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Ascent of Mount Webster on 2013-08-14

Climber: Gabriel Couët

Other People:Solo Ascent
Date:Wednesday, August 14, 2013
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Mount Webster
    Location:USA-New Hampshire
    Elevation:3910 ft / 1191 m

Ascent Trip Report

(continued from Mt. Jackson ascent)

At the col, coming in from Mt. Jackson, I heard some noise up ahead. I raised my head and saw a young, long-haired, and bearded guy with only a small running pack thundering downhill. I saluted him, but he ignored me as he crossed my path and disappeared in the distance. Somewhat miffed by his dismissal, as we were two lone early morning hikers and he didn't even acknowledge my salutation, I decided that if he was doing the reverse of my path, I would get down to the road before him. I had a pack ill-suited for running, and my heavy boots would make it a bit more tiring, but I darted uphill towards Mt. Webster.

I was very close to the summit and soon reached a junction. I looked for the summit up a brushy knob, bushwhacked in there as I saw traces of other people wandering in that area but, when I went back to the trail, judged that the true summit should be further up that trail. I jogged over some rocks and a few tens of meters later, I reached a messy opening with many herd paths and some rock slabs. I wandered a bit around to be sure I stood over the summit, losing some precious time in the process, and quickly backtracked to the main trail. From there, I kept going at a very strong pace.

The trail wasn't as steady and regular as on Mt. Jackson, but since I was going downhill, it was less of a hassle. I let gravity do most of the work. I don't remember much of this stretch as I was focused on pathfinding and controlling my breathing. All I know is that after a while I started hearing water and knew I was close to Silver Cascade. When I came into view of the brook, I saw the trail dipped to the streambed. It was a bit tricky, but I was quickly rock hopping over to the other bank where the trail ascended steeply past the gorge. A few tens of meters later, I rejoined with the Jackson-Webster trail.

Still running, I also looked at the ground, to try and spot downhill footprints. I couldn't see any and had good hope of being in front. In this section where there was a bit of uphill, I was starting to feel winded, so I took a few walking rests on the uphills. My pace up to now had been more than decent, and I didn't mind if the other guy would pass me now. Actually, I hoped he would catch up so I would have extra motivation to push harder and stay in front.

I kept going and when the trail started heading more west than north, the grade steepened. I picked up speed, still seeing no footprints. Soon, I reached two women who greeted me. I paused briefly to chat about the conditions, then resumed my run. They never mentioned crossing another runner, so it was further evidence I was ahead. Further down, I crossed a father and his kids, who made comments about my pace. I saluted, paused a bit again, and then ran on. No mention of anyone ahead again.

I passed the ledge spur, and another, bigger group lay ahead of me. I thundered through an area with many loose rocks, which was challenging footwork, giving them a wide berth. The main comment I heard was "look there, that's a real hiker, not an amateur like we are". I chuckled and kept going. At this point I was mere seconds from the Elephant Rock spur, and from there I made one last effort to reach the road at a slight sprint.

At the road, I looked across in the large parking. No sign of that other runner. I rested for a few minutes at the trailhead, hoping he would get here, but when I recovered enough from the run, I started up the road to my car. I never saw the guy, so I don't know if he was coming back to the trailhead. For all I know, he might have been staff at Mizpah Hut. But the motivation it gave me to push all the way was amazing.

I ate a few snacks that I had ignored on the trail, rehydrated, and headed back to Dry River Campground where Luiza was waiting for me. From there we would pack everything up and leave north, back to Québec where we would spend the night in Eastman at her family's country house before driving home to Québec City the next day. All in all, it was a great 9 days of peakbagging, bringing me closer (70%) to completing New Hampshire's 48. All that was left now was the Twin and Willey Ranges plus Mt. Garfield and Owl's head in Franconia Range.
Summary Total Data
    Elevation Gain:150 ft / 45 m
    Elevation Loss:1990 ft / 606 m
    Distance:2.8 mi / 4.5 km
    Grade/Class:1
    Quality:5 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Maintained Trail
    Weather:Drizzle, Cool, Breezy, Low Clouds
Ascent Statistics
    Elevation Gain:150 ft / 45 m
    Distance:0.3 mi / 0.6 km
    Route:Appalachian Trail
    Trailhead:Mt. Webster col  3760 ft / 1146 m
    Time Up:9 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Elevation Loss:1990 ft / 606 m
    Distance:2.4 mi / 3.9 km
    Route:Jackson/Webster trail
    Trailhead:Saco Lake parking (north)  1920 ft / 585 m
    Time Down:49 Minutes
Ascent Part of Trip: Jackson/Webster (August 2013)

Complete Trip Sequence:
OrderPeak/PointDate
1Mount Jackson2013-08-14 a
2Mount Webster2013-08-14 b
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip


 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Gabriel Couët
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Note: GPS Tracks may not be accurate, and may not show the best route. Do not follow this route blindly. Conditions change frequently. Use of a GPS unit in the outdoors, even with a pre-loaded track, is no substitute for experience and good judgment. Peakbagger.com accepts NO resposibility or liability from use of this data.

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