Ascent to Turtleback Mountain-Junction with Summit trail on 2015-03-07

Climber: Dave Dunham

Date:Saturday, March 7, 2015
Ascent Type:No Summit Goal
Point Reached:Turtleback Mountain - Junction with Summit trail
    Location:USA-New Hampshire
    Elevation:2060 ft / 627 m

Ascent Trip Report

Turtleback Mountain – I decided to make the best of not being able to snowshoe by getting in some off-road running while at the Granite State Snowshoe championships. I was onsite anyway to volunteer so I got an early start to the day in the best way possible (with a run). My original plan was to get on to snowmobile route 15 and see where it went. When I checked out the excellent Castle in the Clouds trail map, I saw that there was a nice trail up Turtleback Mountain that was about the distance I was looking for. I wasn’t sure of how the footing would be on the trail and figured I’d bail back to the start and just run a road loop if need be.
I started the run in temps just below zero and the sun just rising over Lake Winnie. I did a short road loop to the top of Lee Mountain, checked out the view from the Castle then headed back down to the trails. I was happily surprised to find that Turtleback Mountain trail was in great shape, it was firmly packed out and I could run easily in my Kahtoolahs. After about ½ mile on the trail it dumped out onto Route 15 which was also in perfect shape for running. I didn’t push it, just relaxed and ran to the top. Well, nearly the top, as I hit the junction for the summit trail I saw that it had not been broken out. There was no question in my mind that I’d skip the extra .5 each way in lousy footing, so the summit was not attained. No big deal! The run back down was pleasant, and I was back at the car as the first few runners arrived.
Later that morning I ran a little bit of a warm-up with Verrington and Lapierre ½ mile on the road into ½ mile up the course. At that point they headed back to get ready to race and I continued on up the course. I kept a close eye on my watch with my goal being an arrival at the 3 mile mark before the leaders reached me. I made it with a couple of minutes to spare and then spent 45 minutes taking pictures of the field as they shuffled on by. I finished off the day with a very easy run back down the course. It was easy only in the sense that I didn’t run fast, but the footing was very bad. It was all churned-up sugar snow which makes for lousy running (and is not the best thing for a foot that needs stabile ground). I probably shouldn’t have done all the off-road stuff as it aggravated my foot, that and racing on it on Sunday.
Summary Total Data
    Elevation Gain:840 ft / 256 m
    Distance:6.4 mi / 10.3 km
    Route:Turtleback Mountain trail
    Trailhead:Gate  1220 ft / 371 m
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Snow on Ground
    Gear Used:
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Dave Dunham
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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. accepts NO responsibility or liability from use of this data.

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