Ascent of North Doublehead on 2013-06-01

Climber: Jeffrey McLean

Others in Party:Justin
Date:Saturday, June 1, 2013
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:North Doublehead
    Location:USA-New Hampshire
    Elevation:3053 ft / 930 m

Ascent Trip Report

Hiked with Justin and Elizabeth. This was our first mountain since probably November or December last year. We wear eager to see how our legs would handle it. We ascended via the Old Path trail. I didn't do my homework and found this to be much steeper than anticipated. After the Double Head Ski trail splits off it's pretty much unrelenting until you hit the saddle between north and south double head. There's one long flat stretch, but only long enough to catch your breath. The saddle was relatively flat until the final push up the summit cone for North Double Head, which again was pretty steep, but with very good footing. At the summit you'll find the cabin and an okay view of Mt. Washington, but the better place to sit is down a spur trail behind the cabin. There are some nice ledges with a pretty unique view East into Maine. We headed back down through the saddle and up South Double head. There's a spur trail that runs west to the ledges, and this really is the view you don't want to miss. We planned to stop and enjoy it, but the black flies were making a meal of us despite the generous baths of bug spray. After the ledges you'll see a sign for the South Doublehead spur trail and it states .2 miles, which is not at all accurate. It's much less. This summit also has some very nice views and lots of places to sit and relax. There seems to be all kinds of little trails running off the summit, and I have no clue where they go. At this point the flies were so bad my only thought was get back to the car while I still have some blood in me. We headed back to the junction and down the New Path Trail. The sign on the summit claims it is a mile back to the road, but all my maps show 1.4. And it certainly seems like more than 1 mile. This is also a very sketchy descent. If I were to do these peaks again, heading back to the Old Path Trail is probably the way to go. The new path trail is extremely steep, and mostly made up of loose rock. I do not suggest descending this way. It's also not marked, and at one point about 2/3 of the way down you'll come to a clearing with a large granite slab, and no clear indication of where the trail goes. If you head almost straight across and keep your eyes peeled you'll see the stump of a saw cut tree - that is the only indication of where the trail goes. Near the end of New Path - Or hopefully the beginning because I'll say it again - you don't want to descend this trail - it gets pretty we. Could just be the rain we've had the past few days, but it felt like this area is probably almost always soggy. Otherwise this was a great hike. The distance is deceiving thought, this is not an easy mountain for it height. You'll find it very steep.
Summary Total Data
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Maintained Trail
    Weather:Hot, Breezy, Partly Cloudy
hazy, hot, humid, and wrought with black flies
Ascent Part of Trip: Doubleheads

Complete Trip Sequence:
1North Doublehead2013-06-01 
2South Doublehead2013-06-01 

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