Ascent of Mount Head on 2015-06-29

Climber: Mark Prier

Others in Party:Melissa Creasey
----Only Party on Mountain
Date:Monday, June 29, 2015
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Mount Head
    Location:Canada-New Brunswick
    Elevation:2600 ft / 792 m

Ascent Trip Report

Started at the Mt. Sagamook TH by Lake Nictau. Went up via the Western side of the Mt. Sagamook Trail, hiking through a beautiful example of Acadian Forest, complete with huge striped maple, labrador tea, and lots of flowering blueberries, creeping snowberry, and lingonberry. Reached the summit in rain and clouds with no views other than the odd brief glimpse of Lake Nictau below.

Continued on the Mt. Head trail, at which point the young balsam fir trees crowding the trail (which could use a bit more maintenance) were soaking us to the skin as we brushed up against them. We went up to the summit and sat for some lunch. At Mt. Head summit we caught some occasional glimpses of the surrounding landscape whenever a small break in the clouds would pass by. Unfortunately, we stayed in the wind a bit long and my partner started to get chilled (likely a bit close to hypothermia for my liking) and we started back out on the red Mt. Hood trail, continuing on to Mt. Carleton, struggling to warm up, but eventually getting comfortable again.

At the Mt. Carleton summit, we had a good look around inside the observation cabin (complete with small tower inside and a picnic table), checking out the graffiti ("This is poop!", and "Eden!"). Once back outside, the clouds had passed by for a bit, letting us check out the landscape and get some sun. We headed down the mountain via the rocky ridge section of the Western Mt. Carleton trail, then completed the hike via the Headwaters campground before ending at the Mt. Carleton TH to meet our ride.

A note of caution: many of the trails in Mt. Carleton Provincial Park are not as well-maintained as they could be, and trails are not always completely clear. There was a section of the Western Mt. Carleton trail near Headwaters Campground and the stream that became so faint we had to double-back and try again to find where the trail turned toward the parking lot and Mt. Carleton TH. As well, many of the trail signs giving trail names and directions have fallen down. Trail users have propped many up, but beware that you need to use common sense, a compass, and a map to ensure that you are indeed being pointed in the correct direction.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:1629 ft / 496 m
    Total Elevation Loss:1258 ft / 383 m
    Round-Trip Distance:8.5 mi / 13.7 km
    Quality:3 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Scramble
    Weather:Raining, Cool, Breezy, Low Clouds
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:1629 ft / 496 m
    Distance:3 mi / 4.8 km
    Route:Western Mt. Sagamook trail, Mt. Head trail, Wester
    Start Trailhead:Mt. Sagamook TH  971 ft / 295 m
    Time:3 Hours 25 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:1258 ft / 383 m
    Distance:5.5 mi / 8.9 km
    Route:Mt. Head trail, Western Mt. Carleton via rocky rid
    End Trailhead:Mt. Carleton TH  1342 ft / 409 m
    Time:4 Hours 26 Minutes
Ascent Part of Trip: Mt. Sagamook, Mt. Head, Mt Carleton

Complete Trip Sequence:
1Mount Sagamook2015-06-291576 ft / 480 m
2Mount Head2015-06-291629 ft / 497 m
3Mount Carleton2015-06-291719 ft / 524 m
Total Trip Gain: 4924 ft / 1501 m    Total Trip Loss: 3814 ft / 1162 m

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