Ascent of Mount Osceola-East Peak on 2011-07-25

Climber: Ryan Aschbrenner

Date:Monday, July 25, 2011
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Mount Osceola-East Peak
    Location:USA-New Hampshire
    Elevation:4156 ft / 1266 m

Ascent Trip Report

I chose the approach from the south starting from the trailhead on Tripoli Road. I did an out-and-back hike to Osceola and East Osceola.

Some sections of the trail up to Osceola are very rocky, especially early on in the ascent. For much of the hike, my mind was occupied with deciding which rock to step on next. It was interesting that mixed in with the rocky trail sections were some remarkably flat, wide, and well-maintained sections of trail, much like you'd expect to see at lower elevations near a visitor center. There were even some of these easy sections of trail up near the summit. With the exception of the fancy footwork required to negotiate the rocky parts of trail, this hike doesn't present any major obstacles, and the slope is gentle most of the way, so it's not that tough of a hike.

I spent some time enjoying the summit view, which was great even with all the cloud cover today. There are also some trails that criss-cross the summit area. Some of them lead to elevated areas of exposed rock. Maybe these are candidates for the true summit?

As I was up there, the wind was strong and cold, the sky looked ominous, and it started sprinkling. I saw that I'd have to drop hundreds of feet into the col and back up again on my hike over to bag East Osceola. With these cool, potentially wet conditions, I contemplated turning back. But I had my rain gear, and I had come this far ... so I went boldly forward to tackle the East Peak. On my hike over, I saw a couple of other solo hikers, and a forty-ish couple with their 12 or 13 year-old son and their dog, so I knew either we're all crazy, or I'm OK to be doing this.

The hike between Osceola and East Osceola is more difficult than the southern approach up Osceola. The trail encounters a couple of steep sections that have to be navigated with care, so be ready for it. The toughest part was the chimney just before the trail bottomed out on the way down Osceola. I later learned that hikers have beaten a detour path through the woods. I'm not a skilled scrambler, but I made it down the chimney just fine, and up on my return. The forty-ish couple I mentioned also carried their dog down the chimney, so it's manageable.

As is well-known, views from the East summit are severely restricted. There is a short trail extending downslope a bit from the summit cairn which led to about the best (limited) view you'll get from this peak.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:356 ft / 108 m
    Total Elevation Loss:356 ft / 108 m
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Scramble
    Weather:Pleasant, Windy, Overcast
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:356 ft / 108 m
    Route:Mt. Osceola Trail from Osceola
    Start Trailhead:3800 ft / 1158 m
    Time:30 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:356 ft / 108 m
    Route:Mt. Osceola Trail
    End Trailhead:3800 ft / 1158 m
    Time:30 Minutes

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