Ascent of Louise Mountain on 2011-08-04

Climber: Ben Lostracco

Date:Thursday, August 4, 2011
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Louise Mountain
    Location:United States/Canada
    Elevation:2460 ft / 749 m

Ascent Trip Report

I am on a solo 6 day hiking trip to ME's Baxter State park with 2 main goals ..... East Turner Mountain, in order to complete my PB list "ME COHP" and a bunch of climbs as training for our upcoming hiking trip to the Canaries Islands where the prize is Spain's highest summit "Pico del Teide". This TR gives an overview of this 6 day trip.

I left early for the long drive to Baxter Park, the plan was to take-in a few hikes on the USA/Canada Border. I entered the USA at the Woburn/Coburn Gore Border Crossing (hwy 27) at the Northwest corner of ME, so for this first day I chose the nearby Louise Mountain and Boundary Monument 426 Peak.

LOUISE MOUNTAIN, a dirt road and Boundary Line swath hike from the Canadian side.... 11.6 km, 1040' ascent, 4 hour RT.
From Woburn, QC, intersection hwy 212/161 I traveled north on 161 for 7.4km to a private dirt road on the right (just past a white garage #167). I parked on 161, this was my TH.
I walked east on the dirt road to a height-of-land, where I walked between 2 long rows of corded firewood to a Y-junction, stayed left on the mowed grass track (red shed ahead) and in a short distance arrived at the USA/Canada Boundary Line swath at a col (3km, 40 minutes, 400' ascent) .... a right turn takes you westbound on the swath to Boundary Monument 426 peak, a left turn takes you eastbound on the swath to Louise Mountain.
I turned left eastbound on the swath, the Boundary drops slightly to the actual col at 150 meters (on the Canadian side there is a Hunters Shooting Tower and a watering hole with a Salt-Lick-Trap) then after a short flat section starts its moderate climb (with short steeper sections higher up) to the summit area of Louise Mountain (2.75km, 80 minutes, 660'ascent from the col).
The whole length of the swath is badly overgrown with tall knee-to-head-high grass with patches of tall brush in the last kilometer. I followed a little used animal path, for the most part you are unable to see your foot plant, the going is slow and somewhat tiresome. I took a number of granny breaks in the steeper sections.
You arrive at the summit at Monument 425, located on a rock outcrop right at the corner of a 90 degree bend in the Boundary Line. The cast iron Monument has been recently painted, it has a new
2" diameter survey marker in its concrete base "US & CB Survey, B+M 2460'". This is, without question, the Highpoint of Louise Mountain my GPS read 45.43128, 70.78154.
PB shows the highpoint as being inside the ME woods, so I checked it out .... 50 meters before you get to the Monument and 25 meters right inside the ME woods is a bump, my chosen highpoint here was at GPS 45.43073, 70.78169. . This spot is definitely lower than the rock at Monument 425 and PB should revise the data accordingly.
I returned the same way back to the col in less than 1 hour where I decided to continue/ascent westbound on the swath to BOUNDARY MONUMENT 426 PEAK (see its TR for the details).
The descent to the TH from the col took 30 minutes. Just before the TH a couple past me on an ATV machine (they had been in the woods all day installing a maple sap drainage system). They didn't ask me any questions, I thought perhaps I was trespassing.

After I cleaned up I continued my drive to Baxter State Park's Togue Pond South Entrance north of Millinocket for some information, I picked up a "Day Use Hiking Guide". I then drove to the New England Outdoor Center Campground 4 miles before the Park Entrance, where I was able to procure a campsite for the next 3 nights at 12$ per night.

DAY 2, August 5,2011
EAST TURNER MOUNTAIN ..... a trail/bushwack from Avalanche Field TH, 6 mile north of the Park's Togue Pond South Entrance .... 13.3 miles. 7 hour RT.
See my East Turner Mountain TR for the details. I paid the 14$ daily out-of-state vehicle fee to enter the park (a season's pass for out of state vehicles is 39$)
I overnighted at the same Campground.

DAY 3, August 6, 2011
DOUBLETOP ..... southbound trail climb from Nesowadnehunk Field Campground to North and South Peak ....... 6.8 miles, 5 1/4 hours RT.
At the Togue Pond Entrance I paid my daily 14$ vehicle fee and I was able to reserve a campsite (30$) for tomorrow evening at the South Branch Pond Campground at the north end of the Park. The plan is to climb Doubletop today, The Owl tomorrow and The Traveler the following day.
I drove the Park Road northbound about 17 miles to the Nesowadnehunk Field Campground and from the "Day Use Parking Area" I hiked southbound on the Doubletop Trail over the North Peak (3.2 miles) to the South Peak (3.4 miles). The ridge between the Peaks is spectacular with little elevation change, a full panorama of views.
There are a few strenuous climbs on the ascent, had to take a number of granny breaks, sweated tons, nice snack break on summit. A lot of hikers out today.
I got back to the van completely zapped from the heat and humidity.
I drove back to my campsite and went to the Outdoor Center Pavilion for a pizza/beer dinner. The place was full of people enjoying their day's rafting trip on the large video screen. The video/beer made for a noisy/happy crowd.
Tonight is the last night at this Campground, tomorrow I move on to the north end of the Park.

DAY 4, August 7, 2011
THE OWL ..... a wet strenuous trail hike from the Katahdin Stream Campground .... 7.2 miles, 6 hours RT.
I paid my daily 14$ fee for the last time and drove to the Katahdin Stream Campground, the site where all of the AT thru-hikers start their last day on the trail.
I left (8h00 hours) the Hunt Trail (AT) TH northbound 1 mile to a left on the Owl Trail (sign reads 2.6 miles to the summit), the weather heavily overcast with the feel of rain, I wouldn't be disappointed.
A number of really steep/strenuous sections, lot of granny breaks, it was all work with no rewards... viewless, although I am told they are spectacular, 3 1/2 hour total climb. It drizzled rain off/on on the ascent, short break on summit, the weather not good.
I got caught in a heavy downpour in the last 40 minutes of the descent, the trail was a river. I ran out once I got back to the Hunt trail. The rain stopped just as I got out (13h45 hours).

After a good break, I got cleaned up and made the long slow drive (20 mph) to the north end of the Park and the South Branch Campground. I got a site near the lake, great views except for the clouded in surrounding Peaks .... this spot is perhaps the nicest in the Park, a number of people swimming/canoeing in the lake.

Tomorrow will be my last day in the Park. I met up/chatted with a Maine man out with his wife on an 11 day canoe/backpacking trip. She's a Canadian and they have been married for 30 years and she still won't apply for USA citizenship.
I went to bed early.

DAY 5, August 8, 2011
THE TRAVELER .... a wet/strenuous trail hike over 3 peaks.....9.6 miles, 8 3/4 hour RT.
See The Traveler TR for the details of this trip. After the hike I drove out of the Park, called Rose at Medway (wasn't a happy camper because I didn't call her), had dinner at the local Mcdonald and drove hwy #2 to Skowhegan and found a campsite at the Two Rivers Campground. The nice gentleman only charged me 20$ for a 27$ site.
I was horizontal at 19h30 hours.

DAY 6, August 9, 2011
BOUNDARY MONUMENT 428 PEAK ..... a woods track and a short bushwack from the south side of the Peak ..... 4.4km, 1 3/4 hour RT.
See Boundary Monument 428 Peak for the details of this hike.
After this hike I drove home arriving in late afternoon, happy with a very successful East Turner Mountain climb, thereby completing my list "Maine County High Points".

"BEHIND EVERY MOUNTAIN LIES A VALE." ..... dutch proverb
Summary Total Data
    Elevation Gain:1040 ft / 317 m
    Distance:7.1 mi / 11.5 km
    Route:dirt road eb/boundary swath eb from hwy 161
    Trailhead:hwy 161 at 7.4 km n of Woburn  1420 ft / 432 m
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Unmaintained Trail, Open Country
Ascent Statistics
    Time Up:2 Hours 45 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Time Down:2 Hours 5 Minutes
Ascent Part of Trip: louise

Complete Trip Sequence:
1Louise Mountain2011-08-04 a
2Boundary Monument 426 Peak2011-08-04 b

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