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Ascent to Baker Mountain-Below West Summit on 2012-09-19

Climber: Ben Lostracco

Other People:Solo Ascent
Only Party on Mountain
Date:Wednesday, September 19, 2012
Ascent Type:Unsuccessful - Turned Back
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Point Reached:Baker Mountain - Below West Summit
    Location:USA-Maine
    Elevation:3100 ft / 944 m
    Remaining Elevation:420 ft / 128 m (23% left to go)

Ascent Trip Report

I approached this failed attempt from the west side, a road/bushwhack to below the west summit ..... 5.2 miles, 4h30 hours RT.

DIRECTIONS TO MY TH.
0.00 M ... I left Greenville northbound on Lily Bay Road.
6.84 M ... right on Prong Pond Road (dirt).
8.57 M ... left on dirt road.
11.25 M ... right on dirt road.
13.79 M ... left on a lesser dirt road, GPS 45.55337,-69.43939.
14.29 M ... parked the van, this was my TH, GPS 45.56054,-69.43545.

I overnighted at the TH. It rained all night and into this morning, finally starting to clear around 10h00 hours. I decided to go for it, leaving the TH at 12h00 hours with a turnaround time of 15h00 hours .... as Yogi Berra says "It gets late early out there".

The route that I describe here is well shown on the Google Satellite Map and I chose it because higher up at the west summit area it showed bare areas. I wouldn't find these bare areas, in fact the Satellite Maps and today's actual ground conditions are not at all the same, I believe the Maps are very old.

I walked the good dirt road as it heads northeast and bends to the southeast where it ends at 1.5 miles (GPS 45.57067,-69.41983), with care I could have driven my van to here.
I continued southeast on an overgrown road for .25 miles to an overgrown clearing with a large rock, a number of overgrown old logging tracks branch off here. GPS at rock 45.56942,-69.41703.

I took the logging track to the south of the rock which shortly turns generally southeast/then east for .3 miles (GPS 45.56797,-69.41272), then continued on 80 degree compass line for about .4 miles to below the west summit area (GPS 45.57130,-69.40527). I could see the west summit.
This last stretch was on logging tracks for a bit before it entered the forest , in fairly open spruce (deadfall and rock) at the beginning, getting denser as I climbed. All of the logging tracks are badly overgrown with chest high/tough brush to fight through.

I took a well deserved break as it was getting close to turn around time. I continued my fight in these very dense woods for perhaps 200+ yards before deciding to abort .... (.75 miles, 950 feet ascent from the large rock), the dense stuff wouldn't let-up, it was around 15h00 hours.
I descended back to the rock in an hour and to the TH in 1 1/2 hours.

Back to the drawing board if I want to finish my PB List "Northeast USA Peaks with 2000 foot Prominence, Kibby and this one are left to be done.

I drove north to the Golden Road, stopping-in at Kokadjo for dinner and a call to Rose. I paid my 10$ entry fee at the Caribou Checkpoint, then drove to the Russell Mountain TH for the night. There is a lot of slow/tense dirt road driving when in the North Maine Woods.

"EVERY CLIMB IS AN OPPORTUNITY TO MEASURE OURSELVES AGAINST YOUR OWN POTENTIAL."

Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:1420 ft / 432 m
    Round-Trip Distance:5 mi / 8 km
    Route:road/bushwhack eb from west side TH
    Trailhead:west side dirt road  1680 ft / 512 m
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Unmaintained Trail, Bushwhack
Ascent Statistics
    Time:3 Hours 0 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Time:1 Hours 30 Minutes



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