Ascent of Spaulding Mountain on 2013-09-05

Climber: Dan Quinlan

Others in Party:Gudrun
Date:Thursday, September 5, 2013
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Spaulding Mountain
    Elevation:4000 ft / 1219 m

Ascent Trip Report

Sugarloaf and Spaulding
What a wonderful surprise to find that the Caribou road has been repaired and we could drive to within just a few hundred meters of the trailhead. I was up this way a few years ago and could only drive about the first mile before the road got so bad I couldn’t get any further.
Gudrun and I started our hike from the Caribou road parking at 9:15 on what looks like a gorgeous day to be out. Turned off the CVR and head south on the AT at 9:30 am. Gudi was a bit discouraged as she was hoping we could follow the road a bit further! We met a few AT through hikers, who are very close to completing their 2000 mile journey. One young man stated although he was excited to get to Katahdin, he is sad that he will soon be done!
The beginning of the trail has some really steep sections, close to class 3 scrambling! Gudi was not comfortable, but she continued and she successfully got over the hard part. We had some wonderful views along the trail.
We arrived at the Sugarloaf spur trail at 11:20 am, GPSr shows 800m distance and 300 feet to the summit! It was a bit wet going up the spur, but we were able to use the rocks to keep our feet mostly dry. We arrived at the summit of Sugarloaf at 11:45. It was pretty windy on the top, but we had 360 degree views on this very clear day. After enjoying the views and taking some pictures we retreated to the protection of the trees and had a quick lunch. We headed off Sugarloaf summit at 12:15 pm heading toward Spaulding. This is Gudi’s first Maine 4000 footer, and she did very well, but she is already worrying about getting down the very steep section that we came up earlier this morning.
We got to the summit of Spaulding at 1:45 pm, Gudi was setting a very quick pace on the flat sections. Although a clear day, the summit of Spaulding offers only limited views through all the trees.
We left the summit at 2:00 pm and will continue to head south for a bit. The plan is to bushwhack off the mountain and pick up Caribou Valley Road, avoiding the steep decent off of Sugarloaf. We walked south trying to decide find a good ‘exit’ point, finally just took the dive at 3:00pm and started the bushwhack from hell. We hit CVR at 4:15 to a great sigh of relief. It was a pretty dense bushwhack at times covering just shy of 1 mile, but now we have a clear flat walk down the CVR back to the car.
The walk down the CVR was easy and pretty quick arriving at the car at 5:30pm.
Summary Total Data
    Quality:7 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Maintained Trail, Bushwhack, Scramble, Exposed Scramble
    Weather:Pleasant, Calm, Clear
Ascent Statistics
    Route:AT, Spaulding Spur, Bushwhack, Caribou Rd
    Start Trailhead:Caribou Rd  
Descent Statistics
Ascent Part of Trip: Sugarloaf Spaulding

Complete Trip Sequence:
1Sugarloaf Mountain2013-09-05 a3600 ft / 1097 m
2Spaulding Mountain2013-09-05 b 
Total Trip Gain: 3600 ft / 1097 m

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