Ascent of Mount Carrigain on 2011-10-10

Climber: Ryan Aschbrenner

Date:Monday, October 10, 2011
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Mount Carrigain
    Location:USA-New Hampshire
    Elevation:4680 ft / 1426 m

Ascent Trip Report

I parked in the lot along Route 302 and hiked two miles along Sawyer River Road (which is currently closed due to Hurricane Irene damage), and next took the Signal Ridge Trail to the summit of Carrigain. From there, I descended along the Desolation Trail and picked up the Carrigain Notch Trail to circle back to the Signal Ridge Trail and finally backtracked to my starting point. The total distance was 17.5 miles.

A short section of Sawyer River Road was extensively damaged by Hurricane Irene in late August of this year. The raging waters cut a twenty-foot deep gorge into the road, and the extent of the damage really has to be seen to be believed. As I passed by, I carefully walked along the edge of the abyss, and hoped the surviving narrow strip of road wouldn't cave in beneath me.

Once I reached the trail, the scenery was exceptional. At lower elevations, the fall colors were near their peak. And as everyone knows, the view from atop Mt. Carrigain is truly awesome, with many dozens of other peaks and vast wilderness visible as far as the eye can see in every direction.

I was surprised how few people were out on the trails today. I only saw three others during this long hike, and didn't see anyone during the final 4.5 hours. I enjoy solitude on the trail, but I'm definitely not accustomed to this.

For those aiming to climb all the 4000 footers, and who wish to complete the list with a great view, Mt. Carrigain would be a good one to end with. I know many have saved it for last. I might have done the same, but today the conditions were just about ideal for seeing the view from Carrigain, so I just had to go for it. I'd hate to save it for last, and then have to wait out one cloudy, rainy day after another when trying to fit in that final hike.
Summary Total Data
    Elevation Gain:3280 ft / 1000 m
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail
    Weather:Pleasant, Breezy, Clear
Ascent Statistics
    Elevation Gain:3280 ft / 1000 m
    Route:Sawyer River Rd & Signal Ridge Tr.
    Trailhead:Route 302  1400 ft / 426 m
Descent Statistics
    Route:Desolation, Carrigain Notch & Signal Ridge Trails

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