Ascent of Wachusett Mountain on 2011-05-08

Climber: Yu-Pu Wang

Other People:Solo Ascent
Date:Sunday, May 8, 2011
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Train
Peak:Wachusett Mountain
    Elevation:1998 ft / 608 m

Ascent Trip Report

A generally nice bicycling to the summit.

It was very cloudy early in the morning, clearing up later. I took MBTA Commuter Rail Fitchburg Line #2405 train to Fitchburg (10:08 am) and started cycling from there. 10+ bikes were on the train, mostly heading for Concord / Walden Pond.

I planned to take Mass Rte 31 and cross over to Mountain Rd via Rocky Pond Rd and Pine Hill Rd. Mass Rte 31 was closed for road work past Cody Rd so I took a detour following directions (Cody Rd -> Notown Rd -> Narrows Rd -> E Rd) to Wachusett Lake junction. A long detour. Then I took Mile Hill Rd to Mountain Rd to the trailhead near the col (elev. 1,385ft) between Wachusett and Pine Hill.

The roads have generally gentle (2-5%) ascent before I got close to Wachusett ski area. Roads past that becomes 9-15% steep ascent (11:02 am). This section was very exhausting and the weather became warm (~70°F) and humid. Also buggy too. There was a crowd at the trailhead (11:16 am). Parking lot was more than full.

The auto road to the summit was closed to motor vehicles, but okay for hikers and bicyclists. The first stretch of the auto road is a gentle descent, then comes 10%+ steep climb. The road was resurfaced recently and was very well paved, except for some dirt at ski slope crossings. There was some snow on the ski slopes, but not on the road. The last stretch is 25% grade. I spent 25 min on the Auto Road. (11:41 am)

The summit is a 200-ft diameter space with a pond, several radio towers, a fire tower, a ski lift shack, and several picnic tables. There is a brass compass on the highest spot, but no sign saying "Wachusett." About 20 people were on the summit. The weather was a mix of sun and clouds. Monadnock and Wapack Range were seen clearly. Mount Grace and Worcester can be vaguely seen. It was not clear enough to see Greylock and Boston skyline (according to a climber, Boston skyline was easily spotted on the previous Sunday).

I stayed on the summit for about 1 hr (11:41 am-12:37 pm) and headed back down. There were great expansive views of Monadnock and Wapack Range at the ski slope crossings, even better than that on the summit (there are trees partially blocking the view).

After a brief visit to the visitor center, it became very cloudy and I cycled back to Fitchburg (13:43 pm) in a hurry, including a 35-mph free glide down Mile Hill Rd (thanks to continuous downhill slope past Mass Rte 2) to avoid T-storms. I took the most straightforward route (Mass Rte 140 then 2A) to Fitchburg. It drizzled a bit on the middle of the way, and started raining hard half an hour after I got back to Fitchburg.

I took Commuter Rail train #2410 back to Boston.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:1807 ft / 549 m
    Total Elevation Loss:1807 ft / 550 m
    Round-Trip Distance:26.6 mi / 42.8 km
    Quality:5 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Snow on Ground
    Gear Used:
    Nights Spent:0 nights away from roads
    Weather:Drizzle, Pleasant, Breezy, Partly Cloudy
mix of sun and cloud and rain
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:1709 ft / 520 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 1571 ft / 478 m; Extra: 138 ft / 42m
    Loss on way in:138 ft / 42 m
    Distance:13.6 mi / 21.8 km
    Route:River St-Route 31-Mile Hill Rd-Wachusett Auto Rd
    Start Trailhead:Fitchburg MBTA Station  427 ft / 130 m
    Time:0 Days 1 Hours 32 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:1669 ft / 508 m
        Loss Breakdown:Net: 1571 ft / 478 m; Extra: 98 ft / 29m
    Gain on way out:98 ft / 29 m
    Distance:13 mi / 21 km
    Route:Wachusett Auto Rd-Mile Hill Rd-Hager Park Rd-Route
    End Trailhead:Fitchburg MBTA Station  427 ft / 130 m
    Time:0 Days 0 Hours 57 Minutes
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Yu-Pu Wang
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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