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Ascent of Mount Cardigan on 2015-03-29

Climber: Spencer Corcoran

Other People:Solo Ascent
Date:Sunday, March 29, 2015
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Mount Cardigan
    Location:USA-New Hampshire
    Elevation:3123 ft / 951 m

Ascent Trip Report

Started from the west side of the mountain this time. Parked at the area at the start of Burnt Hill Rd. and walked the easy 0.7 mile to the summer trailhead, where I began the hike for real up the West Ridge Trail. It was well packed and consolidated, thus at that point in time one could have easily barebooted it to treeline. 0.5 mile in, I turned right onto the South Ridge Trail to head for Rimrock and South Peak.

The South Ridge Trail started out easy in open woods. Shortly after the transition to a spruce woods, the trail got steeper and narrower. Near Rimrock, I lost the trail completely and had to 'whack a short distance back to it. Not long after, I stood on top of the small prominence known as Rimrock. Quick breather here and off to South Peak I went.

From Rimrock all the way to Cardigan, the ridge walking was some of the best I've ever done- open ledges, cairns, and near-360 degree views made me feel like I was much higher than 2,800-3,100 feet. The South Peak had a rock wall which was the obvious summit marker. From there, I could clearly pick out the warden's cabin, which I headed to next to eat some snacks. After that, I made the steep but short final climb to Cardigan's summit and fire tower.

On the summit, the views were expansive- I could clearly pick out Croydon Mtn, Killington Peak, the Franconia and Presidential Ranges, and the Ossipee Mtns, among other peaks and landforms. It wasn't terribly frigid, but it was cold enough that I had to put on my balaclava and goggles. If anything, they made for a good summit pic!

The West Ridge Trail going down was very fast-going; I think I got back to the trailhead in about an hour, maybe a little less. Overall, an excellent day to revisit Mt. Cardigan and add a few new peaks to my resume.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:1500 ft / 457 m
    Total Elevation Loss:1550 ft / 472 m
    Round-Trip Distance:4.9 mi / 7.9 km
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Maintained Trail, Snow on Ground
    Gear Used:
Snowshoes
    Weather:Cold, Windy, Clear
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:1500 ft / 457 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 1450 ft / 442 m; Extra: 50 ft / 15m
    Loss on way in:50 ft / 15 m
    Distance:2.7 mi / 4.3 km
    Route:road walk, West Ridge Trail, South Ridge Trail, Cl
    Start Trailhead:Burnt Hill Rd.  1673 ft / 509 m
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:1500 ft / 457 m
    Distance:2.2 mi / 3.5 km
    Route:West Ridge Trail, road walk
    End Trailhead:Burnt Hill Rd.  1623 ft / 494 m
Ascent Part of Trip: Cardigan/So. Pk/Rimrock

Complete Trip Sequence:
OrderPeak/PointDateGain
1Rimrock2015-03-29 
2Mount Cardigan-South Peak2015-03-29 
3Mount Cardigan2015-03-291500 ft / 457 m
Total Trip Gain: 1500 ft / 457 m    Total Trip Loss: 1550 ft / 472 m



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