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Ascent of Barron Mountain on 2015-08-17

Climber: Alan Bernier

Date:Monday, August 17, 2015
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Barron Mountain
    Location:USA-New Hampshire
    Elevation:1640 ft / 499 m

Ascent Trip Report

This one was much trickier than I expected in two ways. First, I could see a clear track running up the power lines from the south on satellite images. I thought this would be an ATV trail that I could easily access, but the base of the road had some posted signs so I had to park up the street a ways and follow an unposted access road to the power lines, then walk another 1/4 mile along an overgrown road under the power lines until I got to the ATV track. After 2-3 minutes on the ATV trail, a guy on an ATV came by and informed me that I was on private property. Apparently the whole area is part of a zipline operation that offers canopy tours. I told him that I hadn't seen any signs the way I had come, and since I was about halfway to the peak, he said I could pass this time but not to do it again. I encountered another guy with a transport vehicle a little further up the road, and I had to tell him that I had already gotten permission from his co-worker. This whole time I could hear people shouting and laughing in the woods below me, and I could hear the hiss from the ziplines running.

Once I got to the height of land on the power lines, I figured it would be a steep but straightforward 'whack to the summit, but I was wrong again. I got to within 100 yards and 100 vertical feet of the summit, then I hit a wall of huge, nasty, Spruce blowdowns. It looked like some huge storm had levelled a large section of trees all along and to the west of the summit ridge, and I had to pick and wind my way through the tangle to get to the top.

Once at the summit, I explored a bit in both directions to see if there was a better way down. I went north about 100 yards, but I found more of the same, so I doubled back and headed south. After 100 yards or so, I popped out on a nice ledge with impressive southerly views. You could follow a narrow spine of bare rock south for a little ways from there, but eventually it got steep enough that I had to find my way off the ridge and back to the power lines in order to get back to where I began. I quickly came to a distinct swath of torn up trees, and I carefully lowered myself down the steep and tangled opening until I was back into reasonable woods. From there I navigated my way back to the power lines, and I quickly and uneventfully scooted back off the private property and onto the overgrown road that led back to my car. The whole hike took me about an hour and 45 minutes for about 2 miles round trip.
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