Ascent of Mount Jefferson on 2013-08-06

Climber: Michael Berger

Other People:Solo Ascent
Date:Tuesday, August 6, 2013
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Mount Jefferson
    Location:USA-New Hampshire
    Elevation:5712 ft / 1741 m

Ascent Trip Report

Added two more rock piles to my list. I took Caps Ridge up to Jefferson; followed the Gulfside to Adams, returned by Gulfside but avoided going back over Jefferson by taking the Cornice around back to Caps Ridge.

I started out a little before 7 AM - it was a chilly 45° but I warmed up quickly on the trail. The skies were clear and blue on the way up Caps Ridge. I stopped at the first overlook with all the potholes and even just a little into the hike I knew this was going to be good. I really enjoyed going up the Caps - with the great views and great weather, it quickly because one of my favorite trails. I was a little worried since I had heard the Caps could be difficult, but I had either a good foothold or handhold the whole way up, so no problem.

Got a good look at the first cog train of the morning heading up Washington and arriving just a little before I hit the top of Jefferson.

As much as I enjoyed the Caps Ridge, I didn't much enjoy the rest of the trails. Other than the first and last miles, this was a rock-hopping day. But the rocks here are smaller, wobblier, and sharper. This just beat me down both mentally and physically as they day went on. It didn't help that a momentary lapse of concentration sent me down hard to the rocks on my tailbone and right elbow - ouch!!!

I never realized how desolate it is going from Jefferson down through Edmand's Col and up Adams. It reminded me of a sci-fi movie planetscape with just strewn boulders all over. But very cool. I got a real kick out of seeing what looked like patches of fresh snow turning out to be big flats of quartz.

I only saw one person on my way up Jefferson (two if you count the person I saw sitting by the potholes from way up on the top Cap. But between Jefferson and Adams, I saw lots of people along the way.

As I reached Adams, some nasty looking clouds moved in and I feared my good weather was at an end, but nothing came of it and I was dry the whole day.

I thought it would be interesting to take the Cornice trail around Jefferson rather than going up and over Jefferson on my return. The Cornice turned out to be a lot more difficult than it looks. Although there were great views, it was so technically difficult, I had a hard time convincing myself I was enjoying this hike.

I was happy to get back to my new love - the Caps Ridge - but after the beating I took on the Cornice, the descent was a bit less enjoyable that the great ascent.

Overall, this was one of the more difficult hikes I've done. At first, I almost felt like I was cheating by taking Caps Ridge to bag Jefferson and Adams. The trailhead is almost the same height as Monadnock after all. But I feel I earned it honestly after this hike.
Summary Total Data
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Michael Berger
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