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Trail Conditions

Trip Log


Mt. Israel
Sandwich, NH

Trailheads, measurements, times, distances, and maps are all approximate and relative to the hike(s) as shown below.

Looking at Mt. Israel (and Mt. Chocorua beyond it) from the false summit, along the Wentworth Trail

Route: Wentworth Trail

Knowing that the trail had been broken out prior to the most recent snowstorm, I decided to ascend the Wentworth Trail to Mt. Israel on a sunny Sunday afternoon.

The road leading to the Mead Base Camp was only plowed halfway across the field, so the hike was a bit longer than usual. With the dead end nature of the road this way, there was very limited parking.

The roadwalk proved to be the most challenging trail breaking of the hike - the wind was whipping powder into the treelined road, resulting in deep snow. By the time I arrived at the actual trailhead, my back and hip were already sore (which, along with breaking trail through 6-24" of snow, would slow me down big time).

Fortunately the trail wasn't as bad once I entered the woods - there was about 6" of powder to pack. The trail was fairly easy to follow early on, as there are enough blazes to navigate one through even the windblown sections.

I found the steeper portions of the trail to be a bit challenging, as the sticky snow (mid 30s, direct sunlight) was covering the crampons on my snowshoes.

Once I arrived at the false peak, the trail (due to the winds) and the blazes (painted on the ledges if I recall) disappeared. Fortunately, I had been up here before, so I knew were to find the little opening in the spruce.

Arriving in the somewhat open col, I completely lost the trail. The worst part was that this portion of the trail is on the eastern side of the ridge, which means a lot of the windblown snow accumulates here. Not only that, but it was spruce trap heaven (by some strange luck, I didn't fall into one). After looking around a bit, I was able to find an opening in the spruce with an ankle high blaze and continue up the trail.

Arriving at the windblown summit, I was greeted with tremendous views in many directions - from the northern Ossipee Range to the Squam Range. One of my favorite things about this view is that much of it shows no human evidence - from the high tensions on Sandwich Notch Road to an area presumably in North Sandwich, nothing in the middle shows any house, cleared field, ski trail, or anything.

After taking in the view, I headed down, sore back/hip and all. While my tracks had held up well on the trail, portions of the path I packed along the road were already wiped clean by windblown snow.

Hike Ratings
Getting To Trailhead: Moderate
Destination: Mt. Israel
Length: Moderate
Steepness: Moderate
Navigation: Difficult
Views: Excellent
Crowds: Minimal

Hike Stats
Date Hiked: Sunday, March 2, 2008
Hike Commenced: 12:23 PM
Parking Elevation: 900'
Destination: Mt. Israel
Ascent Commenced: 12:33 PM
Summit Reached: 2:23 PM
Time Elapsed: 01:50
Trailhead Elevation: 950'
Summit Elevation: 2,630'
Distance: 2.1 miles
Vertical Gain: 1,780'
Hike Ended: 4:13 PM
Hike Time Elapsed: 03:50
Hike Vertical Gain: 1,940'

Wentworth Trail trailhead at the Mead Base Camp

Looking northwest at Mt. Moosilauke and the Sandwich Dome from the Mt. Israel summit

Directions to trailhead: Take Route 109 into Center Sandwich. Route 113 will enter on your right and bear left shortly thereafter. Go straight onto Grove Street instead, bear left onto Diamond Ledge Road. Parking at the Mead Camp.

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