Ascent of Piper Mountain on 2010-05-15

Climber: Ben Lostracco

Date:Saturday, May 15, 2010
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Piper Mountain
    Location:USA-New Hampshire
    Elevation:2044 ft / 623 m

Ascent Trip Report

The primary reason for this trip was to climb all the peaks in PB"S List "Belknap Range Summits". Excellent trail maps can be purchased in the village of Gilford at the public library.
The plan today was to climb the 5 peaks on the North-South line at the west end of the Range, west of Round Pond and tomorrow the remaining 7 peaks east of Round Pond.

For today's trip I used the parking at the top of Carriage Road as my TH. To get here from Gilford follow the Belknap Mountain Road a good distance to a left turn on Carriage Road ("Belknap Mountain" sign points the way). The Carriage Road climbs the west flank of Belknap on switchbacks to a parking area at about 1700 feet elevation. The Road is gated at the bottom and I had to wait for the attendant to open it at 8h30 hours, one guy told me that the gate is officially opened from 9-6.
This is a very popular hiking destination, when I came out at 14h00 hours the parking area was completely full of cars (over 20).

From the TH I followed a counter clockwise route, going over Piper Mountain to Whiteface Mountain at the south end, then doubled back north all the way to Mont Rowe and returned south, over Gunstock, to the TH.
Overall I class the well maintained trails moderately easy, except for the ridge trail, which descends on the north side of Gunstock, moderately steep ...... overall 8.8 miles, 5 1/4 hours RT.

The summits of Piper and Whiteface are both open rock with numerous cairns, this contrasts with the wooded summit of Belknap which is capped with a Firetower, Communication tower and a number of buildings.
The Gunstock summit is capped with a ski station and a number of buildings, and it offers the best views of all.
The wooded summit of Rowe has a Communication tower and construction is presently underway for an additional tower(s). Also on the open part of the ridge there is a very interesting "Earth Scope" installation. A large network of GPS stations across Western USA, whose purpose is to study the movement of the Earth's crust .... its able to detect movement as little as 1/8.

Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:424 ft / 129 m
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:424 ft / 129 m
    Distance:1 mi / 1.6 km
    Route:white/orange/green tr from carriage rd TH
    Start Trailhead:gilford/TH at top of carriage road parking  1620 ft / 493 m
Descent Statistics
    Route: to whiteface
    End Trailhead:gilford/TH at top of carriage road parking  
Ascent Part of Trip: piper

Complete Trip Sequence:
1Piper Mountain2010-05-15 a424 ft / 129 m
2Whiteface Mountain2010-05-15 b280 ft / 85 m
3Piper Mountain2010-05-15 c664 ft / 202 m
4Belknap Mountain2010-05-15 d562 ft / 171 m
5Gunstock Mountain2010-05-15 e260 ft / 79 m
6Mount Rowe2010-05-15 f260 ft / 79 m
7Gunstock Mountain2010-05-15 g820 ft / 250 m
Total Trip Gain: 3270 ft / 995 m    Total Trip Loss: 240 ft / 72 m

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