Ascent of Fletcher Mountain on 2018-06-03
|Other People:||Solo Ascent|
Only Party on Mountain
|Date:||Sunday, June 3, 2018|
|Ascent Type:||Successful Summit Attained|
| Motorized Transport to Trailhead:||Car|
| Elevation:||2140 ft / 652 m|
Ascent Trip ReportFollowing the ascent on Gilson Mountain, I drove back down Boozanhill road and turned right on North road, taking a left on Fairfield/Cambridge road a few kilometers south. I made my way back to HWY 15 and headed east to Jeffersonville where I took a left on RTE 108. I drove north for a while until I went through the wide bend around Fletcher mountain and then spotted a nice wide parking area on the west side. I made this my trailhead and got ready to head out.
After crossing the road, the climb started immediately at a steep grade across the ditch, a wooded strip, then a powerline swath, before diving in the forest. It was mostly deciduous woods, sparse enough to make it easy to route-find. I was immediately assailed by mosquitoes and deer flies, attacks that lasted the whole hike. I could see red blazing on trees and old rusted barbed wire, seemingly indicating a fence line. It wasn't long until I crossed a big blowdown area past which I could see a trail on my left. It looked quite good so I followed it east, going past a very clean and recently setup looking tent deer stand.
The slope lessened and and after climbing just a bit more, the trail followed the contours around a bump and then down in a wide valley. At the bottom, I crossed what looked like an old disused forest road and then decided to head uphill straight towards the summit. The bushwhack wasn't too dense but it still qualified as one. I was getting quite tired now and the heat was really beating me down. I had to take multiple short breaks, gulping in more water than usual. As I progressed, I crossed so many old trails that ran parallel to the slope that I lost count. I could see logged stumps every now and then so I expect this mountain to have been worked somewhere in the distant past.
At some point the slope lessened, going through some sparse brushy forest, before climbing shortly to a slight bump. Getting down on the other side proved tricky, having to find a way through a steep rocky band. At the col just below, another old trail crossed my path and then I was ascending the last pitch towards the top. A few hundred feet later, I was in a vast flat summit area and I stomped around for a bit before spotting what looked like the higest ground. I didn't linger and, after a short snack and water, started downhill.
I roughly followed my ascent path but when I faced the rocky outcrop just west, I was able to find a better way across. From there I followed the path of least resistance, which was still tricky as I couldn't see the ground very well. My right knee was starting to ache slightly and it bothered me as I tried to tread as lightly as possible on the rough forest floor. I was mostly on autopilot and didn't stop much.
I eventually made it back on the forest trail where my speed picked up. Climbing slightly, I rounded the bump, saw some old littering I had missed on the way up, and then passed the hunter's tent again. I went around the blowdown this time before heading straight towards the road. Crossing the powerline and the ditch, I was back at the trailhead where I drank an entire Gatorade bottle as I drove off towards home, blasting AC in the car.
|Summary Total Data|
| Total Elevation Gain:||1880 ft / 572 m|
| Total Elevation Loss:||1880 ft / 572 m|
| Round-Trip Distance:||3.8 mi / 6.1 km|
| Quality:||7 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)|
| Route Conditions:||Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Open Country, Bushwhack|
| Weather:||Hot, Calm, Clear|
| Gain on way in:||1785 ft / 544 m|
| Gain Breakdown:||Net: 1664 ft / 507 m; Extra: 121 ft / 36m|
| Loss on way in:||121 ft / 36 m|
| Distance:||1.9 mi / 3 km|
| Route:||Forest trails, bushwhack|
| Start Trailhead:||Along HWY 108 476 ft / 145 m|
| Time:||1 Hours 22 Minutes|
| Loss on way out:||1759 ft / 536 m|
| Loss Breakdown:||Net: 1664 ft / 507 m; Extra: 95 ft / 28m|
| Gain on way out:||95 ft / 28 m|
| Distance:||1.9 mi / 3.1 km|
| Route:||Forest trails, bushwhack|
| End Trailhead:||Along HWY 108 476 ft / 145 m|
| Time:||48 Minutes|
|GPS Data for Ascent/Trip|
GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks: climbed and unclimbed by Gabriel C
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