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Ascent of Great Blue Hill on 2010-11-13

Climber: Scott Surgent

Others in Party:Roy Wallen
Date:Saturday, November 13, 2010
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Great Blue Hill
    Location:USA-Massachusetts
    Elevation:640 ft / 195 m

Ascent Trip Report

We exited Interstate-93 in Dedham, now on northbound highway MA-138. Great Blue Hill stands tall and is pretty big for these parts, with a summit at over 630 feet, give or take a little. We parked in the southern parking lot, south of the museum. Given the day's great conditions, the lots were jam-packed and we were lucky to find a spot.

We started up a service road near the small ski run, cutting northeast to catch the main hiking trail, which we followed up. Much of the trail is over rocky outcrops, and in places there were puddles and mud from a recent storm. There were also many people. We kept a good pace and soon came upon a stone observation tower named after a Mr. Eliot, an architect and conservationist who did a lot of "park architecture", including Bellevue Park. We climbed up the stairs to the observation deck. I was able to take a couple photos of the Boston skyline amid the chaotic jumble of people (and dogs). There must have been 20 people crammed in that little space, where normally 5 might be a crowd.

This is not the highest point, though. The highpoint is a few more yards up a path to another building, this one a weather observation station. It has been re-done as a tourist draw with tours, or you can wander the area on your own. The views here were better toward the west. We had climbed about 400 vertical feet to gain this highpoint. Not bad for a hill so close to Boston. We spent a little while up here, then walked down the asphalt service road back to the north parking lot, then from there to Roy's car. Roy mentioned again that he'd never seen so many people here ever before.

We were two-for-two today, and I was tickled because I didn't think we'd get this one due to time restrictions. From the parking lot, Roy drove us up highway 138 into Boston, then along major boulevards into the downtown area, where he dropped me off at the hotel. Given all we had done today, it was still not yet 3 p.m., so I had some time to shower and then go wander the Marriott with all the math people who were also wandering around.

My sincerest thanks to Roy for being such a good tour guide and driver. I had a blast, and was happy to get the local county highpoints, and not take up a whole day to do them. They were surprisingly easy ... assuming you have a good driver who knows his way around town!

The next day, I flew back to Arizona, but I was able to get in an urban hike along the Freedom Trail, which goes to many of the old buildings and points of interest in downtown Boston.
Summary Total Data
    Elevation Gain:400 ft / 122 m
    Distance:1.5 mi / 2.4 km
    Trailhead:240 ft / 73 m
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail



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