Ascent of Boundary Peak 503.4 on 2010-07-03

Climber: Ben Lostracco

Date:Saturday, July 3, 2010
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Boundary Peak 503.4
    Location:United States/Canada
    Elevation:2020 ft / 615 m

Ascent Trip Report

Moderately-easy-boggy hike on the USA/CA Boundary Line to Monuments 500.15 and 503.4..... 14.25km, 5 hours RT for both destinations which includes the time necessary to check out the details referred-to in this TR.

My source of trail information was the Goggle map and Goggle Earth which clearly shows the roads noted in this text. My approach was from the Canadian side.

From the TH on Chemin Dion I walked around the steel gate and hiked south on the good-dirt service-road (driveable), as it gradually climbed about 2km, 30 minutes, to the USA/CA Boundary Swath. Before arriving at the Boundary the road ended at a large clearing with a Hunter's Shooting Tower, I continued south at 11 o'clock and a grass track (tall grass) led me a short distance to the Boundary, stayed right at the Y junction.
I turned left, eastbound on the Boundary, 250M to the Boundary Monument 500.15 (see its TR). A right turn, westbound, led me about 5km, 1 1/2 hour to Boundary 503.4.

The westbound grass track on the Border is heavily overgrown for half the distance and care was required when foot-planting. There were a number of wet sections that I had to circumvent, especially on both sides of Monument 502 ..... really boggy, 3-4 inches of water for a good distance ...... I postholed my right foot twice to my knee, I was full of mud. It might be easier and drier to access this highpoint from the west side, see the last paragraph at the bottom of this report for the TH.
I met up with a lot of moose tracks and droppings, and also swarms of ferocious horse flies that would not stop biting, a real problem.

The Boundary Line highpoint is fairly obvious, my GPS reading on the Boundary Line was 45.23402, 71.42915. The actual highpoint of the area is northeast in the Canadian woods.

This Provisional Peak is wrongly numbered, it should be 503.7 instead of 503.4.
The orange Survey Marker (nailed to a tree) on the USA side of the Border, just opposite the highpoint, is numbered as 507.7. This is wrong as it should be 503.7.
I checked out the orange Survey Markers on both sides of 507.7 ...... the next Marker westbound was 503.9 ...... eastbound were 503.6 (about 100 yards away), 503.5, 503.3 (I didn't see 503.4).
So its evident that this highpoint is 503.7. I'll send a note to Greg, pointing out this finding.

It is very interesting to see the amazing differences in cultures (NH/QC) just by hiking the Boundary. I must have past 20 Hunter's Shooting Towers along the 5km Boundary hike, numerous yellow "Interdites" warning signs and incoming woods tracks all on the Quebec side versus the pristine side of New Hampshire (not one Tower,sign or track). I am sure that all of the ATV traffic/damages on the Boundary is made by Quebeckers.

To get to the TH from the west, Saint-Isidore-de-Clifton, I traveled south on Chemin d'Auckland a short distance to a left turn on 7e Rang, zeroed my odometer. Traveled east on 7e Rang and passed Chemin Pouliot on the left (4.7km) .... 7e rang is now named Chemin Dion. Continued eastbound, passed Chemin Houle on the left (7.6km) and arrived at an unsigned service road on the right (10km), a grey shed on the corner. The road is gated. I parked here, this was my TH.
Just before arriving at this road I passed a fairly new house on the right with a service road next to it. My original plan was to use this first service road, however the couple at the house, who happened to be outside working in their beautiful flower garden, informed me that the property owner doesn't like people using this road, they suggested I use the following one. "It will take you to the frontiere."
"Do you have a fusil." He asked.
"No I don't but why do I need a fusil?" I smiled.
"For bears of course." came the reply.
"I don't have to worry about that, I'm a friendly bear."
We all had a good laugh as I got back in my van.
I should add here that their advice was very good so I stopped in to thank them on the way out but unfortunately no-one was home. Also this is their summer home, they are French Americans living in Manchester, New Hampshire. Now that their kids are grown up the house is used very little and they are looking at renting it out. Our whole conversation was in French. Nice couple.
NB: As noted above in the narrative, the boggy area could be avoided and it might be easier to access 503.4 from the west side. The suggested TH from the west is a little used road on the right, about 1km past Chemin Pouliot, just past a house. Goggle Earth shows this road leading to the Boundary Swath just west of 503.4. Once on the Boundary take a left turn, eastbound .... about 7km RT.


Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:760 ft / 230 m
    Total Elevation Loss:540 ft / 163 m
    Round-Trip Distance:7.5 mi / 12 km
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Open Country
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:370 ft / 112 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 220 ft / 67 m; Extra: 150 ft / 45m
    Loss on way in:150 ft / 45 m
    Distance:3.1 mi / 5 km
    Route:wb on border from 500.15
    Start Trailhead:chemin dion E of St Isidore  1800 ft / 548 m
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:390 ft / 118 m
    Gain on way out:390 ft / 118 m
    Distance:4.3 mi / 7 km
    Route:eb on border/dirt road nb to ch dion
Ascent Part of Trip: 500.15

Complete Trip Sequence:
1Boundary Monument 500.152010-07-03 a440 ft / 134 m
2Boundary Peak 503.42010-07-03 b760 ft / 232 m
Total Trip Gain: 1200 ft / 366 m    Total Trip Loss: 980 ft / 299 m

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