Ascent of Belknap Mountain on 2012-03-20

Climber: Mike Dow

Date:Tuesday, March 20, 2012
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Belknap Mountain
    Location:USA-New Hampshire
    Elevation:2382 ft / 726 m

Ascent Trip Report

Headed to Belknap Mtn for the first hike of the year. There had been a string of 70° days, so most of the snow was gone from the ground, although there were stretches of slushy ice at higher elevations where there was shade.

Parked at the Carriage Road gate (which was still closed for winter) and hiked up to the parking lot (where I intended to start). Continued on to the trailhead for the Green Trail.

This trail parallels the power lines for the mountain top facilities, and also follows some waterways. The trail is well blazed, but there are places where the blazes are painted on rocks in more exposed locations. For the first half of the accent, broken rocks make the hike similar to climbing stairs, but it becomes more level as I got closer to the top.

There is a fire tower at the top that provides the views. From ground level there really aren't any views, but from the highest accessible level of the fire tower there were views toward all directions. Although it was a clear day, it got hazy in the distance, so the Presidentials were not really too visible, but I could see Kearsarge to the west.

The Yellow and White trails share the path for the first part of the decent, and there is a good map and the junction is well marked. There are a couple of overlooks toward the southeast from cliffs on the decent that make the white trail pleasant for views.

The White Trail connects to the Carriage Road below the parking lot (just before the Parking Ahead sign) but is set back into the woods. Like the Green Trail, the early part of the trail would be steeper on the accent, but there is more level ground.

Both of the trails have temporarily (?) blazed sections (pink tape) that take you around the worst of the ice.

It was a nice hike, but I should have worked up to it. It wouldn't have been as bad if I didn't have the extra accent to the trailhead forced by the closed gate. It also wouldn't have been as bad if I was in better shape. ;-)
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:1253 ft / 381 m
    Total Elevation Loss:1253 ft / 381 m
    Round-Trip Distance:4.5 mi / 7.2 km
    Quality:5 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Maintained Trail, Snow on Ground
    Weather:Pleasant, Calm, Clear
Beautiful Day
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:1253 ft / 381 m
    Distance:2.2 mi / 3.5 km
    Route:Green Trail (Warden's Trail)
    Start Trailhead:Carriage Road  1129 ft / 344 m
    Time:1 Hours 33 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:1253 ft / 381 m
    Distance:2.3 mi / 3.7 km
    Route:White Trail (Piper Mtn Trail)
    End Trailhead:Carriage Road  1129 ft / 344 m
    Time:1 Hours 24 Minutes

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