Ascent of Mount Jefferson on 2010-08-22

Climber: Gabriel Couët

Others in Party:Benoit Poirier
Date:Sunday, August 22, 2010
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Mount Jefferson
    Location:USA-New Hampshire
    Elevation:5712 ft / 1741 m

Ascent Trip Report

When we got to Edmands col, Benoît was starting to show signs of fatigue. I reassured him that Jefferson would be the last peak for today and that at the next col, we'd be going down to tree line to find a suitable camping spot. We took a short break at the col before resuming our ascent.

At the fork for the Jefferson loop, I had to wait for Benoît to catch up. I heard voices approaching in the fog and shortly after, a large group of young people passed in front of me towards Madison Hut. I chatted with them as they passed by but these were the only souls we saw before heading up towards Jefferson's summit.

When Benoît caught up, he told me he needed a break so I took off my pack and ate some snacks with him. After 10 minutes or so, we resumed our ascent. It's quite steep and rocky and requires some agility. When I got to the enormous cairn near Jefferson's summit, I waited for Benoît again but when he reached it, he said he didn't want to go bag the peak. I went alone although it's only about 10 meters above the trail. The wind was howling and I had trouble remaining on the summit to read the plaque there.

I then hopped back down to Benoît and we started hiking down to the next col. It was uneventful and we finally reached Sphinx trail and its narrow rocky notch. We had to find a decent camping spot below treeline as soon as possible as it was close to 5:00pm now. Hiking down Sphinx trail proved quite a challenge and I decided it was probably more dangerous to keep going further down for Benoît in his state than to camp a little above treeline.

We went down as far as possible before I spotted a decent spot on the right. It was somewhat exposed to wind but I wasn't concerned with that since we had a Nunatak, one of MEC's sturdiest winter tents. It was hard to setup in wind gusts and battering rain, but we were able to set everything up before my hands got too stiff.

We fired up the stove and boiled some water for our lyo-meals, and retreated inside the tent for the night. I read a few pages out of Xenocide, by Orson Scott Card, waiting for darkness to come. Then I went to sleep, eager for tomorrow's hiking.

View Presidential Traverse August 2010 in a larger map
Summary Total Data
    Elevation Gain:792 ft / 242 m
    Elevation Loss:962 ft / 294 m
    Distance:1.6 mi / 2.6 km
    Quality:6 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail
    Weather:Raining, Cold, Very Windy, Low Clouds
Bad weather, rainy and cold.
Ascent Statistics
    Elevation Gain:792 ft / 242 m
    Distance:0.5 mi / 0.9 km
    Route:Randolph path
    Trailhead:Edmands col  4920 ft / 1499 m
    Time Up:30 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Elevation Loss:962 ft / 294 m
    Distance:1.1 mi / 1.8 km
    Route:AT along Great Gulf
    Trailhead:Somewhere along Sphinx trail  4750 ft / 1447 m
    Time Down:1 Hours 30 Minutes
Ascent Part of Trip: Presidential Traverse (08/2010) (2 nights total away from roads)

Complete Trip Sequence:
1Mount Madison2010-08-22 a
2Mount Adams2010-08-22 b
3Mount Jefferson2010-08-22 c
4Great Gulf Wilderness High Point2010-08-23 a
4Mount Washington2010-08-23 b
5Mount Monroe2010-08-23 c
6Mount Franklin2010-08-23 d
7Mount Eisenhower2010-08-23 e
8Mount Pierce2010-08-23 f

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