Ascent of Big Spencer Mountain on 2011-07-08
|Others in Party:||David Musser|
----Only Party on Mountain
|Date:||Friday, July 8, 2011|
|Ascent Type:||Successful Summit Attained|
| Motorized Transport to Trailhead:||Car|
|Peak:||Big Spencer Mountain|
| Elevation:||3206 ft / 977 m|
Ascent Trip ReportKaren David and I decided to take on the other Spencer. Little Spencer is condsidered to be the more difficult hike but I don't see it. Big Spencer has far better views at the top and plenty of steep moves in the last 800 feet or so. I would say it reminds me a lot of Kineo on the Indian Trail but with more gain, better long views, lesser spectactular cliff views, and some longer stepping-scrambling.
The hike starts mellow following the Fire Warden's trail and is easily marked. Seemed like we were hiking up a limestone bottom. We eventualy reach the Fire Warden's house and storage area and it is not as trashed as so many others we have seen on other hikes. What a lonely lifestyle. The house reminded me a bit of Big Moose excpet the house had nicer furnishings it appeared.
After the house the trail begins climbing through the hemlock and balsam fir and becomes steeper class 2 to lower 3. There are ladders provided by the state to overcome some of the steeper ledges that the trail bisects although the scrambling through them would not be difficult without them (other than right after a rain when the roots and rocks are wet and slippery). The trail tops off in an area of typical Kineo Rhyolite but the stunted area near the crown does not have the Krummholtz feel of other more exposed tops like Boundary Bald which is around 500 feet taller.
The summit has thick peat bogs that are spongy between the rocks and trees. There is an observation deck and a lot of equipment at the top including wind turbines and other wires and towers. Views were outstanding. Could see Kineo and Little Spencer from the nearby tower. the best view was of Baxter Peak (the state HP) and its nearby peaks in Baxter SP.
I scouted around for a bushwhack trail to the other peak on the far side of the mountain and elected not to try it. The trees are tiny but packed next to each other and the bushwhack would be miserable.
Climbed it with wife and son in 1 hour 15 minutes, hung at summit for 30 minutes and was down in 1 hour. Be careful not to bottom out your car on the logging roads back to Greenville area.
|Summary Total Data|
| Total Elevation Gain:||1890 ft / 575 m|
| Total Elevation Loss:||1890 ft / 575 m|
| Round-Trip Distance:||3.4 mi / 5.5 km|
| Quality:||7 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)|
| Route Conditions:||Road Hike, Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Scramble|
| Weather:||Pleasant, Breezy, Clear|
75F sunny and clear
| Gain on way in:||1865 ft / 568 m|
| Gain Breakdown:||Net: 1850 ft / 564 m; Extra: 15 ft / 4m|
| Loss on way in:||15 ft / 4 m|
| Distance:||1.7 mi / 2.7 km|
| Route:||Standard Big Spencer Trail|
| Start Trailhead:||TH from State Lands 1356 ft / 413 m|
| Time:||1 Hours 15 Minutes|
| Loss on way out:||1875 ft / 571 m|
| Loss Breakdown:||Net: 1850 ft / 564 m; Extra: 25 ft / 7m|
| Gain on way out:||25 ft / 7 m|
| Distance:||1.7 mi / 2.7 km|
| End Trailhead:||same 1356 ft / 413 m|
| Time:||1 Hours |
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