Ascent of Mount Isolation on 2012-09-02

Climber: Ryan Aschbrenner

Date:Sunday, September 2, 2012
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Mount Isolation
    Location:USA-New Hampshire
    Elevation:4003 ft / 1220 m

Ascent Trip Report

From Route 16, I took the Rocky Branch Trail 3.7 miles before turning right onto the Isolation Trail. After following the Isolation Trail 2.6 miles, I turned left onto the Davis Path, which took me to the short spur path leading to the top of Isolation. It seems that this route is steep early on, and also near the end.

The last mile of this section of the Rocky Branch Trail, and the entire section of the Isolation Trail were very wet, with standing or running water, or thick mud. To make matters worse, all the rocks on the trail were wet from rainfall earlier in the morning today. I was trying to run this ascent, but I couldn't properly run the long stretch of flooded trail with wet, slippery rocks, opting instead to go at a brisk hike/slow run pace, stepping from one wet rock to the next. The tree branches were also soaked, and so I was cold, wet, and, for a while, almost shivering on this cool morning.

I was at least able to run the first two miles and final mile of the ascent. It was nice to finally open it up a bit during the final summit push and feel like I was benefiting from this workout. I reached the summit cairn in 1 hr, 51 min total time, which I guess isn't too bad given the trail conditions and that I'm not a confident trail runner.

There was low, broken cloud cover, which blocked my view of Mt. Washington while at the summit.

I went very carefully over the wet trail sections on my descent, but still slipped on the wet rocks and fell three times, luckily making a soft landing each time. My downhill return took about as long as my ascent.

Not many people were out on the trails this morning. I saw two guys hiking together, a somewhat younger couple, and one solo woman hiker, and I exchanged pleasantries with all of them as I went by on my way up and down.
Summary Total Data
    Elevation Gain:2743 ft / 836 m
    Elevation Loss:2743 ft / 836 m
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Stream Ford
    Weather:Cool, Calm, Low Clouds
Ascent Statistics
    Elevation Gain:2743 ft / 836 m
    Route:Rocky Branch-Isolation-Davis
    Trailhead:1260 ft / 384 m
Descent Statistics
    Elevation Loss:2743 ft / 836 m
    Route:Rocky Branch - Isolation - Davis
    Trailhead:1260 ft / 384 m

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