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Ascent of East Turner Mountain on 2013-07-17

Climber: William Musser

Others in Party:Daniel Musser
Ken Oeser
Edward Earl
Beckie Covill
Dave Covill
Jane Gibbons
Denis Dean
Lanny Wexler
John Mitchler
----Only Party on Mountain
Date:Wednesday, July 17, 2013
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:East Turner Mountain
    Location:USA-Maine
    Elevation:2456 ft / 748 m

Ascent Trip Report

As a peakbagger, I enjoy bagging peaks more than highpointing and only dabble in the hobby of CHPing; thus, I reserve all the proper reporting of the CHPing of this trip to those on the trip that are members of the County HPing site. This reports is based on my personal goals as peakbagger and is my personal log.

I was introduced to and hiked in a group of nine very interesting and friendly peakbaggers/highpointers all from the Highgpointer Konvention whose focus is on the state highpoints our mutual goal. This particular activity was offerred to have people working on Maine's CHPs to work together as this CHP is a known beast to do solo.

The age of the participants varied from 17 to 76. Daniel anchored the youthful bushwhackers and Jane held the destinction the most senior (and a 48 state HPer at age 76). The TRs for this trip warn of a rough day of bushwhacking and Fred Lobdell was at the convention to describe his epic journey landing in a float plane and solo bushwhacking north from kathadin Lake. Fortunately, a new trail system has been built and you can now approach hike about 5.2 miles to the state park boundary from the Avalanche Field Parking area. Then follow the red blazes indicating you are out of the park boundary. We made this the start of the bushwhack. It appeared that the straight line approach would be another 1.1 miles up the park line but we found we had to make some small detours around obstacles that lengthened the distance some. Thus, I estimated the total length of hike at around 6.5 miles each way. It was likely longer coming down as we headed down a more vegetative friendly path. In any case my pedometer registered a 40,000 step plus hike which is typically in the range of 12 to 16 miles.

Jane was an inpspiration pushing to keep moving. At 76 this rigorous bushwhack was very tiring for her and she fell a few times which concerned me but she never stopped. I hope I am as determined as she is when I am 76. The climb took between 11 and 12 hours so was a long day. John Mitchler wrenched his knee the day before on the Knife Edge and stumbled on the rough terrain several times and expressed great pain. I wondered if he would continue but the highpointing obsession required him to gut it out.

If one decides going up the park boundary, be advised that the mid section of the bushwhack, the conifers become so thick, finding the park boundary lines is difficult. We tied some new flagging to assist there. We found the summit (no views at all, signed the register and took group photos.

On the way down Dave Covill suggested we take a less agressive line down the mountain off of what appeared to be an overgrown skid trail. The natural fall line slightly to the north of the park boundary proved to be far easier than following the geographic boundary and was a welcome relief to those with bad knees and had enough of a deep Maine woods bushwhack. Daniel and I considered this a typical Maine bushwhack of which we have done many. The difference was the length of time. I would not want to have done this solo. It would have been an unpleasant place to be found with an injury.

I was pleased to have met Edward Earl for the first time on this trip and highly enjoyed discussing the various philosophies of prominence calculations and reporting "highpointing" and "peakbagging" and the two related databases that he and Greg Slayton maintain and are in some ways apparently linked. I had the opportuntity to discuss with him some of the proper reporting for CHPing and learned that on the county highpointing site (which I have never used or been too), the CHP folks developed a threshold for reporting "additional gain" only when exceeding 80 feet changes. Many CHPers are apparently competing to close out "virgin" states etc.. and thus, have adopted certain standards for the CHPing goals in order to recognize established achievements. I have different goals for when and why my peakbagging hobby bleeds into the world of CHPing. Thus, there is potential for differing philosophies and I acknowledge I am sticking to my personal goals and thus am only in competition with myself. Any rationale used in my peakbagging trip reports that do not conform should be taken as such. Upon reflection of the pros and cons of each I will continue to use my system accordingly; and thus, there could be a difference in the potential add gain shown by the CHPers on this trip and my entry.

My philosophy has been to recognize all of the gain used on your route of that day on long approaches (that cross several ravines and creeks)even if those increments are much smaller than the 80 foot standard used in CHPing. Over the course of a day that total gain and regain can add up to a more difficult climbing experience with several hundred additional feet of vertical that would not be accounted for otherwise. For comparison purposes, hikes that do not have this extra vertical gain-regain are far easier on the legs than ones that for the same horizontal distance remain flat. I account for every bit of gain-regain that I can estimate as I this gives me a better comparison between my personal hiking times based on distance and total uphill climbing.

In any case, the long approach we used on this particular hike crossed several deeply cut streams and ravines that to my estimation provided for significant additional gain. I kept a running tally of all the regain and for peakbagging purposes my estimate of 485 feet is a reasonable. It is not a flat 5 mile entry nor is it one with a simple gradual climb. I am using this value and in the manner that I have always done. Otherwise, it would jeapordize the integrity of all my comparative distance and gain records which I use for planning hikes and completion times.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:2181 ft / 663 m
    Total Elevation Loss:2181 ft / 663 m
    Round-Trip Distance:13 mi / 20.9 km
    Grade/Class:1, 2 and 2+
    Quality:4 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Bushwhack, Stream Ford
    Weather:Drizzle, Pleasant, Calm, Partly Cloudy
70 F humid dropped some rain
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:1696 ft / 516 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 1211 ft / 369 m; Extra: 485 ft / 147m
    Loss on way in:485 ft / 147 m
    Distance:6.5 mi / 10.5 km
    Route:Katahdin lake to Nothe Katahdin lake to west bound
    Start Trailhead:Avalanche Field Parking Area  1245 ft / 379 m
    Time:5 Hours 30 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:1696 ft / 516 m
        Loss Breakdown:Net: 1211 ft / 369 m; Extra: 485 ft / 147m
    Gain on way out:485 ft / 147 m
    Distance:6.5 mi / 10.5 km
    Route:east ridge to same trails in reverse
    End Trailhead:same  1245 ft / 379 m
    Time:5 Hours 30 Minutes



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