Ascent of Cunningham Mountain-Northwest Slope on 2010-09-21

Climber: Ben Lostracco

Others in Party:supported by Rose
Date:Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Cunningham Mountain-Northwest Slope
    Elevation:760 ft / 231 m

Ascent Trip Report

An easy gradual road/bushwack hike ..... 1 1/2 miles, 1h15 hour RT this includes the time required to identify the location of the 2 Highpoints all as described in this report.

Being a PB the plan was to go over to "Cunningham Mountain" in Knox County beside its "Northwest Slope", the Lincoln County Highpoint. The Cunningham Mountain summit is a short bushwack (less than 5 minutes) south of the "Northwest Slope". I estimate the distance from the TH to both summits at about 3/4 miles.

I approached this mountain from the southside using Michael Schwartz driving directions to the TH (TR of Sept 2000). I should note however that there is a error in TR, where Michael says to bear right you'll need to stay left at the fork, otherwise you'll end up going in circles.

After visiting the Tower at Blinn Hill we found our way north to Somerville, intersection hwy #105 and Turner Ridge Road, just west of the narrow bridge. We drove north on Turner Ridge Road for 3 miles to a right turn on Gore Road. We followed Gore Road (passing the fish hatchery on the left, staying left at the main fork in the road and passing a sand quarry on the right) for 3.1 miles to a rough 4x4 road on the right, just beyond to the left is a house.

Dave Covill (TR of Aug 2004) talks about talking to the Owner for permission to the Highppoint, so I did the same. As I approached the house it was evident that it was abandoned (grassed driveway and no curtains on the windows). I went around to the back and I heard, "What do you want".
A long-bearded weathered-looking man defensively looked out a cracked window. I asked to talk to the Owner of the property.
"There is no one here," came the short reply.
I explained the reason for my presence.
"Well, he's not here and I can't give you permission." as he closed the window.
I got the feeling that he didn't belong there as I walked back to Rose, I decided to go for it, Rose will wait at this corner. The rough 4x4 road was blocked off with a wire. This was my TH.

The following description will be a lot clearer if one first looks at the topo and satellite maps.
I hiked up the road, magnetic south, through a large blueberry field on the slopes of the mountain to its top side (this spot is half a mile from the TH). Here the road turns right (southwesterly) and becomes a dirty track. Just above/paralleling this track is the start of the woods and a boulder fence. From all reports this is the approx. Lincoln/Knox County Line, so I'm assuming this is right. Where the road turns right is the Tri-County Point area of Waldo/Lincoln/Knox .... I tramped the area for the Tri-Point with no luck, also a Cabin is to your left after the road turns right.
I continued (I'm in Lincoln County here) southwesterly on the dirt track a few hundred yards through a row of trees into a second blueberry field. At about 200 feet past the rows of trees is the spot that I identified as the Highest point of land in Lincoln County, just below the boulder fence, CUNNINGHAM MOUNTAIN-NORTHWEST SLOPE. My GPS coordinates read 44.32559,69.41141, not the same as PB but close. Open views to the northwest.

Just above (southeast) in Knox County is rock outcrop, with the GPS reading of 44.32548,69.41126. From here I bushwacked southeasterly to the CUNNINGHAM MOUNTAIN summit, a short 5 minute hike in open woods, just look for the high ground. The wooded Highpoint is at a bit of a bump at a pile of rocks with a large fallen dead tree, I pink flagged the spot. I walked a large circle and found no higher ground, unfortunately I forgot to take a GPS reading.
I backtracked the same way to the TH.


Summary Total Data
    Elevation Gain:280 ft / 85 m
    Distance:1.5 mi / 2.4 km
    Route:rough road/herd path from gore road
    Trailhead:gore road  480 ft / 146 m
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Unmaintained Trail, Open Country

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