Ascent of Mount Carrigain on 2012-02-19

Climber: Matt DiFrancesco

Others in Party:Michael Petcher
Date:Sunday, February 19, 2012
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Mount Carrigain
    Location:USA-New Hampshire
    Elevation:4680 ft / 1426 m

Ascent Trip Report

I had hoped to hit Madison/Adams, but the wind forecast (once NOAA decided to update things properly) nixed that one. I was kicking around either the Hancocks, Pass/Whiteface, or Carrigain. With the forecast for ample sun, I was leaning toward Carrigain. Winds were supposed to be stiff, but out of the NW, so things should be sheltered nicely until at least Signal Ridge, if not until the summit itself. Saturday morning Petch declared he was going to hit up Carrigain for his winter 48 too, so that sealed it.

My goal was to be on-trail at 8:00 AM while Petch (and it turns out Steve too) were shooting for 8:30. I arrived at the trailhead around 8:15.

Petch and Steve were about ready to go, so I grabbed my stuff, we took a picture, and were off along the herd path along the river (not the road) right at 8:30. After following the herd path for about 1 mile, we cut up to the road, right at the major washout section which has been nicely repaired. My guess is the grade is going to be left like this.

We hit the summer trailhead in about 45 minutes. A brief break and we charged along the trail. We hit the junction around 9:50.

To this point is pretty moderate, gaining only about 1000 feet since the parking lot (the winter one), in 3.7 miles. Soon the climbing starts, there is nearly 4000 feet of climbing in the 7 miles of this route. Slowly but surely we chugged up the mountain, taking frequent breathers (my fault, sorry if you guys wanted to keep moving!) at the limited peek-though view points that offer great views of Mount Lowell.

We eventually crested Signal Ridge, where the views were OK but no where near what they can be. You see, the weather men were all wrong: the skies were not sunny, but mostly cloudy. The lower elevations were OK, but the higher summits apparently all had clouds...

There was no wind until we got up on the tower, where there was enough to limit our time hanging out up there. We sat below the tower (where the wind was pretty much non-existant) and ate for a while, then headed down.

Nothing much to report on the descent. We guessed we would be back at the cars around 4PM and sure enough we hit the cars at 3:52. We took the Sawyer River Road the whole way this time instead of the herd path. Sub 7.5 hours for 14 miles and 3900 feet of gain. Not bad!

Trails were just like all the others right now: hard packed, rocks all hidden, and thus FAST. Microspikes were perfect, only minor drifting along Signal Ridge. We all carried snowshoes for 14 miles. Another free ride for them.

Good day out, too bad the sunny summits forecast wasn't true. The weathermen were all wrong on the sky cover Sunday and Monday...

All pics:
Summary Total Data
    Elevation Gain:3983 ft / 1213 m
    Extra Gain:100 ft / 30 m
    Distance:14 mi / 22.5 km
    Route:Sawyer River Road, Signal Ridge Trail
    Trailhead:Sawyer River Road/Rt. 302  897 ft / 273 m
    Quality:4 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Maintained Trail, Snow on Ground
    Gear Used:
    Weather:Cool, Windy, Overcast
Windy on summit
Ascent Statistics
    Time Up:4 Hours 20 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Time Down:2 Hours 45 Minutes
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Matt DiFrancesco
Click Here for a Full Screen Map
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. accepts NO responsibility or liability from use of this data.

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