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Trail conditions for the Sewards

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  • Trail conditions for the Sewards

    Planning to do the Sewards this week - any update regarding trail conditions, snow, ice, etc. would be greatly appreciated. Snow shoes and microspikes? Thanks...
    Nature has music for those who listen...


  • #2
    My son and a friend did Donaldson and Emmons yesterday, Friday, 5/17. They left their car at 10:00 (teenagers!) at the Seward parking lot. The gate is open and the road beyond is in great shape. The trail in is muddy in places but overall is fine until Calkins Creek. They rock hopped across the creek and said it was no problem. They hit snow half way up Donaldson and walked on the spine. It was a major hassle and really slowed them down. Micro-spikes and gators were helpful and they were glad they had them. They didn't bring snowshoes and wish they had but realized they would be taking them off and putting them on at times, but they still felt snowshoes would have helped, especially up high. They slid off the narrow spine with some steps and broke through up to their knees at others. Every 5th step or so they would post hole or slip and each step was carefully placed and tricky to stay right on the tippy top of the narrow spine. Thus slow, slow going! So a late start and bad conditions and thus no Seward this day! The way up Donaldson was tough, the way down to Emmons wasn't bad but going up Emmons was deep snow again. Going over to Seward would have had bad sections too I imagine and the north side would be really bad probably...Snow-free summits though. Tip of the day - bring extra socks for the walk out and plan on very wet feet!


    • #3
      Thanks Festus - the update is much appreciated - you never know what you're going to find at this time of the season.

      Nature has music for those who listen...



      • #4
        Seymour on 5-18. Not as much snow as described by Festus as on D-E-S. Snow spine in shaded areas begin below 3000'. Sunny areas melted to rock. Relatively continuous but occasionally collapsing spine above 3000'. Still 2-3' of packed snow. Most groups going up in boots and plenty of post holing, deep post holes. We had snowshoes though the numerous post holes and icy spine made difficult. Where there was still lots of snow I was high and dry on my snowshoes walking over post holes.

        Walk to Ward Brook LT was relatively dry (I've seen worse, much worse) though we skipped the horse trail section going the old way so can't comment on that. Horse trail section is typically pretty wet.

        Blowdown on the trail to Ward Brook LT. My partner and I cleared a lot of the easy stuff, branches that would tangle your legs, off the trail on our return. People with saws could spend a full day clearing the big stuff since the last tree down is nearly at Ward Brook LT.



        • #5
          Mud season is the ideal time for reading Carl Heimman II's "The Trails of the Adirondacks". For those who want to know more, I reviewed it here:


          • #6
            Do you folks think micro spikes and/or snowshoes would be needed for an attempt at Seymour on June 8? I see the trail goes up the north side, and have heard there was still quite a bit of snow from this last report by Hear the Footsteps.

            Any info or insight is much appreciated.


            • Eddie Fournier
              Eddie Fournier commented
              Editing a comment
              saw the following TR on Alltrails for Seymour, dated yesterday:
              << Morning was nice and cool. We made it from the trail head to the summit in just over 4 hours. no views on the summit because of low cloud cover. bugs were terrible. Ascent was pretty steep and slippery. >>

              no mention of snow/ice

            • FlyFishingandBeer
              FlyFishingandBeer commented
              Editing a comment
              Certain shaded sections along Seward's northern trail can hold snow and ice well into late June, but it shouldn't have any bearing on your hike. Your biggest concern will be mud, rising waters if it rains, and slick rock slabs... so typical Seward, basically.

          • #7
            Thanks guys. Mud and bugs I am
            prepared for. I didnít think there were any water crossings I had to be concerned with though.

            I did SDE around the same time last year. No bugs at all, but crossing Calkins Brook was tricky for some in my group. I rock hopped across fairly easy.

            Where should my concern for rising water if it rains be?

            Thanks again.