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Ascent of Grand Monadnock on 2011-08-12

Climber: Kurt Phaneuf

Other People:Solo Ascent
Date:Friday, August 12, 2011
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Grand Monadnock
    Location:USA-New Hampshire
    Elevation:3150 ft / 960 m

Ascent Trip Report

In 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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Note: GPS Tracks may not be accurate, and may not show the best route. Do not follow this route blindly. Conditions change frequently. Use of a GPS unit in the outdoors, even with a pre-loaded track, is no substitute for experience and good judgment. Peakbagger.com accepts NO resposibility or liability from use of this data.

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