, 11:09 AM
I saw on the news that the Kenduskeg race was delayed due to the course being mostly ice. I have met many a hard core paddler over the years with their dream list of streams that needed just the right high water conditions to pull a run off.

TJsName
04-20-2015, 12:17 PM
Kind of odd getting used to a normal winter and normal spring conditions after a couple of years of early springs. I hiked the Kinsmans this weekend and the snowpack is still quite deep and the monorail less pronounced. Not sure why its like this this year or maybe I just caught conditions a little different this year?. On this hike the monorail is not elevated from the surrounding rotten snow. In the past generally the monorail would maintain a reasonable width until the point where the snow pack on either side has dropped down leaving an elevated ridge. Once that happened, then the monorail would start deteriorating to the point where it became a exercise in futility to stay on top of it. On this last hike with snow shoes the actual packed monorail had already deteriorated to the point where despite the trail being in trench in spots, it was quite easy to miss the crest and posthole with snow shoes off the side.

Given the forecast for the week, I expect the snow conditions will change vastly by next weekend, so maybe its time to revisit south facing slope or drag the kayaks out of storage and give them a new coat of varnish. :rolleyes:

This is what we ran into going down the Jewel trail on Thursday. Granted, the trail hadn't seen a ton of use recently, it was still well packed out, just with a crummy, slightly obscure monorail surrounded by 2-3 feet of rotten snow! This was a first for me, as I'm used to a soft monorail being accompanied by a lot less snow on the sides. I'll probably keep the snowshoes with the gear for a bit longer. :)

Raven
04-20-2015, 01:22 PM
Interesting observation. I have been wondering the same thing as the monorail seems to be disappearing at about the same rate as the snow on the surrounding ground. Odd. The trails on the standard Carter Dome loop yesterday had no monorail to speak of, just rotten snow or hard pack/ice. Last spring the monorail on the Old Bridal Path in April came to a crisp point at about 4 feet in height.

TCD
04-20-2015, 03:29 PM
No (or few) freeze thaw cycles this winter. Same here in the ADKs. Extremely cold all winter with no thaw. So no consolidation and packing. Snow here at the house (Keene, NY, 1800') has gone very fast after just a little warm weather, because it was still just fluffy.

Mike P.
04-21-2015, 07:26 AM
Thinking it's a couple of weeks slow, more late March than late April. The long range even had some more snow for the higher elevations this week as of yesterday. There's been years where I was on a couple of feet of snow after Memorial Day (one year between Mothers' Day & Memorial Day Rollins Trail had enough to cover some trail markers still) and other years where only a nuisance amount of snow was between Liberty & Little Haystack.

Remember, high wooded ridges & north facing trails will melt last, ridges like F-Ridge south of Little Haystack, Twinway, Garfield Ridge, Wildcat Ridge, Tripyramids. (list is not meant to be all inclusive)

I suspect by early may or Mothers' Day, we'll have a more traditional monorail. Until then, check your DEET expiration, get the kayak ready or hike in Southern New England. Working my way north through CT. Trails between Old Lyme & Manchester are snow free, will be in the Pomfret this weekend & the Roof of RI, the first Saturday in May I'll be on Race and Everett in MA so I'll have an update on 5/3 for that area.

sierra
04-21-2015, 11:57 AM
Same thing on Tecumseh, monorail was secure, but at the same depth as surrounding snow. I got the hang of it, but my dog Bud did not, he was a postholeing champion all day.:eek:

bwangvt
04-21-2015, 12:12 PM
Hi Everyone,

I live in Vermont. Being on vacation this week, I made a date with a friend in NH a few weeks ago to go skiing or hiking on Mt. Washington tomorrow. While we're equipped mentally and with gear for inclement weather, the forecast and snow conditions give us pause. We'd be happy to go for a walk instead with snowshoes and microspikes, and am looking for suggestions for possible places to go. I wanted to got to the Presidentials for the big-mountain feel in the spring with the snow. How much of that dream might I still be able to salvage? Any assistance would be appreciated.

- Ben

TJsName
04-21-2015, 02:15 PM
Hi Everyone,

I live in Vermont. Being on vacation this week, I made a date with a friend in NH a few weeks ago to go skiing or hiking on Mt. Washington tomorrow. While we're equipped mentally and with gear for inclement weather, the forecast and snow conditions give us pause. We'd be happy to go for a walk instead with snowshoes and microspikes, and am looking for suggestions for possible places to go. I wanted to got to the Presidentials for the big-mountain feel in the spring with the snow. How much of that dream might I still be able to salvage? Any assistance would be appreciated.

- Ben

Hi Ben - for starters, read over the most recent reports from here: http://trailsnh.com/lists/New-Hampshire-Presidential-Range.php

Also consider checking out the snow ranger report for Tuckerman Ravine: http://www.mountwashingtonavalanchecenter.org/

Generally, if you are doing a lot of vertical, you'll kind of travel through all the difference types of spring conditions - mud down low, rotten snow, monorail, etc. Some people like to start high, stay high, and stay on the northern slopes (snowier option), other start low, stay low, and stick to southern slows (non-snowy option). Mixing either of those two can result in a very wet and muddy adventure. :)

sierra
04-21-2015, 04:19 PM
Hi Everyone,

I live in Vermont. Being on vacation this week, I made a date with a friend in NH a few weeks ago to go skiing or hiking on Mt. Washington tomorrow. While we're equipped mentally and with gear for inclement weather, the forecast and snow conditions give us pause. We'd be happy to go for a walk instead with snowshoes and microspikes, and am looking for suggestions for possible places to go. I wanted to got to the Presidentials for the big-mountain feel in the spring with the snow. How much of that dream might I still be able to salvage? Any assistance would be appreciated.

- Ben

The OBS forecast does sound like the weather may be dicey up high. There are plenty of hikes you can still do in the area that are more sheltered then the Rockpile. You could climb Jackson ( nice summit) then traverse over to Pierce and descend the Crawford path coming out1/2 mile from your starting point. If the weather is real bad when you get to Mizpah hut, simply descend from the hut and avoid Pierce. The Carters range is nice, sheltered as well. Madison could be an option, its only hairy climbing the cone from the hut, you could decide on that at the hut, its about a half mile climb and it can be done in inclement conditions imo.

bwangvt
04-21-2015, 06:50 PM
You've both been extremely helpful! I'm sure we'll find adventure tomorrow. Thank you!!

BobC
04-21-2015, 07:58 PM
Those were exactly the conditions found on Mt Crawford this past Thursday. No real visibly-defined monorail, but it was more solid in the center, if you could manage to pay attention enough to stay there.