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Ascent of Mount Dartmouth on 2020-06-20

Climber: Map Man

Date:Saturday, June 20, 2020
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Mount Dartmouth
    Location:USA-New Hampshire
    Elevation:3727 ft / 1135 m

Ascent Trip Report

#82 on the NH Hundred Highest list. We started from Jefferson Notch, finding a convenient parking space on the west side of the road and immediately headed into the woods. After pushing through some young growth, we bushwhacked through semi-open woods which tightened occasionally. We passed a large boulder, then entered a region of intermittent blowdown patches, which we either skirted around or found a route through. As the terrain steepened, we found some good views across to the Presidentials from the blowdowns. We crossed a wet, mossy area on a flat shoulder, then headed up a much steeper slope where the woods were very open. We climbed through an unavoidable blowdown patch, then turned more south as the hill rounded out and meandered through some fern glades to the summit of Millen Hill. We signed in to the summit register and stopped to apply bug spray, since by this point, the black flies were absolutely ferocious. We then changed compass bearing and descended sharply toward the col with Mt. Dartmouth. The woods were still pretty open, but we hit a thicket in the col. With no way around, we pushed through and soon popped back out into even more open woods as we started climbing again. As we approached the first shoulder of Dartmouth, we climbed up through another blowdown patch and found a nice view of the Northern Presidentials and decided to stop for a lunch break here. We continued on and reached a large clearing on the 1069m knoll shown on the USGS topo. Here we found an unexpected panoramic view. Don't miss this spot; in addition to the amazing up-close view of the whole Presidential ridge line, there is also a good view north toward the Kilkenny region. We turned and bushwhacked along the very flat ridge crest through beautiful open fern glades. We heard some thunder in the distance, but the skies were still blue and we hoped it wouldn't reach us. We changed compass bearing slightly when we started upslope again at the end of the long plateau. The woods remained beautifully open. On the way up, we passed a blue-painted wooden stake. Upon reaching a higher shoulder just east of the summit, we circumvented a tangled blowdown patch and hiked toward the summit through tall ferns. We soon reached the highpoint and found the register, although we didn't stay long, since the black flies came out in apocalyptic force and didn't seem to mind our bug spray. As we descended, the skies turned darker and it started to sprinkle lightly as we walked. We had almost made it back to the viewpoint on the knoll when it suddenly downpoured. We tried to take shelter under a spruce tree, but the rain beat down on us and everything we were carrying got drenched. The rain lasted about 15 minutes, including a brief bout of dime-sized hail. The rain slowed and we walked back out into the clearing to see the Presidentials in the clear. We started descending the way we came, but then decided to turn further north to bypass Millen Hill on the way back. We dropped north of the col and continued across the hillside through very open fern forest. We emerged on the road just north of the notch and ran into some hikers who had come from Jefferson and told us it didn't even rain over there!
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:1237 ft / 376 m
    Total Elevation Loss:1237 ft / 376 m
    Round-Trip Distance:4.7 mi / 7.6 km
    Quality:7 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Bushwhack
    Weather:Thunderstorm, Hot, Calm, Partly Cloudy
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:1067 ft / 325 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 727 ft / 221 m; Extra: 340 ft / 103m
    Loss on way in:340 ft / 103 m
    Distance:2.5 mi / 4 km
    Route:bushwhack
    Start Trailhead:Jefferson Notch  3000 ft / 914 m
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:897 ft / 273 m
        Loss Breakdown:Net: 727 ft / 221 m; Extra: 170 ft / 51m
    Gain on way out:170 ft / 51 m
    Distance:2.2 mi / 3.5 km
    Route:bushwhack
    End Trailhead:Jefferson Notch  3000 ft / 914 m
Ascent Part of Trip: Mt. Dartmouth

Complete Trip Sequence:
OrderPeak/PointDateGain
1Millen Hill2020-06-20 a 
2Mount Dartmouth2020-06-20 b1237 ft / 377 m
Total Trip Gain: 1237 ft / 377 m    Total Trip Loss: 1237 ft / 377 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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