Ascent of Scar Ridge-East Peak on 2011-07-27

Climber: Ben Lostracco

Others in Party:supported by Rose
Date:Wednesday, July 27, 2011
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Scar Ridge-East Peak
    Location:USA-New Hampshire
    Elevation:3620 ft / 1103 m

Ascent Trip Report

This TR covers the trail and one-hell-of-a-bushwack to Scar Ridge Southeast Peak and to Scar Ridge-East Peak from the east side ...... 7.6 miles, 6 3/4 hours RT for both Peaks.
I can not minimize the "hell" of this wack.

Rose dropped me off at 8h30 hours at the East Pond TH Parking on the Kancamangus Hwy (just east of the Big Rock Campground), she would spend the day in Lincoln and pick me at my estimated return time of 15h00-16h00 hours.

I climbed sb on the good East Pond Trail (2.9 miles, 1345' ascent, 1 1/2 hours) to the height-of-land (approx 3100' elev) on the ridge east of Scar Ridge Southwest Peak. This is the start of the Bushwack for both Peaks, the wooded area here is fairly open. I took a break, dressing for the bushwack.

From the height-of-land I chose a "310 degree Compass Line" to the summit. The bushwack drops slightly to a col before it starts its fairly steep climb to the summit .... the distance is perhaps less-than .5 mile with a 500+ feet ascent.
The going is fairly open evergreen with blowdown at the beginning of the wack and in the summit area, however in the actual/steep-part (middle) of the climb (perhaps for 250+ yards) it is extremely/unbelievable dense of young evergreen and full of old blowdown. "It is hell" .... you can't see in any direction or where you are planting your feet, at the places you have to "actually walk on old blowdown" 3-4 feet off the ground !!!! lot of rotten stuff !!!! had to negotiate a few ledges. Impossible to follow a "Compass Line", I just fought my way to the higher ground, always looking for the "easy way". Thoughts of aborting crossed my mind a few times .... a real mental challenge, or perhaps as my wife would say "you're just mentally crazy". I must admit however that soloing these types of bushwacks is on the "very-risky/extreme side of hiking".
I eventually left "hell" and got to more open area and easily found my way directly to the "Summit Canister", the area is fairly open with evidence of human traffic, a number of herd paths come-in from different directions ... wooded with no views. The less-than .5 mile bushwack took 55 minutes.
I signed the Register, the latest entry read "Miles Mountain, Merrimack. NH, July 9, 2011.
I took a short snack-break before starting my next challenge.

From the Southeast Peak (above) I took a "Due-North Compass Line" to East Peak. The bushwack drops perhaps 80 feet to the col (half way) then ascents 100 feet to the summit .... the total distance is less than .4 miles.
The going to the col is semi-open older evergreen and not all too bad, however the climb all the way to the summit "is hell once again" all as described above. The summit area is much of the same (dense young evergreen), I had to circle/fight in order to find the Canister (the only place where there is evidence of human traffic). Herd paths drop to the west side in older evergreen.
The less-than .4 miles bushwack took 65 minutes.
I signed the Register ..... the last entry was on May 22, 2011, Ladd, NH, Lew Dow, Mike Larose plus 3 others. I took a short break before starting the return.

I returned/backtracked over the Southeast Peak and got back to the East Pond trail (start of the bushwack) at 14h15 hours in 1 1/2 hours. It goes without saying that descending in conditions noted above is more dangerous than the climb, especially at ledges/steep sections.
The only good thing of these 2 wacks is that they are short.

I got back down to the TH on the Kancamangus at 15h15 hours after a 6 3/4 hour day, Rose had been waiting since 14h30 hours. One tough "day in hell" ..... it goes without saying that Rose did not get the details of the "hell".
We will overnight at the Passaconaway Campground on the Kancamangus Hwy, on tap tomorrow is Scaur, the Tripyramids and Fool Killer.

Summary Total Data
    Elevation Gain:100 ft / 31 m
    Route Conditions:
Ascent Statistics
    Elevation Gain:100 ft / 31 m
    Distance:0.6 mi / 1 km
    Route:bushwack eb from Southeast Peak
    Trailhead:Scar ridge- Southeast peak  3520 ft / 1072 m
Descent Statistics
    Route:bushwack wb back to Southeast Peak
Ascent Part of Trip: scar

Complete Trip Sequence:
1Scar Ridge Southeast Peak2011-07-27 a
2Scar Ridge-East Peak2011-07-27 b
3Scar Ridge Southeast Peak2011-07-27 c

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