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Ascent of Sugarloaf Mountain on 2020-01-25

Climber: Gabriel C

Other People:Solo Ascent
Date:Saturday, January 25, 2020
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Sugarloaf Mountain
    Location:USA-Maine
    Elevation:4240 ft / 1292 m

Ascent Trip Report

Following the failed attempt from December, I planned on trying again as soon as I could to finish the New-England 4000' list but, this time, I ensured I wouldn't fail by going through the ski resort instead of driving up Caribou Pond Road. I woke up at 06:00 on Saturday and by 06:20, I was heading east on HWY 10. I reached the border in Coburn Gore around 08:00, then made it around 08:45 at the Sugarloaf resort. The place was already getting quite full so I had to park at the far end of parking lot E.

After gearing up, I put my skis over my shoulders and hiked to the ticket booths. There was a long line with only two open registers so I had to wait a good 15 minutes before I could pay $10USD for the uphill access fee. From there, I went up to the slopes, looked at the map to locate the trails that I could follow, and then hiked up to the bottom of the first, Windrow. I put the climbing skins on just below the Timberline lodges, then started uphill. The first part of the trail wasn't very steep and it was easy going. I passed a group of four, two women and their daughters on snowshoes and bare boots carrying downhill skis.

After a while, I came to the bottom of Upper Windrow and decided to cut right as it seemed to be quite rough and rocky. I climbed my way up Upper Glancer, then too the X-cut to rejoin Windrow and cover the few hundred feet to Bullwinkle's. What was beforehand a partly sunny morning now became fully overcast as I started up the Timberline trail. At first it wasn't too bad and it was possible to go jacket and glove-less but I hit some very windy spots soon after, especially past the Tin Pants junction. Protection went back on as I was now entering the clouds. My feet were also starting to get a little bit sore and I wasn't hopeful for avoiding blisters. I guess my AT boots are getting old.

I was the only uphill skier so I went at my own pace, which I found to be quite slow. I was surprised how badly I was doing as I felt out of breath. When I reached the Spillway X-cut, I found a sign saying no hiking above this point but disregarded it and went on the safer south side of the trail for the rest of the climb. When I reached the lifts, I took a short break before removing my skis and going under the resort cordon. I followed a rocky path towards the AT and stashed the planks in some krummholz. After changing into snowshoes, I climbed the short distance to the summit. It was quite windy so I retreated downhill towards a large cairn. I didn't know exactly where the trail started so I followed open terrain until I was in a definite path.

I followed this for a while but soon realized the blazes were yellow. I was following the AT corridor boundary swath. This was no good so I started bushwhacking west. It wasn't easy but after maybe 20 minutes I reached the actual trail. I could see older tracks under new snow but I would be breaking trail. At least the base was firm. I removed my jacket and went downhill at a decent pace. It wasn't long before I reached the junction with the AT where I took a small snack.

The spruce were loaded and whenever they closed in over me, I would get a good dump of snow. I was already getting tired and I had to take frequent breaks. Regardless, I was making progress and eventually reached the col, after which the climb for Spaulding would start.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:2977 ft / 906 m
    Total Elevation Loss:1192 ft / 362 m
    Round-Trip Distance:5.3 mi / 8.6 km
    Grade/Class:1
    Quality:8 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Open Country, Snow on Ground
    Gear Used:
Skis, Ski Poles, Snowshoes
    Weather:Cold, Breezy, White-out
~-2°C
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:2636 ft / 803 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 2600 ft / 793 m; Extra: 36 ft / 10m
    Loss on way in:36 ft / 10 m
    Distance:3.3 mi / 5.3 km
    Route:Windrow, Timberline trails
    Start Trailhead:Sugarloaf parking E  1640 ft / 499 m
    Time:2 Hours 20 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:1156 ft / 352 m
        Loss Breakdown:Net: 815 ft / 249 m; Extra: 341 ft / 103m
    Gain on way out:341 ft / 103 m
    Distance:2 mi / 3.3 km
    Route:AT
    End Trailhead:Col to Spaulding Mtn  3425 ft / 1043 m
    Time:1 Hours 28 Minutes
Ascent Part of Trip: Sugarloaf Mtn (jan. 2020)

Complete Trip Sequence:
OrderPeak/PointDateGain
1Sugarloaf Mountain2020-01-25 a2977 ft / 907 m
2Spaulding Mountain2020-01-25 b1655 ft / 504 m
Total Trip Gain: 4632 ft / 1411 m    Total Trip Loss: 4632 ft / 1412 m
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip


 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Gabriel C
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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 responsibility or liability from use of this data.

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