Ascent of Eagle Mountain on 2011-07-10

Climber: William Musser

Others in Party:Daniel Musser
----Only Party on Mountain
Date:Sunday, July 10, 2011
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Boat
Peak:Eagle Mountain
    Elevation:1680 ft / 512 m

Ascent Trip Report

Been dying to try this one for years. On the northeast of shore of Moosehead Lake are several volcanic formed mountains of Kineo Rhylolite that stand up like pointed cones that have been shaped by the destructive forces of glaciers. As they advanced from the north and gradually carved upward they reached the peak of the ignious formations and then were hurled down under the force of gravity and carved steep cliffs on the downward sides (southern exposures) of nearly every mountain in this area. This is the last of the larger reminent peaks along this belt that I have now completed including: Blue Ridge, Kineo, Little Kineo, Shaw, Little Spencer, and Big Spencer.

Of these peaks Kineo is by far the most geologically facinating but Eagle Mountain is a proud runner up tied with Big Spencer and Little Kineo in my book. I liked this peak because it is on a peninsula of land surrounded by water and it is steep and sharp topped. Best of all it has some larger trees near the summit that have not been logged and it is not high enough to have a Krummholz so it is an easy bushwhack at the top unlike so many of the mountains above 3,000 feet in the area that are rediculoulsy hard to bushwhack at the top.

My family (kids and friends) took our pontoon boat and ski boat and a kayak on the 12 mile jouney from our summer cottage up to Big Duck Cove (Sarah, Kyle, David, Ben, Daniel and me) but I could only talk my youngest son into humouring dad with a fine bushwhack as there are no trails up this fine mountain. David used the pontoon boat and beached me and Daniel on the south shore and we climbed to a clearing where we stumbled into a private residence. Not wanting to tresspass we skirted around the shore and to the east of the cottage and began following a drainage north by north east towards the rock ledges seen from the cove. We immediately found some old flagging and began to follow it replacing with our pink and-or red and white stripped tape as the tape we found was nearly faded or disintegrated.

We quickly crossed a road far below the peak that runs in a fairly east-west bearing and found a broad area under the deciduous canopy to follow wanting to avoid the potentially thick spruce-hemlock-fir mess that has taken over Maine in places devoid of fire and far too much logging.

As luck had it we stumbled again onto someone elses former flagged bushwhack (again the tape so old it was hard to find) we re-set our newer pink and red/white tape and headed NE up into the ledges. Avoiding dangerously steep vertical crumbly rhyolite cliffs and awkward talus piles we worked our way up to the ledge you see from the Cove. There are wonderful views of Big Duck Cove and the lake from this ledge. Above this ledge the forest has recently had a fire (past 5 years??) and the understory is well thinned and the firs and spruce I feared were an easy bushwhack. The floor is covered with moss like a carpet and no trails. Undulating mats of moss and boulders we bushwhacked to the first false peak shown on the USGS map.

The best views anywhere on this mountain are found on this false peak. You see the lake all around you and you can see Spencer, the Cove, Big Duck Pond and other mountains nearby. Daniel was not enjoying this bushwack because the deer flies pestered his face the entire time.

One small downhike to the saddle between peaks and then the higher peaks are on the north side of the mountain and the HP is on the NE bump where there are no views at all!.... I got a little extra gain going down checking out all the bumps and going back to the first talus pile and ledge to see my other kids and friends wake board in Big Duck Cove.

Accessing this mountain any other way than by boat would be a pain as far as I can tell as there are no paved roads anywhere near this mountain.

Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:703 ft / 213 m
    Extra Gain:25 ft / 7 m
    Round-Trip Distance:2 mi / 3.2 km
    Route:southern slopes
    Trailhead:Shoreline of Big Duck Cove  1027 ft / 313 m
    Quality:6 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Bushwhack, Scramble
    Weather:Pleasant, Breezy, Clear
Perfect 78F

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