Ascent of North Preston Hill on 2011-12-29

Climber: Chris Gilsdorf

Date:Thursday, December 29, 2011
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:North Preston Hill
    Elevation:1450 ft / 441 m

Ascent Trip Report

My dad and I set out on a snowless late December day to reach the top of CT's other prominence point candidate. Not having seen prior TRs, we first decided to try heading up Preston Mountain Rd, but discovered that it was signed as "members only" for the Preston Mountain club. We opted for a start from the AT instead. We spent maybe 10-15 minutes ascending the trail, passing through a few batches of laurels, until the AT began heading too far east. We set off to the W, bushwhacking across mostly easy terrain, contouring around the N side of P1170+. We aimed for the saddle W of this bump, reaching easier terrain and crossing Preston Mtn Road (here, a hardpacked dirt/gravel road, but probably passable to cars minus the access issues).

After all of 30 seconds on the road, we heard dogs barking and spotted a woman walking down the road toward us. She realized we were hikers, and referenced walking up from "the club". She seemed mildly put off by our presence, but was pleasant enough and allowed us to continue on our way. From here, we bent R, down toward what I thought was Chapel Pond (actually, the two purple ponds on the topo); along the way, we picked up an overgrown road. Crossing the stream at their NW corner proved a bit of an annoyance, but we soon were scaling the moderate slopes of N. Preston. We made the summit in about an hour and a half; the views were somewhat obscured by trees, but would probably otherwise be nice. The summit register contained only a handful of names, most of them familiar.

We returned roughly the same way, though this time followed the overgrown road back across N Preston, contoured a bit lower around P1170+ to avoid some laurels, and met up with the AT a bit lower down. On the way back, I did notice a "no trespassing" sign when we crossed back into the AT corridor. We were back in just over an hour.

I suspect the summit is on, or very near, the club's property, which probably has to be crossed to attain it. I don't know if future visitors will be greeted with the same indifference, so be aware. As we heard some distant gunshots, you may want to weigh your desire to not be seen with that of not being shot, should it be hunting season.
Summary Total Data
    Quality:3 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Maintained Trail, Bushwhack, Stream Ford

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