Ascent of Grand Monadnock on 2011-08-12
|Other People:||Solo Ascent|
|Date:||Friday, August 12, 2011|
|Ascent Type:||Successful Summit Attained|
| Motorized Transport to Trailhead:||Car|
| Location:||USA-New Hampshire|
| Elevation:||3150 ft / 960 m|
Ascent Trip ReportIn order to see as many Thoreau-related sites as possible on the ascent (including the Sarcophagus and Thoreau's Bog), I climbed on the Pumpelly trail, a longer (4.5 miles from trailhead to summit moving almost directly south for much of the early going) route with a more gradual early elevation gain than other more popular paths (i.e. White Dot). To say that this rolling, gently-inclined trail is scenic and tranquil is a gross understatement (I did not encounter another hiker until I was better than 2 miles into my trip). The early going is on a well-marked path with almost no wet patches. After one particularly steep (and increasingly rocky) pitch through a gorgeous varied forest about 40 minutes in, the trail emerges onto open rock with a steady onslaught of humbling views for nearly the last two miles. You can actually see the summit of Monadnock for the entire 2nd half of the Pumpelly hike, a nice motivator when your legs get a bit tired. Plentiful cairns and signs made the 2nd half of the trail easy to follow; perfect weather (with even a touch of a cool breeze) made the push for the summit a real joy. Views on top (which produced the only real drawback for the trip--there must have been 50-75 people milling about the summit) were splendid in all directions. I was even able to find a quite meditation rock near the summit from which to really drink in the experience...
I descended on a different set of trails (White Dot to White Cross) to find Thoreau's 1860 campsite--though I was unsuccessful in my attempt to locate it. Though much steeper than my ascent path, the descent trails were as beautiful and I met some very nice people on the trail.
|Summary Total Data|
| Quality:||7 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)|
| Route Conditions:||Maintained Trail, Bushwhack, Scramble|
| Weather:||Pleasant, Calm, Clear|
Temperatures were in the 60-70 degree range for most of the trip with some high cumulous cloud cover
|GPS Data for Ascent/Trip|
GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks: climbed and unclimbed by Kurt Phaneuf
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