Ascent of Mount Wolf on 2013-12-19

Climber: Ryan Aschbrenner

Date:Thursday, December 19, 2013
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Mount Wolf
    Location:USA-New Hampshire
    Elevation:3480 ft / 1060 m

Ascent Trip Report

I followed the Kinsman Ridge Trail from the south, starting from the trailhead near Beaver Brook on Rte. 112. I assumed that I'd be breaking trail all the way after two recent snowstorms (which I did), and I also assumed that I wouldn't see anyone else all day (which I didn't).

I couldn't have gotten by without snowshoes, as there was at least a foot of loose, unpacked powder everywhere. As is probably typical of late fall/early winter, some of the boulders on the trail weren't buried very deeply yet, or weren't covered with consolidated snowpack, so my snowshoes were scraping against rocks beneath the snow at times.

This route is fairly taxing, even though it doesn't have many sustained climbs. In fact, the steepest part is within a quarter-mile of the trailhead. Then the trail winds through miles of rolling terrain, creating the illusion that it is uphill both ways -- at least that's how it seemed on the way back.

This section of the AT along the Kinsman Ridge Trail overall wasn't too difficult to follow through un-tracked snow, but a few spots still gave me trouble. In one especially tricky spot just south of the Gordon Pond Trail junction, the trail vanished into open woods. I spent a good half hour going this way and that trying to find the next white blaze, or any sign of the trail corridor. Finally, I did an easy bushwhack toward the north up a steep slope for a couple hundred meters before re-joining the trail. I backtracked to see where I had gone wrong, and I could see why. The trail had veered into some trees with few visual cues. I'm sure it's obvious without snow, but this was a tough one, and a good route-finding exercise.

I visited both the east and west summit bumps. I followed the short spur path to the east summit overlook spot, and I did the short, almost-insignificant bushwhack to the west summit.

Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:1610 ft / 490 m
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Snow on Ground
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles, Snowshoes
    Weather:Cold, Breezy, Overcast
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:1610 ft / 490 m
    Route:Kinsman Ridge Trail
    Start Trailhead:Route 112  1870 ft / 569 m
Descent Statistics

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