Ascent of Owls Head on 2013-09-07

Climber: Michael Berger

Other People:Solo Ascent
Date:Saturday, September 7, 2013
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Owls Head
    Location:USA-New Hampshire
    Elevation:4025 ft / 1226 m

Ascent Trip Report

Started out a little past 6 AM. It was a bit chilly, but the weather was great. I was trying to decide weather to do the bushwhack from Black Pond to avoid the water crossings. Just before reaching the Black Pond Trail, I met up with another solo hiker and we started talking about our plans - we were both going to Owl's Head. I asked if she wanted to join me on the bushwhack. I'm very comfortable bushwhacking, but I was glad to have company since bushwhacking solo approaches 'don't do stupid things' that my wife makes me promise when I solo hike. We ended up doing most of the hike together as we matched pace pretty well. She was great company for a long grind of a hike. The bushwhack was wet and muddy in spots, but for the most part we stayed dry and it was fairly open woods making for relatively easy bushwhacking. I was heading for the second big water crossing so I could see what it looked like. It didn't look too bad, but it is a big crossing. The rest of the hike to the slide was uneventful and pleasant with occasional muddy trail, but mostly smooth and dry. The slide was tough in the middle section with poor footing in lots of gravel and loose scree over very steep trail. I was worried about making rocks start rolling and hurting someone lower down. This turned into my least favorite trail that I've done in this quest. We got to the top and there was enough of a herd trail to easily follow to both the old and new summits. On our descent, we met about a dozen others heading up. Going down the slide was even more stressful than going up, but no mishaps. On the way back, I decided to skip the bushwhack and check out the full trail and the two big water crossings. The water was low enough that the crossings were fairly easy. I actually went in with the water over both boots, but that happened while I was looking for a crossing spot; not while actually crossing. Thanks to those folks who marked some good crossing spots with small cairns on the river rocks. Those were big crossings. By the end of the hike, my feet hurt and my legs were really tight. This hasn't happened to me in a long time. The only thing I can think of is that the long miles of flat hiking was responsible for the unusual soreness. I was glad to get back to the car. 17 1/2 miles in 9 1/2 hours - pretty good for this trip.
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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