2-23-13
Parked at 19 MB and did the road walk/ Camp Dodge Cutoff (which appeared to be better tracked out than the actual trail below the split). I wore snowshoes the whole day and found the Imp Trail/ North Carter Trail to be well broken out but almost certainly its too soft for barebooting. At the CMT junction or shortly thereafter I ran into 2 snowshoers who were packing down a couple inches of powder, thanks for making the ascent a bit easier. Note: A single snowshoe track did head north towards North Carter so it's not well broken out but better than nothing.

I saw between 6 and 10 or so hikers heading north along CMT, most wearing snowshoes so the CMT is getting a solid track now. CMT up to Mt. Hight and Carter Dome Trails appeared equally broken out but since the mountains were socked in and a light snow falling I opted for the direct route up Carter Dome. Even in snowshoes there's a number of large drifts and it's pretty easy to slide off the lightly broken snowshoe track.

From Carter Dome down to the notch the trail was quite firm and clear of loose snow from glissaders. I found it to be fine in snowshoes but I can see crampons being helpful for getting purchase in the smooth surface for ascending.

The trail up Wildcat A was decimated by barebooters. I'm not one to complain about postholes but the trail was shredded and it made for numerous awkward foot placements as you had to climb up their knee deep postholes. I'll never understand how some think that's easier than snowshoes with an ascender bar. Thankfully there's an excellent snowshoe track from A to D and I descended the skiiers right and was never hassled about the silly hiking pass. I did see a lot of postholes on the lower trails from barebooters which was a bit disappointing and is a major reason why ski resorts don't want hikers on their ski trails so I tried packing down one of the sets of holes but hopefully a groomer gets them all tonight. Big thanks to those that broke trail and especially to Bill who gave me a ride back to 19 MB after breaking out Isolation. Muchas gracias! Warm temps, light snow and no views, not surprising there were a lot of people on the Carters/ Cats today.
Pat
pcushing21 at yahoo dot com