Ascent of Douglas Mountain on 2011-07-24

Climber: William Musser

Others in Party:Daniel Musser <1846>Ben Musser and Sarah Musser
Date:Sunday, July 24, 2011
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Douglas Mountain
    Elevation:1382 ft / 421 m

Ascent Trip Report

Here we ago again. This was meant to be another humor dad deal as Ben Sarah and Daniel and I were driving on our way to where we were going to stay in NH so we could bag Washington in the morning. My intention was to follow the always reliable B. Lostracco report using the simple ledges trail and insist the whole family go. Sarah was game. Karen was in her AP workshop over at St. Joe College near Windham.

Careful. The parking lot area does NOT contain the ledges trail. They were out of maps. We threw our fee dollars in the box and found the only trailhead we could find called the Boyscout or Eaglescout or something like that and headed east and then south out of the parking area along snow mobile routes. Ben kept running up the rolling hills to workout while I found a map on a tree and realized we were not on the ledges trail and it was on the other side of the mountain. The ledges does a south bearing straight up the mountain on rock exposed ledges (I hate that term for flat exposed rock as it implies a ledge like you see in the movies to me - but you know the typical thing you find in ME and GA.... exposed flat rocks along the climb).

Ben took off with Danny trying to keep up with his older trail clueless brother and then Sarah and I on our simple little family hike come to a trail junction and Ben and Daniel are not there. Grrrrrrrrrr did those guys run right past the Nature Trail (I think it was called) which is the westward steep climb up the peak? Great here we go again. Late in the day near park closing and I bet they are following the snow mobile trail out of the park and I will spend the rest of the day looking for them instead of bagging Clark too. Neither Sarah nor I had our cell phones of course becuase we thought we were doing this tiny little fee - hike called the ledges.

Sarah and I took the correct trail and followed the confusing tree signs (confusing when there are no maps) and headed west up to the peak. The tower or rock is pretty cool and affords nice views of the lake below for a small county peak but it was hard to enjoy knowing my boys were lost and not going the right way. This mountain is full of options so there was no way to guess where they were now and Sarah was tired trying to keep up with me as I wanted to get to the peak quickly and see if they were there and we had come up the long way and she is slow uphill. I could not search for the missing boys so we took the outer ledges trail (forgot the name) down to the parking lot and left her in the car with our cell phones and then headed back up the ledges trail to see if I could find them.

Daniel and I finally got signals on the cell phones and met up on the trail. Ben realized he screwed up and when he finally hiked to the end of the snow mobile trail wandered his way back west and then north and finally found the summit about an hour after us. Since he was worried that we all were separated he did not go up and enjoy the rock tower. Frustrated that this is the second time he had done this to us in ME (Screw Auger Falls hike) I decided to run up the ledges trail one more time to the top while the boys joined Sarah who now drove the car up to the TH and picked them up. The ledges trail is by far the nicer trail but it is very short and not at the main parking lot.

Once again proving that whenever you are in a group of people with differing speeds the people in the front MUST stop at junctions and wait. Perhaps Ben will learn this someday. Realizing he screwed up and needing mitigation with papabear he suggested we go try to bag Clark anyway and sure enough we found it and climbed it and got down before dark and headed to our motel in North Conway where Sarah and Ben enjoyed outlet shopping in the morning while Danny and I climbed Washington and bagged my 18th state HP
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:502 ft / 153 m
    Total Elevation Loss:502 ft / 152 m
    Round-Trip Distance:3 mi / 4.8 km
    Quality:5 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail
    Weather:Pleasant, Calm, Clear
Nice day
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:502 ft / 153 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 382 ft / 117 m; Extra: 120 ft / 36m
    Loss on way in:120 ft / 36 m
    Distance:2 mi / 3.2 km
    Route:Eagle Scout Tr to Nature Tr Yellow
    Start Trailhead:Parking Lot by County  1000 ft / 304 m
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:382 ft / 116 m
    Distance:1 mi / 1.6 km
    End Trailhead:Parking Lot by County  1000 ft / 304 m

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