Ascent of Sam Adams on 2021-05-14

Climber: Jason Rossman

Other People:Solo Ascent
Date:Friday, May 14, 2021
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Sam Adams
    Location:USA-New Hampshire
    Elevation:5585 ft / 1702 m

Ascent Trip Report

My second ascent of Sam Adams, but the first one didn't count for the Trailwrights list because I sprained my ankle on the descent and had to hitch a ride back to my car via the Mt. Washington auto road.

I've done the bottom 1/3 of Airline and the top 1/3, so today I ascended the entire trail up to Gulfside. I passed two guys with skis on their backs. They said they were going to try to ski down King Ravine if the conditions were right. Not sure if they did or not, but not something I would ever do. I took a right on Gulfside and headed for Thunderstorm Junction. Just after the junction, I began the "whack" to Sam Adams. The day started under crystal clear blue skies, but at this point there were storm clouds forming on either side of the ridge. I arrived at the summit and I felt some snow start falling as I was taking some pictures. I quickly wrapped up my photo session and briskly made my way back to the trail. I proceeded on Gulfside as quick as I could, but it was difficult as there was still 6-8 inches of snow on the trail. Shortly after I began descending down Israel Ridge Path, graupel started falling at a good clip. At least it wasn't rain. It let up after about 10 minutes, maybe less. The rest of the way down I could see rain nearby, but it never made its way back to me.

I made my way on to the the Gray Knob Trail. It looked like there hadn't been a person on this trail in a while, but I did come across some bear tracks. The trail was completely covered in snow. Initially it was easily to follow thanks to the cairns. The cairns eventually ended and I came to an open area where it was not clear where the trail continued. I backtracked to make sure I was going the right way, then returned to the open area. I proceeded into the open area and soon spotted human footprints coming from the opposite direction. It appeared that person had the same problem I did because their prints were heading away from where I was coming from. Once I figured out the correct way to go, the trail was fairly easy to follow the rest of the way. The snow wasn't too much of an issue, but I definitely post-holed a few times.

After stopping at the Gray Knob for cabin for lunch, I continued down Lowes Path. This section was probably the slowest descent I've ever done. It was snow and ice, but not enough to make it worth putting on tractions so I was extremely careful. I did fall on my butt once. The trail finally went bare just before it crossed with Randolph path.

I took a bit of a round-about way down as I wanted to cover some trail I hadn't been on before, otherwise the rest of the hike was uneventful. I did discover why it's called Cliffway. A nice easy finish to three solid days of hiking.

START: 8:07am
END: 3:58pm
12.4 miles

#67/Trailwrights 72

Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:4264 ft / 1299 m
    Total Elevation Loss:4260 ft / 1298 m
    Round-Trip Distance:12.4 mi / 20 km
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Bushwhack, Snow on Ground
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles
    Weather:Cool, Breezy
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:4264 ft / 1299 m
    Distance:4.5 mi / 7.2 km
    Route:Airline, Gulfside, Lowe's Path, Israel Ridge, Gulf
    Start Trailhead:1321 ft / 402 m
    Time:2 Hours 53 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:4260 ft / 1298 m
    Distance:7.9 mi / 12.7 km
    Route:bushwhack, Gulfside, Israel Ridge, Randolph, Gray
    End Trailhead:1325 ft / 403 m
    Time:3 Hours 30 Minutes
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Jason Rossman
Click Here for a Full Screen Map
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.

Download this GPS track as a GPX file

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