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Trail Conditions as of April 29, 2017 for Basin and Saddleback loop

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  • Trail Conditions as of April 29, 2017 for Basin and Saddleback loop

    The High Peaks are clearly in transition and this makes conditions deceptive and unpredictable. Welcome to spring in the mountains. Probably will be different again in a week or two but here is an update.

    -Recommending snowshoes. For other mountains in the area word of mouth suggests this might not be universally true but for Basin and Saddleback I would strongly encourage it as we wore them at least as much as we didn’t; expect a fair amount of on and off depending on the section of trail. Mostly snow above 3500ft and even where “monorail” is forming along the trail it is still fairly soft and not yet compacted into ice, as such limited need for microspikes. Active water flow under snow makes for unpredictable footing and snowshoes greatly reduce risk of breaking through although even with snowshoes this is pretty commonplace to break through knee to thigh deep. Extra caution is required as the unpredictable snow is still obscuring the terrain of the trail and thus drops and ledges where the snow is particularly weak can be masked. These conditions are valid from the Jct with the trail to Gothics coming from Ore bed Bk. through to the end of the Shorty Short cut and even somewhat beyond. Basins steep south face through to the end of Shorty Shortcut are particularly sketchy.

    -expect fairly high water levels at all crossings although nowhere was it impassible assuming your comfortable with footholds that are submerged 1-3”. Johns Brook would be the most difficult, it is probably not safe at the usual crossing although we spotted some areas where an attempt could be made if you accept wet feet for good footing. Instead following the south bank upstream (SW) you will come to a downed tree to make your crossing. A very brief bushwhack NE on the opposite bank will bring you to a rough trail past some wreckage of the old bridge and ultimately the true trail.

    [17/46] Giant, Rocky Peak Ridge, Gothics, Armstrong, Upper Wolf Jaw, Lower Wolf Jaw, Big Slide, Cascade, Porter, Wright, Algonquin, Iroquois , Marcy, Skylight, Colden, Colvin and Blake.