Ascent of Sugarloaf Mountain on 2019-03-08

Climber: Ryan Aschbrenner

Date:Friday, March 8, 2019
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Sugarloaf Mountain
    Elevation:4240 ft / 1292 m

Ascent Trip Report

I purchased a $10 uphill access pass at Sugarloaf guest services, and set out hiking up the ski trails on snowshoes. I went up Windrow and Timberline, which is the hiking route, staying off to the side near the trees to minimize the chance of a collision. The steepest part is on Upper Windrow, but otherwise it’s an easy walk. I went past the top of the upper lift, and up to the top of the summit rocks. The communications tower at the summit was bent over from when it collapsed in high winds a couple of weeks ago.

From there, I took the Sugarloaf Mtn Trail downhill, meeting up with the AT, which I took to Spaulding Mtn. These trails had not been broken out, and the route-finding was fairly difficult at times. With many feet of snow on the ground, the branches that normally overhang the trail were often in the way, obscuring the trail corridor and turning the trail hike into more of a bushwhack. The snow went all the way up to the AT white blazes, and surely many of the blazes were completely hidden. The tops of the trail signs were just poking out above the snow. Fortunately, my snowshoes usually were not sinking in too far, so the hiking itself was enjoyable.

I more-or-less stayed on the AT, seeing a white blaze every once in a while. I’m sure I lost the trail part way up the Spaulding summit cone. The last couple hundred feet up Spaulding were the most difficult part of the hike, as I had a tough time getting traction on the steep slope in the deep snow. I made it to the Spaulding sign at the summit, and enjoyed the view on this bluebird day. I looked to Mt. Abraham, and it was tempting to try reaching that peak as well, but surely unwise given the deep snow and route-finding difficulties. From Spaulding, I followed my tracks back to Sugarloaf, and followed the ski trails back to my starting point.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:2600 ft / 792 m
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Snow on Ground
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles, Snowshoes
    Weather:Cold, Windy, Clear
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:2600 ft / 792 m
    Route:Windrow, Timberline
    Start Trailhead:Sugarloaf ski parking lot  1640 ft / 499 m
Descent Statistics
Ascent Part of Trip: Sugarloaf-Spaulding, Mar 2019

Complete Trip Sequence:
1Sugarloaf Mountain2019-03-08 a2600 ft / 792 m
2Spaulding Mountain2019-03-08 b685 ft / 209 m
Total Trip Gain: 3285 ft / 1001 m    Total Trip Loss: 100 ft / 30 m

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