Ascent of Mount Wonalancet on 2013-06-09

Climber: Jeffrey McLean

Others in Party:Elizabeth
Date:Sunday, June 9, 2013
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Mount Wonalancet
    Location:USA-New Hampshire
    Elevation:2760 ft / 841 m

Ascent Trip Report

We had planned a shorter hike, but the weather was so nice I decided to change over to these peaks. I really like the Sandwich Range the more I hike it. This hike took us up the Wonalancet Range Trail to the junction with the Walden Trail. We followed the Walden trail down to the 4 way junction at Old Mast Rd, and took that back to the Ferncroft parking area. WODC does a wonderful job maintaining the trail and the parking area. There is plenty of parking, the dirt road is in great shape, and there's even a very clean outhouse at the trail head.

The trail up Wonalancet is in good shape. The woods on the lower part of the mountain are nice. Very open over a pretty gradual grade. You can hear a brook as well. After about 3/4 of a mile it starts to get steeper and more rugged. The final push to the junction with the shortcut is steep, but not terrible. We skipped the short cut to see the view of the ledges of Wonalancet, which is outstanding and worth the push up some relatively steep sections. After the ledges it's mostly flat to a gentle climb. I'm not certain where the true summit is. Once we started consistently heading down we decided we must have missed it at some point. The section of trail shortly after Wonalancet and leading to well past where the short cut rejoins might as well be called poop alley. I've never seen anything like it. Every 5 feet was another pile. Despite all the unmistakable evidence of moose activity, we were unable to see one. Just before Hibbard's summit the trail splits. Follow to the right and you'll end up on a ledge with an awesome view to the south and east. You can also see back to where you just came from. There is a herd path that continues around the back of the boulder and rejoins the trail, but it doesn't seem like it's the actual trail, so just go back around. You're only saving about 20 steps anyhow. The view from Hibbard's summit was probably amazing before the trees grew in. Now there's not much to see unless you're tall. From Hibbard to the junction with the Walden trail was almost flat with a nice easy trail. After the junction we headed towards the 4 way junction over Wonalancet Hedgehog. There is a path to the right that is well marked as "view" which leads to a small ledge. Further on is a large boulder that i took as the summit. We stopped for lunch shortly after where there is a nice marked path to another view. Best of the day I felt. The Walden trail got very steep from here out, with a few very high scrambles. Elizabeth is terrified of heights and did an amazing job over the scrambles. She wasn't even phased by them. Once you hit the junction, all the scrambling is over with. The Old Mast Road is a nice long easy descent. We counted something like 24 lady slippers, but there were probably many more we missed. Please do be careful as they grow right next to or even on the trail in some places. This was a great loop of about 6.5 miles or so. Different maps have different lengths listed for the Walden Trail and Old Mast Road. I've got plenty of peaks left in this area, and can't wait to go back!
Summary Total Data
    Weather:Pleasant, Calm, Clear
Ascent Part of Trip: Wonalancet Loop

Complete Trip Sequence:
1Mount Wonalancet2013-06-09 
2Mount Hibbard2013-06-09 
3Wonalancet Hedgehog2013-06-09 

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