Ascent of Mount Adams on 2013-07-04

Climber: Spencer Corcoran

Other People:Solo Ascent
Date:Thursday, July 4, 2013
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Mount Adams
    Location:USA-New Hampshire
    Elevation:5799 ft / 1767 m

Ascent Trip Report

I arrived at Lowe's Store in Randolph at 10:20 AM. I went inside the store and paid the very nominal fee to the store clerk, geared up, and headed out on Lowe's Path at 10:30 AM.

Lowe's Path passed a few signs early on, and it also crossed the Presidential Range Rail Trail and a power line corridor. After crossing the latter, it ascended through woods at an easy to moderate grade, crossing a few easy streams. I will say that most of the trail below treeline was very wet and muddy. I have a story pertaining to that for the end of the TR...

The trail, after about a mile and a half, made a sharp left turn and ascended a short steep pitch and then moderated to the junction with the Link Trail. After having a water and food break, I continued.

After the junction with the Link, the trail gradually got steeper. King Ravine Trail diverged left after 0.1 mile, and after about halfway up the section, I came to a rather steep, wet, and eroded section that required some care to climb. After that, there was a ledgy section with some natural pothole formations in the rocks, including a rather suggestive-looking one. Shortly after that, I came to the Randolph Mountain Club's log cabin and had a quick stop in there. At the beginning of the path to it, there were wet rocks and tricky stream crossings. I stayed on Lowe's Path.

The 0.3 mile section between the cabin and Randolph Path was uneventful except that it was steep like the previous section. After passing the four-way junction with that trail, Lowe's Path steeply ascended a ridge and soon emerged onto an open rock outcropping near the path to Gray Knob Cabin.

After the outcropping, the trail went through a short wooded area and then quickly entered the treeless alpine zone. As I got closer to Adams, the trail became more rocky. It was cloudy, but there were some views, including some of Washington.

After passing a few false summits (for Adams 4), I passed near the summit of Adams 4, summitted it, and then made the steep descent to the base of that subpeak and headed to the junction with the Spur Path, which led to Crag Camp, another RMC camp.

At 4.4 miles, I reached the junction with the Gulfside Trail. I stared in awe at the large cairn with a wooden post in it, and then headed up the last 0.3 mile section to the summit.

The trail here was very rocky, so much that I had to pay close attention to where I stepped, both going up and down. I finally reached the top of the second-highest peak in NH at 1:40 PM after a false summit and traversing a very rocky trail.

When I summitted, there was one other person there, but later on, there were about five to six more. The summit was not socked-in, but clouds blocked many of the views, particularly Mt. Washington. Mount Madison, however, was visible. I took a quick swig of water and headed back down at 1:50 PM because of the awful bugginess at the summit and approaching dark clouds.

The descent was uneventful except for passing a few groups of hikers (probably staying overnight somewhere), seeing a frog, and (my story) slipping on a wet rock at the foot of the steep, wet, eroded section I mentioned and falling a few feet, scraping my knee and bruising my leg near my ankle. Other than that I was completely fine. Also, I ran out of water about 0.5 mile from the trailhead. Once I got back to Lowe's Store at 4:30 PM, I bought a Gatorade for the road, had a chat with the store clerk, and headed back toward I-93 in awe of what I just did.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:4500 ft / 1371 m
    Total Elevation Loss:4500 ft / 1371 m
    Round-Trip Distance:9.4 mi / 15.1 km
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail
    Weather:Pleasant, Breezy, Overcast
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:4450 ft / 1356 m
    Distance:4.7 mi / 7.6 km
    Route:Lowe's Path
    Start Trailhead:Lowe's Store  1349 ft / 411 m
    Time:3 Hours 10 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:4500 ft / 1371 m
        Loss Breakdown:Net: 4450 ft / 1356 m; Extra: 50 ft / 15m
    Gain on way out:50 ft / 15 m
    Distance:4.7 mi / 7.6 km
    Route:Lowe's Path
    End Trailhead:Lowe's Store  1349 ft / 411 m
    Time:2 Hours 40 Minutes

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