Ascent of Mount Jackson on 2013-08-14

Climber: Gabriel C

Other People:Solo Ascent
Date:Wednesday, August 14, 2013
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Mount Jackson
    Location:USA-New Hampshire
    Elevation:4052 ft / 1235 m

Ascent Trip Report

On the last day of our trip in the Whites, I hoped to bag one last 4000 footer. As we were camped at the dry river campground, the easiest and most convenient choice was Mt. Jackson. This would be the last summit in the Presidential range proper, and all that would remain afterwards for New Hampshire's 4000 footers would be the summits of the Pemigewasset Wilderness between Crawford and Franconia Notches.

As we had some driving to do later that day, I gunned for a very early start. When I woke up around xx:xx, I took some food out of the car and put it in the tent for Luiza's breakfast. I quickly left and stopped at the sanitary block before leaving the campground. The sky was still greyish but there were patches of blue here and there. It wasn't particularly cold, but the humidity was a bit chilling.

When I got to Crawford Depot, I looked for the best parking spot. I wasn't sure exactly where the trail started and missed the large lot south of lake Mono on the western part of the road. I parked at the northern end of the lake on the eastern side of the road. There, I got dressed, ate, and left as soon as I could. I hiked south along the road until I saw the trail sign.

The first part of the trail was straightforward, passing the junction for Elephant Rock after a couple minutes. From there the trail steepened a bit but it was wide and well trodden. When I got to the spur for xxx Ledge, I paused but decided to keep going, thinking I could check it out on the way down. I was now getting higher and the wind picked up, moving masses of clouds around in the forest. I was moving along at a good pace so I wasn't too cold, but it wasn't terribly comfortable. I kept going uphill until I started hearing some streams. I passed a first one, which I knew wasn't Silver Cascade since I hadn't reached the junction yet, and a few minutes later, I saw the trail signs. I was going to climb Jackson first and decide when I got there if I was going to go for Webster too or if I would just backtrack.

After the junction, the trail steepened again and started ascending at a very steady rate. I kept a good pace and this last leg seemed to be endless. Nearer to the summit, when rocky outcrops started appearing and teetered on the edge of treeline, the trail angled left and started meandering around and over some slabs. Being wet from the clouds, it was tricky in some spots, but I soon emerged at the summit rock. I looked around and wandered on the summit to try and pinpoint the high ground, and when I was satisfied I had found it, I took a quick bite from my snacks. I decided to keep going towards Webster, as bagging one more toponym when I was almost there wouldn't cost me much time.

The trail wasn't well marked, but I was quite certain I was heading in the right direction. Going generally south, the trail dipped slightly and started doing the same rocky zig-zag as on the last leg uphill. I slipped and almost fell at one point, but no harm was done. When the trail came back to the treeline, the footing became much better and I picked up speed. The clouds were still there, and the wind was strong, but I kept warm by going quick. It took about 15 minutes before I got to the col between Jackson and Webster.

Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:2132 ft / 649 m
    Total Elevation Loss:292 ft / 89 m
    Round-Trip Distance:3.6 mi / 5.8 km
    Quality:5 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Maintained Trail
    Weather:Drizzle, Cool, Breezy, Low Clouds
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:2132 ft / 649 m
    Distance:2.5 mi / 4.1 km
    Route:Jackson/Webster trail
    Start Trailhead:Saco Lake parking (north)  1920 ft / 585 m
    Time:1 Hours 9 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:292 ft / 89 m
    Distance:1.1 mi / 1.7 km
    Route:Appalachian Trail
    End Trailhead:Mt. Webster col  3760 ft / 1146 m
    Time:22 Minutes
Ascent Part of Trip: Jackson/Webster (August 2013)

Complete Trip Sequence:
1Mount Jackson2013-08-14 a2132 ft / 650 m
2Mount Webster2013-08-14 b150 ft / 46 m
Total Trip Gain: 2282 ft / 696 m    Total Trip Loss: 2282 ft / 696 m
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Gabriel C
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Note: GPS Tracks may not be accurate, and may not show the best route. Do not follow this route blindly. Conditions change frequently. Use of a GPS unit in the outdoors, even with a pre-loaded track, is no substitute for experience and good judgment. accepts NO responsibility or liability from use of this data.

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