Ascent of Mount Deception on 2019-11-09

Climber: Map Man

Date:Saturday, November 9, 2019
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Mount Deception
    Location:USA-New Hampshire
    Elevation:3671 ft / 1118 m

Ascent Trip Report

#81 on the NH 100 Highest. We were a bit unprepared for this one. We did not realize that the White Mountains had received significant snowfall. There was about 6" of power at the lower elevations and slightly more at the summit and all we had were regular hiking boots. It was a bit slippery and we got soaked on the way down, but overall we made it to the summit and back without too much trouble. Following a previous report, we drove 2.3 miles up Cherry Mountain Road from the south and parked at campsite #7, where there was a party of campers out in the cold weather. We walked to the back of the clearing, dropped down an embankment, and crossed a brook. We headed into the open hardwoods on a compass bearing to the west peak. There were quite a few small streams and wet areas to get across in the gentle lower slopes. After 0.3 miles, we joined an old road and followed it briefly before diverging to the left. We continued uphill through very sparse trees. It was pretty easy going as the slope gradually increased. We got quite far up the mountainside before the woods transitioned to conifer, and even then, it was still beautifully open. After one very steep pitch, we crossed a flat shoulder with a blowdown patch, then continued up to the steepest and tightest section yet, which still wasn't that bad. It was short-lived, and we soon came back out into open woods and gentle slopes below the summit of the west peak. As we approached the highest point, we came out into a messy blowdown patch that was tricky to walk through with the snow. As we passed by the top, we found a great viewpoint to the east and south. The view was open toward the Presidentials, which were very frosty. We could see down into Crawford Notch, up at the Willey Range, and toward Mt. Hale and the Twin Range. The very top of Mt. Lafayette was also visible. After taking a short break at the viewpoint, we started toward the true summit. After exiting the thick blowdown patch, we found a clear path toward the north side of the ridge. We dropped down and followed the north slope, as the top of the ridge seemed to be infested with blowdowns. Every time we tried to get closer to the ridgecrest, we ran into another large blowdown patch and had to stay to the north. The blowdowns continued all the way to the summit, and eventually we had to enter the patch to find the summit. We wandered around for a while through the fallen trees before locating the highest point. Sadly, we were unable to locate the summit register despite a lot of searching while eating lunch. We are certain we were on the highest point, however, so our theory is that the canister was either not near the summit or was trapped in a pile of blowdowns. We headed back along our tracks in the snow toward the col between the two summits, then decided to avoid the blowdown patch on the west peak by contouring around the north side. This wasn't too much easier, as the slope was steeper and it was slower going. We eventually made it back around and intersected our route up on that flat shoulder below the top. We followed our footprints all the way back down.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:1912 ft / 582 m
    Total Elevation Loss:1912 ft / 582 m
    Round-Trip Distance:4.4 mi / 7.1 km
    Quality:7 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Bushwhack, Snow on Ground
    Weather:Cold, Calm, Clear
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:1892 ft / 576 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 1752 ft / 534 m; Extra: 140 ft / 42m
    Loss on way in:140 ft / 42 m
    Distance:2.3 mi / 3.7 km
    Start Trailhead:Camp Site #7  1919 ft / 584 m
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:1772 ft / 540 m
        Loss Breakdown:Net: 1752 ft / 534 m; Extra: 20 ft / 6m
    Gain on way out:20 ft / 6 m
    Distance:2.1 mi / 3.4 km
    End Trailhead:Camp Site #7  1919 ft / 584 m
Ascent Part of Trip: Mt. Deception

Complete Trip Sequence:
1Mount Deception-West Peak2019-11-09 a 
2Mount Deception2019-11-09 b1912 ft / 583 m
Total Trip Gain: 1912 ft / 583 m    Total Trip Loss: 1912 ft / 583 m
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

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

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