Ascent of East Turner Mountain on 2011-08-05

Climber: Ben Lostracco

Others in Party:Loner
Date:Friday, August 5, 2011
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:East Turner Mountain
    Elevation:2456 ft / 748 m

Ascent Trip Report

A trail and a tough bushwack ...... 13.3 miles, 10 hours RT.
This is the 2nd day of my 6 day hiking trip to Baxter State Park, for an overview of my total trip see my Louise Mountain TR.

I have studied/pained over this climb ever since last fall's failed attempt, where from Millinocket we drove the Stacyville/Rocky Pond Road for the east side of the mountain only to find it gated as Roy Schweiker had fore-warned us in his TR of Oct/2006 (see my Peaked Mountain TR).
I focused/liked Ken Jones's descend route (Baxter boundary line) per his TR of Oct/2010 and found that Baxter Park has a maintained trail to the northend of Katahdin Lake and as of Aug/2011 they were scheduled to open a new trail to Twin Ponds. This new trail would cross Ken's descend route ... great, this is the way to go (both the Baxter Park's Info Center before the south Entrance and the attendants at the Pogue Pond Entrance were not able to tell me the status of this trail). So when I came here this morning the plan was a 2 day hike,
--- first day I would hike to the northend of Katahdin Lake and scout the new trail/bushwack, but be ready to go all the way.
--- second day go for the summit.

I paid my 14$ vehicle fee and drove the Roaring Brook Road northbound 6 miles to the Avalanche Field TH parking.
I left the TH at 7h45 hours on the Lake Katahdin/Martin Pond/North Lake Katahdin trails, arriving at the North Lake Katahdin Lean-to after 4.4 miles, 1 3/4 hour (the last mile of the trail is pretty rough). I took a snack break and checked out the area for the new trail ..... no luck.

50 yards before the Lean-to there is a posted sign "Lean-to", to its left there is a a path going north, I followed it only to lose it at 100 yards. I decided to start my bushwack (10h05 hours) and see where it took me .... I set a "north compass line" for the east-west "Park Boundary Line" at less than 1 mile (shown on google map as "Indefinte Boundary/Monument Line"), favoring left at obstacles. The fairly open woods are mostly deciduous, the footing is somewhat rocky especially as you get to the Boundary Line, there are large rocks/blowdown to circumvent.
I easily/happily found the "red blazed Park Boundary Line" in 50 minutes, a moderate wack. I took a break and decided to go for it ..... ahead was the second leg of the bushwack, due west, perhaps 1 1/4 mile, 1200' ascent.

It didn't take long for this second leg of the bushwack to turn to difficult, the fairly open woods turn to dense and at places very dense (you need to look for the easy way), huge rocks and ledges to negotiate and tons of blowdown. An intermitten herd path follows the Boundary and helps in the going. I took a good break half way up.
The red blazes are faded in places, the Boundary Line is also marked with pink/orange flag tape and it was easy to get back/find the Line when conditions forced you to stray away ..... except for the last few hundred yards in the summit area where I lost the markings due the very dense young spruce. I saw 2 signs on the Boundary Line on the ascent "Baxter State Park Game Preserve".

After scrambling around some I found the small clearing and the rock 4 yards inside the woods (as reported by others) with the Glass Canister and a "Baxter Park Game Preserve" sign ..... the time was 12h50 hours, this second leg of the wack took me 1 3/4 hours including breaks.
I signed the Register which was placed on Sept 1/2007 by Netations Nate, the last to sign-in was Jeff Severson on July 16/2011. MY GPS reading was 45.94616, 68.81835. I took a long 35 minute break before I started my descent on the same route.

I arrived (somewhat zapped) back to the start of the bushwack at the Lean-to at 15h25 hours, 2 hours after leaving the summit (took a short break). The RT bushwack including all breaks took me 5 1/4 hours.
On the way out I stopped at the Martins Pond Lean-to for a good break, finally arriving back to the TH at 17h45 hours, after a long 10 hour day, completely drained but really satisfied/happy with my effort .... I achieved my goal, my list "Maine County High Points" is now complete.

I got back to the campground, ate dinner and went straight to bed.


Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:1902 ft / 579 m
    Extra Gain:350 ft / 106 m
    Round-Trip Distance:13.3 mi / 21.4 km
    Route:lake katahdin tr/bushwack nb & wb from avalanche f
    Trailhead:avalanche field on roaring brook road  1254 ft / 382 m
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Bushwhack
Ascent Statistics
    Time:5 Hours 5 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Time:4 Hours 20 Minutes

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