NewEnglandTrailConditions.com
NewEnglandTrailConditions.com:
MA
|
ME
|
NH
|
RI/CT
|
VT
|
Ski
Hiking Trail Conditions Report
Peaks
Peaks Baldpate Mountain - West Peak, ME
Trails
Trails: Appalachian Trail
Date of Hike
Date of Hike: Thursday, January 18, 2024
Parking/Access Road Notes
Parking/Access Road Notes: Parked at the Grafton Notch lot off ME 26. This large, paved lot is plowed. We did not visit the privies, but there are two. Kiosk. I think this is normally a fee lot ($5) in summer with an iron ranger. I rarely come in summer… 
Surface Conditions
Surface Conditions: Snow - Unpacked Powder, Snow - Drifts 
Recommended Equipment
Recommended Equipment: Snowshoes 
Water Crossing Notes
Water Crossing Notes: Water points are still mostly open due to lack of traffic. Snowshoes crossed all these small openings without issue. 
Trail Maintenance Notes
Trail Maintenance Notes:  
Dog-Related Notes
Dog-Related Notes: My dog did fine. He needed some help getting up some larger steps (he’s 65 LBS but short) due to the lack of footbed. 
Bugs
Bugs:  
Lost and Found
Lost and Found:  
 
Comments
Comments: Out and back to West Baldpate using the Appalachian Trail (AT).

The start of the trail found us rejoicing as there was one fresh set of snowshoe tracks ahead of us. Snow down low was around 6 inches and very light, fluffy. This joy was short lived as the snow rapidly increased in depth and one set of tracks meant we had to help break trail as well.

The shoulder section around Hedgehog Mtn was the most challenging as snow was around a foot and a half and soft. Non-supportive. Many times we sunk to our shins due to lack of a base track. We wobbled through up to the shelter. We did visit the shelter so that is broken out as well. The shelter had quite a bit of snow blown onto the floorboards. I used the available broom to try to clear it off but some was frozen solid and would not budge.

After the shelter, in true Maine fashion, the climb really begins. Snow levels started around 2 feet increasing to 3 feet at the summit. Though the track before us was tremendously helpful, we still struggled in getting up the soft snow slopes. Powdery snow is beautiful, but not good for trying to kick step up. My partner slid multiple times trying to get up larger steps. I just either dug my knees into the snow or used trees to haul myself up. Blazes get much harder to follow after the shelter as well. They are quite faded and much less frequent. Most of the trees above 3200 feet have snow blown right on their trunks making following the 6x2 inch WHITE markers impossible. We finally encountered the fella who broke trail in front of us. He warned that he had inadvertently gotten off trail on the ascent (the same spot I always do as well), but was able to follow the trail on the descent. We thanked him for his tremendous trail breaking effort.

The summit viewpoint was covered in very icy snow. Unbreakable crust. Snowshoes held traction enough for photos and quick retreat back to the protection of the trees.

Even though the three of us used snowshoes door to door, the trench is nowhere near ready to be spiked. It will take many more snowshoers to firm up the base to make the snow sidewalk super-highway.  
Name
Name: Remington34 
E-Mail
E-Mail:  
Date Submitted
Date Submitted: 2024-01-18 
Link
Link: https:// 
Bookmark and Share Disclaimer: Reports are not verified - conditions may vary. Use at own risk. Always be prepared when hiking. Observe all signs. Trail conditions reports are not substitutes for weather reports or common sense.

Copyright 2009-2024, All Rights Reserved