Monroe Brook and Oakes Gulf

April 13, 2021 at 12:00 PM
Name: Jeffrey Fongemie| MWAC
Location: Monroe Brook and Oakes Gulf

No or little snow at the start necessitated carrying skis for the first half mile or so up the Ammonoosuc Ravine Trail. Snow cover is thin low in Monroe Brook and adequate when the drainage opens up. Snowpack hazards were limited to undermined snow with water beneath. Snow cover up high, in the steep upper section of the drainage is mostly complete from one side to the other and could act as a sliding surface, capable of producing an avalanche if loaded by the northeast winds predicted during the upcoming storm on Friday. The snowfield is small, however not insignificant due to the terrain-trap problem below.

Snow cover above 4800 feet is discontinuous consisting of patches of snow mixed with sensitive vegetation and rocks. Our group abandoned skis and walked on the established hiking trails to minimize impact on the vegetation and found that it was easier & faster than trying to link up snow patches.

In Oakes Gulf, we found patches of snow, all of which would require walking on vegetation to access. We declined, opting for better skiing in Monroe Brook.