Ascent of Mount Cardigan on 2013-10-25
|Other People:||Solo Ascent|
|Date:||Friday, October 25, 2013|
|Ascent Type:||Successful Summit Attained|
| Location:||USA-New Hampshire|
| Elevation:||3123 ft / 951 m|
Ascent Trip ReportI hiked Mt. Cardigan for #13 on the NH Fire Towers list.
I started from the west at the AMC Cardigan Lodge. There were a few vehicles in the lot, but I would have the entire ascent to myself.
I started out on the Holt Trail, which went past some campsites on an old woods road early on. It crossed Bailey Brook on a wooden footbridge near Grand Junction. At the junction, I veered right onto the Cathedral Forest Trail.
The trail from there had an easy to moderate grade, crossing a small stream and winding around a big, old blowdown. At 1.7 mi, I reached the junction with the Vistamont Trail and the Clark Trail; I continued on the latter.
The Clark Trail had an easy grade in the early going. At this point, I began to see traces of snow, which was an indicator of the changing seasons. There was one particularly wet and muddy spot, but it wasn't a big deal. At 2.1 miles, I reached the outlook known as P.J. Ledge, which had a good view to the east.
From there, I ascended on some ledges to the boarded-up firewarden's cabin at 2.4 miles. After that, I walked up steep, exposed ledges to the summit. Snow and ice became more prevalent, and the temperature dropped below freezing, and the wind chill into the 20s. Once I reached the summit, the wind was whipping, there was rime on the tower and the trail signs, water was frozen, and it was frigid. I quickly tagged the fire tower, got a summit snapshot, then went to back to the cabin to take a break in peace. After that, I headed back down the way I came.
|Summary Total Data|
| Total Elevation Gain:||1750 ft / 533 m|
| Round-Trip Distance:||5.2 mi / 8.4 km|
| Route:||Holt Trail, Cathedral Forest Trail, Clark Trail|
| Trailhead:||Cardigan Lodge 1373 ft / 418 m|
| Route Conditions:||Maintained Trail|
| Weather:||Frigid, Very Windy, Overcast|
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