Hiking Trail Conditions Report
Peaks North Isolation, Mt. Isolation, NH
Trails: Rocky Branch Trail, bushwhacks, Isolation Trail, Davis Path, Isolation Spur
Date of Hike
Date of Hike: Thursday, January 13, 2022
Parking/Access Road Notes
Parking/Access Road Notes: Lot was plowed and in good shape. Two other cars when I arrived at 9am. 
Surface Conditions
Surface Conditions: Snow - Unpacked Powder, Snow - Drifts 
Recommended Equipment
Recommended Equipment: Snowshoes, Light Traction 
Water Crossing Notes
Water Crossing Notes: Water crossings are ice bridged and/or fairly obvious rock hops. Didn't have any trouble. Note that the EH whack has numerous drainages and there are some wet/soft spots lurking under the snow. 
Trail Maintenance Notes
Trail Maintenance Notes:  
Dog-Related Notes
Dog-Related Notes:  
Lost and Found
Lost and Found:  
Comments: Had a few objectives for the day, notably some bushwhacking as well as peakbagging to both North Isolation summit for my Trailwrights 72 finisher (4293', aka Montalban Ridge North Peak) and then the main Mt Isolation summit. Started off from Rocky Branch TH in spikes, then at the height of land ("T") switched to snowshoes and started the Engine Hill whack. Previous tracks/prints were occasionally found but I mostly broke out a new path, staying pretty straight and true to one of the lower elevation "known" whack routes - it gets you through the multiple glade areas but puts you back out on Iso trail somewhat early. Seems people have not necessarily been using the EH whack since the Iso trail appeared to be decently boot packed, and one other hiker I ran into (no snowshoes) had taken the full trails proper to Isolation summit. Heading up after exiting the whack I missed the other short whack to avoid the 1st and 2nd of the remaining 3 water crossings (that short whack wasn't tracked out) so I just did the extra crossings - they were no big deal, really. Once at the Iso/Davis junction I turned right and made the out/back to North Isolation summit. This section of Davis Path was essentially virgin unbroke trail, and I shoved my way through upwards of a foot of powder. Near the summit it was a quick 5 minutes out/back to the true summit (to the west of the trail). Still in snowshoes, I backtracked then continued along Davis Path to the main Iso summit. Snow in the trail continued to be soft/choppy and I was glad to have on the snowshoes. After summitting, I backtracked along Davis and at the first col made a hard right into the drainage to start the Iso Express whack for the descent. There were faint tracks here and there, but again like the EH whack I was mainly breaking a new route. This cuts a little mileage (< a mile) but probably didn't save any time due to my frequent stops for route finding. I was also happy to be going down the Express and not up it. After the descent and rejoining Iso East, it was just backtracking through EH again. Once back on the final segment of trail to descend Rocky Branch, I finally took off my snowshoes and put micros back on, as the lower sections are a little bony still. All in all a nice adventure!  
Name: Eric H 
Date Submitted
Date Submitted: 2022-01-13 
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