Ascent of Owls Head on 2016-10-01

Climber: Michael Stonek

Others in Party:Michelle DeCarlo
Date:Saturday, October 1, 2016
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Carpool
Peak:Owls Head
    Location:USA-New Hampshire
    Elevation:4025 ft / 1226 m

Ascent Trip Report

Michelle and I started at the Lincoln Woods Trailhead at 8:10 AM. We decided not to take the Black Pond route and stick to the longer, but we felt safer, route of the Franconia Brook Trail. The beginning was very flat and easy and later we start to elevate but very gradually, so it is easy going. We were averaging better than 3 miles an hour with barely any need to stop. Even though the trails were well defined, there were absolutely no markers.

The first 5 miles we did in a little over an hour and a half. We gained about 1,000 ft in elevation that we barely noticed. Michelle was leading the way and she got ahead of me a couple of times, but she always waited for me to catch up.

We crossed the creek about 4 times, but it wasn't that bad. Even though it had rained on our drive from NY, apparently it wasn't enough to raise the water levels significantly to make it difficult to cross. But I can imagine the situation could've been different if we had had heavy rains during the prior weeks.

We made it to the base of the slide at 11:30 AM. So far it was easy: 8.1 miles and 2,000 ft of elevation gain in 3 hr 20 min. The tougher part was ahead. We needed to do 1,500 ft of elevation in about a mile.

The slide was pretty open and steep. I knew that here was the only decent views of the whole trip, so I decided to stop, take a break and snap a few pictures. It was the beginning of the fall season and there was some foliage, but not that much. It started late this year.

Michelle had gotten ahead of me because she wanted to avoid a large group of hikers stepping on our toes behind us. She said she was going to wait for me at the peak. When I rested at the top of the slide, this group passed me by. The trail continued to climb to almost the top. Then it flattened out for the last 0.4 miles or so.

At 1 PM I reached the peak. My GPS read 9.3 miles from the start. Michelle, who had waited for me half an hour, was ready to start the descent. I decided to stick around to eat my lunch and chat with a couple of other hikers.

After half an hour I started going down, solo. With Michelle we had discussed if we wanted to come back the same way we went or to take the "bushwhack" through the Black Pond instead. Doing this would've cut off some of the distance and we would've avoided some of the water crossings, but we decided to follow the same route we took getting there.

It was a little adventurous for me the return because I made some mistakes and crossed the creek at the wrong section a couple of times. I was able eventually to find the correct way and made it back to the car at 6:30 PM. I found Michelle sleeping in the car. She said she got there at 5 PM.

The final tally for me was this: 19 miles, 4,100 ft of elevation gain in 10 hr 25 min.

Summary Total Data
    Elevation Gain:5373 ft / 1637 m
    Elevation Loss:5373 ft / 1637 m
    Distance:19 mi / 30.6 km
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Stream Ford
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles
    Weather:Cool, Calm, Overcast
Ascent Statistics
    Elevation Gain:4099 ft / 1249 m
    Extra Loss:1274 ft / 388 m
    Distance:9.3 mi / 15 km
    Route:Lincoln Woods to Franonia Wood to Lincoln Brook Tr
    Trailhead:Lincoln Woods Trailhead  1200 ft / 365 m
    Time Up:4 Hours 50 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Elevation Loss:4099 ft / 1249 m
    Extra Gain:1274 ft / 388 m
    Distance:9.7 mi / 15.6 km
    Route:Lincoln Woods Tr to Franconia Wood Tr to Lincoln B
    Trailhead:Lincoln Woods Trailhead  1200 ft / 365 m
    Time Down:5 Hours 35 Minutes
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

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

Download this GPS track as a GPX file

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