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  1. #21

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    I last hit a trail in the NH Upper Valley two weeks ago. It's mud season here. The last time I was out, I wore micro-spikes and stayed on the ice monorail, but even that was sporadic. I met quite a few people out enjoying the trail on a warmish spring day. Unfortunately, they had no spikes, so they just widened the trail, leaving two to six inch mud holes along the edge of the trail. My local trails are all privately owned, I can't help but think the landowners who allowed a 30" trail might be a bit dismayed when they see multiple trails through sections of their land. The sad thing is, the new trails will be just as muddy as the original trail with just a bit more use, so there will just be double the erosion because of a few impatient/thoughtless hikers.

    Moosilauke-Kinsman are further north, with higher elevations, they'll be seeing the same muddy conditions soon. I'm told the trails in southern NH are already drying out, but it's been annoying weather with light rain every other day for the past few weeks.

    The leaves are coming in, try a nice road walk, and it won't be horrible.

  2. #22
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    Plenty of nice dry thawed out trails in the whites, just stay below 3 K and out of deep dark areas. I expect the Belknaps, Cardigan and the Ossipees are in good shape. The Shelburne Trail Club has a nice system of trails with great views and the RMC trails on the south face of the Crescent Range also are a nice option. Unfortunately most folks want the 4K hikes and ridgelines between them.

  3. #23
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    I see on Craig Mains (Hawk) video, that they made it to Galehead and decide to bail after rotten conditions once they dropped down off treeline north of Lafayette.

    The interesting strategy is he and his partner are heading north on the Long Trail as an alternative. This is interesting choice as the LT probably has the same snow conditions.

  4. #24

    Default conditions on AT between Moosilauke and Kinsmans?

    I really think by getting longer (with extensions) msr snowshoes they will stay on top of the rotten snow. For the money they spend in Vermont they could be advancing on the AT


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  5. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by peakbagger View Post
    I see on Craig Mains (Hawk) video, that they made it to Galehead and decide to bail after rotten conditions once they dropped down off treeline north of Lafayette.

    The interesting strategy is he and his partner are heading north on the Long Trail as an alternative. This is interesting choice as the LT probably has the same snow conditions.
    Less snow due to less high peaks, but the downside is the mud when there is no snow. Mud season hiking is ugly anywhere in New England, but the Whites and S Maine would at least be rockier.
    “The man who goes alone can start today; but he who travels with another must wait until that other is ready...”~Henry David Thoreau

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  6. #26
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    If you are unable to view the message below, click here to view this message on our website.
    Are you ready for hiking season?

    Mud season is over! Or is it? While the Friday of Memorial Day weekend typically begins Vermont's hiking season, we have had quite a lot of snow this winter that has prolonged mud season. We are almost done with May, but the snow continues to melt and it just keeps raining.
    Yes, there is still snow in the mountains right now.

    And plenty of it! In the first week of May, the snow stake on Mount Mansfield was showing 69" of snow, which is typical for the first week of March! There was still 42" of snow there three days ago. Killington Resort will be open for skiing this weekend and a couple of skiers still connected the snow patches at Mad River Glen this week. Over in the Adirondacks, ADK is asking folks to stay below 2500' until mid-June, and there are similar conditions in the Green Mountains.
    In addition to the snow, there are tons of blowdowns from fall and winter storms that have not yet been cleared. Our trail adopters and section volunteers were delayed in getting out to clean up their trails this spring due to the late snow and mud. Some of them have said the blowdowns they're seeing are worse than the damage from Hurricane Irene in 2011! Recent reports from trail volunteers show that:

    • Mount Mansfield: There is deep snow starting halfway up the Haselton Trail, enough that snowshoes were needed (May 17). A third of the Hellbrook Trail is still covered by snow (May 22). In fact, there is so much snow on Mansfield, Stowe is pushing back opening the auto toll road until June 1st.
    • Camel's Hump: On the east side of Camel’s Hump, snow on the Monroe Trail starts at the Alpine Junction. On the west side, it’s patchy on the Burrows Trail. 3' of snow is still underfoot on the Long Trail above the Hut Clearing (May 17).
    • Mounts Abraham and Ellen: The Long Trail between Abe and Lincoln Peak still has a fair amount of snow and big mud holes, and still snow up to Ellen (May 21).
    • Bolton area trails: Still lots of snow throughout (May 18).
    • Mount Tabor area trails: Lots of blowdowns on the Green Mountain Trail (May 18).
    • North of Smugglers' Notch: Lots of snow on the Long Trail from Route 108 to Sterling Pond, and snow on the Sterling Pond Trail (May 15).
    • Southern Long Trail: Snow appears to be gone from the Glastenbury and Stratton areas.
    • Northeast Kingdom: Still snow on Middle Mountain and Bald Mountain, particularly on the Mad Brook Trail. Pisgah, Hor, Bluff, Moose, and Wheeler Mountains are snow-free but muddy (May 18).
    • Lower elevations: Still wet.

    What does this mean for hiking?

    Higher elevations currently still have snow so hikers should consider staying below 3500’ for another week or two. Lower elevations may still have muddy conditions, so if you can't turn around, please be prepared to walk through puddles and mud to avoid damaging the surrounding vegetation and widening the trail.
    We share updates on our Trail Updates page and in our Facebook Group so you can always check those before heading out on the trail.
    To help plan your next hike, you can pick up a GMC waterproof map, the Day Hiker’s Guide to Vermont, or the classic Long Trail Guide. New this year, GMC is now offering digital maps of popular trails in Vermont through the Avenza Maps app, available in the App Store and Google Play.
    Or give us a visit/call/email at the GMC Visitor Center and we can help you choose an appropriate hike for the conditions and your skill level. We are open 7 days a week from 9:00am to 5:00pm to answer any questions you may have about hiking on the Long Trail and its side trails, the Appalachian Trail in Vermont, and trails in the Northeast Kingdom.
    Hiking Safety Tips

    Here are a few tips for early season hikers:

    • Plan ahead and let someone know where you will be hiking and when you are expected to return.
    • Carry a map and know which trailhead you need to return to.
    • Bring a warm extra layer as mountain tops are chilly year-round and Vermont’s weather can quickly change. Be prepared for winter conditions if you are hiking above 3500’ in the near future.
    • Water levels in streams and rivers may be higher than normal this time of year so use caution when crossing.
    • Stay hydrated and bring food for long hikes.
    • Bring rain gear; even an emergency poncho or garbage bag will help in a pinch.
    • Carry out what you carry in and help protect Vermont’s special places.

    Other ways to prepare yourself for this hiking season are to take a GMC workshop. We have upcoming offerings including Backpacking 201, Wilderness First Aid, and Women's Intro to Backpacking. You can also join our 14 regional Sections for a group outing to try a new trail and meet like-minded hikers.
    We can't wait to see you out on the trail this year! Keep an eye out for GMC's backcountry caretakers and Long Trail Patrol as they educate hikers in high-use areas and work on improving the trail. And don't worry, soon it will be summer and the trail will look like this:

    Green Mountain Club. © 2018 All rights reserved.
    Green Mountain Club ~ 4711 Waterbury-Stowe Rd. Waterbury Center, VT 05677

  7. #27
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    Thank you rubyvermonter! I read this as I'm a GMC member and I'm reading everything I can to get an idea on conditions in New England for next week. I've seen similar advisories from White Mountains hiker meetup groups too. I'm hoping the warmer weather this weekend improves conditions a little. If anyone is out in the Whites this Memorial Day weekend in general or on the stretch between Moosilauke and the Kinsman in particular - I would love to hear about trail conditions. Thank you very much white blaze!

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    I was in the Mahoosucs yesterday from Dream Lake to Gentian Pond. Lots of blowdown, patches of snow in some spots and running water everywhere on the trail. Definitely wet boots after a few hours. This stretch is around 2500 feet elevation on the south side of the ridge but in softwoods.

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by peakbagger View Post
    I was in the Mahoosucs yesterday from Dream Lake to Gentian Pond. Lots of blowdown, patches of snow in some spots and running water everywhere on the trail. Definitely wet boots after a few hours. This stretch is around 2500 feet elevation on the south side of the ridge but in softwoods.
    Thanks peakbagger! Wow still patches of snow at 2500 feet and on the south side of the ridge . . thinking I might give those waterproof socks a try next week.

  10. #30

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    Hi Rubyvermonter, looks like Camel's Hump is looking good for a trek, albeit some snow patches. Several hikers already made the successful summit. Hikers post holing at Mount Mansfield last week...but next week might be different.

  11. #31

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    Here is to hoping another 3 weeks will help melt any remaining snow and dry up the mud.
    The road to glory cannot be followed with much baggage.
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  12. #32
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    With all this "warm" weather will I even need microspikes? Looks like a rainy warm week coming up.

  13. #33

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    Quote Originally Posted by somers515 View Post
    With all this "warm" weather will I even need microspikes? Looks like a rainy warm week coming up.
    Hard to say. Unlike the more direct routes to the summits of 4K's, the AT doesn't get much winter use so the snow isn't as packed down as much as it is on the peak bagger routes. With the warmer temps and rain, what snow is left will likely be soft, leading to a lot of post holing. By now there has likely been some traffic on that section of trail, so it could be pretty choppy.

    The main issue will be with Black Flies. A lot of water is running down the steep parts of the trail, which is where the Black Flies are breeding. The next couple of weeks will be prime time for those little buggers. The non-steep sections of trail will be very muddy.

    Also, the streams are still running high so any stream crossings will be tricky. If your going down Moosilauke on the Beaver brook trail, that could be very interesting.
    The AT - It has it's ups and downs...

  14. #34
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    Just did a 3 day, 2 night hike over Moosilauke, the Kinsmans and Cannon. There was some sections of ice but with care I was able to get by and didn’t hassle with microspikes. There was a decent amount of mud and some blow downs so expect a slower pace then normal. I suppose I got lucky with decent weather and no bugs. A great trip so far!
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  15. #35

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    I'm planning to do that section too, but SOBO from Franconia.

    I think I'll wait a couple more weeks. Hopefully the trail will dry up some more by then.

    The Black Flies are definitely getting annoying around here.
    The AT - It has it's ups and downs...

  16. #36

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    Quote Originally Posted by Slo-go'en View Post
    I'm planning to do that section too, but SOBO from Franconia.

    I think I'll wait a couple more weeks. Hopefully the trail will dry up some more by then.

    The Black Flies are definitely getting annoying around here.
    Look forward to hearing what conditions you find.
    Starting NoBo from Garfield on the 19th myself.
    The road to glory cannot be followed with much baggage.
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  17. #37
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    Reading the various trail reports from the weekend the snow on the softwood ridgelines has gotten tot he annoyance factor. I am surprised as there are still many snow fields way down the sides of the mountain in the ravines (far more typical of April) I expect Mahoosuc ravine is nasty right now as its the last spot in area to melt out. It erodes from bottom up so crevasses occur some years.

    Then again I was down at or below 3 K on Friday in the far SE corner of the whites (Red Rock mtn) and saw several snow patches on the south side of the ridgeline.

  18. #38

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    Starting Cohos SOBO on Friday, but I walk slow this time of year. That snow has a couple of weeks, but then it has to go, sorry.

    Spent the weekend doing an out and back from Coleman with the family. Squishy, but not as much as a few weeks ago. Just a few patches of snow on the ridge above Panorama Shelter. There were a few of those flies about. I ate three on the walk out before putting my net on.
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  19. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thrifty Endurance View Post
    Hi Rubyvermonter, looks like Camel's Hump is looking good for a trek, albeit some snow patches. Several hikers already made the successful summit. Hikers post holing at Mount Mansfield last week...but next week might be different.
    Thanks for the update. I haven't gotten a recent update on conditions.

  20. #40

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    Well, the summit of Washington and the surrounding peaks will get snow showers tonight and tomorrow, leading to icy trails.

    It hasn't warmed up that much and we've had some cold nights, so not surprising there is still snow lingering.
    The AT - It has it's ups and downs...

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