Ascent of Croydon Peak on 2013-07-15

Climber: John Hasch

Others in Party:Thomas Harper <2725>
Edward Earl
Ken Oeser
Date:Monday, July 15, 2013
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:4x4 Vehicle
Peak:Croydon Peak
    Location:USA-New Hampshire
    Elevation:2756 ft / 840 m

Ascent Trip Report

Croydon Peak
2,756+ ft.

Monday, 7/15/2013

This turned out to be an epic trip for a couple reasons. Croydon Peak is located on the property of the Blue Mountain Forest Association, a private hunting reserve that is owned by only 30 of the richest people in the world. It is perhaps the most exclusive private hunting space in America, hosting only members and their ultra-impressive guests that have included past US Presidents and other famous people.

Secondly, the climb was special because our visit was arranged by Edward Earl as one of the side trips on the way to the 2013 Maine Konvention. This was the only time I can recall having the privilege of hiking with Edward, a brilliant mind/mathematician whose nickname was “E^2” (E-squared). For those who don’t recognize it, “E” is the shorthand notation for a mathematics concept relating to natural logarithms, so his initials formed a natural reason for adopting the creative nickname.

Joining us on the hike were two others, Ken Oeser and Thomas Harper. I was acquainted with both men from previous hikes. Thomas joined me when we summited the highly restricted military location on Quirauk Mountain in Maryland, and I had hiked with Ken several places relating to previous Highpoint Konvention outings.

Of the 4 hikers, I was clearly the weakest, and my lack of leg strength was evident as we ascended the mountain. I was the one who dictated when we took rest pauses. I was clearly a drag on the climb to the three others, and I appreciate their tolerance of my necessary slower pace, both up the mountain and back down.

I arrived the prior night at the fire station rendezvous point, and I was soon joined by another car which in the morning demonstrated itself to belong to Edward. Early the next morning, the other two arrived, and we were all soon greeted by Jerry, the current park superintendent. We each handed Jerry the requested $50 price of admission, and we all signed the waiver forms he passed out. We then loaded into the SUV for the trip up the road to the trailhead.

Edward had done a quick mental calculation, and he conservatively estimated about 3 hours for the round trip which my GPS showed was about 2.5 to 3 miles. Jerry dropped us off at about 10:30am, and Edward told him to pick us up around 1:30pm. We would subsequently have a need for every minute of that time, due mainly to my slower pace.

Edward and Ken alternated leading us up the mountain, and I was totally reliant on their route-finding. I had my GPS, but I did not have any maps or other useful paperwork to guide us. This was a trivial climb for Edward, who has made a name for himself because he often intentionally starts his climbs at some arbitrary point before getting to a “true” trailhead in order to make his over hike an ascent of at least 2000 feet. Today’s climb would come in at just over half that number. The elevation gain from TH to summit was 1042ft, and an extra 167ft each way gave us a total gain of 1376ft.

We reached the summit, which is a bald granite expanse where few trees are growing, in about 1:45. It’s not that the summit is above tree line. It’s just that the rock lacks the topsoil in which a tree can find a solid footing. We all rested there for a brief stop before descending back to the roadside TH. It took about an hour to descend. Edward got anxious that we might miss our rendezvous with the SUV, so at some point he decided to leave the other 3 of us and race ahead to the road. His plan was a good one, and the vehicle came into view just as I was hiking the last several yards to end the hike.

Not long after our trip, BMFA changed superintendents. Getting access to the reserve has once again become difficult. I am glad we made the hike when we did, because there is no assurance when the property will once again welcome the non-owning, non-hunting baggers of mountain summits.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:1376 ft / 418 m
    Extra Gain:167 ft / 50 m
    Round-Trip Distance:2.6 mi / 4.2 km
    Route:Faint trail to summit
    Trailhead:Ridge Trail Drop Off Point  1714 ft / 522 m
    Quality:5 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)

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