Ascent of Mount Cardigan on 2019-09-08

Climber: Map Man

Date:Sunday, September 8, 2019
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Mount Cardigan
    Location:USA-New Hampshire
    Elevation:3123 ft / 951 m

Ascent Trip Report

An afternoon hike to try out the Holt Trail, which we had never climbed before. It lives up to its reputation. After we passed Grand Junction, it was obvious that the trail didn't receive much use. The footway was very narrow and not obvious. It starts out following the brook closely, ascending gently with short descents along the sidehill, then begins to ramp up and get progressively steeper. The serious part commences with a scramble up a split ledge in the forest. On our visit, there was a sign at the Cardigan Lodge with a photo of this ledge warning not to bushwhack around it because of bee nests. The ledge was damp, and there wasn't much to hold onto other than the small crevice. It was extremely steep and was one of the hardest spots on the trail. Past that, there is nothing too severe for a while. There is a bouldery and very steep section leading up to the first ledges. There are excellent views from the ledges as the trail alternates between open rock and forest. It continues to be very steep and arduous, but nothing really dangerous. After crossing a flat area with the summit in view ahead, the second treacherous section appears. This is a series of extremely angled ledges where a slip would send you all the way to the bottom. There are not that many handholds, so you must grip very carefully. It would be a terribly poor idea to attempt this after a rain. The final pitch leads right up to the summit. We hung out for a while on top, where we had been many times before. Today it was a bit windy and cool. It was mostly cloudy, but the views were still very clear. We descended on the classic route, Clark Trail down to Cathedral Forest Trail ("Holt-Clark Cutoff") to Grand Junction and back out the lower section of Holt Trail.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:1771 ft / 539 m
    Total Elevation Loss:1771 ft / 539 m
    Round-Trip Distance:4.8 mi / 7.7 km
    Quality:10 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail
    Weather:Cool, Breezy, Partly Cloudy
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:1751 ft / 533 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 1731 ft / 527 m; Extra: 20 ft / 6m
    Loss on way in:20 ft / 6 m
    Distance:2.2 mi / 3.5 km
    Route:Holt Tr
    Start Trailhead:AMC Cardigan Lodge  1392 ft / 424 m
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:1751 ft / 533 m
        Loss Breakdown:Net: 1731 ft / 527 m; Extra: 20 ft / 6m
    Gain on way out:20 ft / 6 m
    Distance:2.6 mi / 4.2 km
    Route:Clark Tr/Cathedral Forest Tr/Holt Tr
    End Trailhead:AMC Cardigan Lodge  1392 ft / 424 m

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