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Ascent of Cunningham Mountain-Northwest Slope on 2014-06-09

Climber: William Musser

Others in Party:Daniel Musser
----Only Party on Mountain
Date:Monday, June 9, 2014
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Cunningham Mountain-Northwest Slope
    Location:USA-Maine
    Elevation:760 ft / 231 m

Ascent Trip Report

Another tick report! Oops trip report. I hate hiking in June in New England. Ticks everywhere! We took SR 3 out of Augusta and turned right (south) onto Banton Road (paved) which becomes a well maintained and graded road called Gore Road. After passing Mountain Road I counted the farms and fields on the right side of Gore Road and sure enough the 0.8 gated road on the left was there and well marked no tresspassing. This is likely the path the others used that takes them past the old house. We ventured a little further south on Gore and found the second ungated jeep trail that is about 0.5 miles to the HP and is pretty much a straight bearing upward.

Seeing no obvious no tresspassing signs we parked along Gore and made our trailhead. Soon as we walked through a brief but lovely woods we noticed many signs but they were not no tresspassing warnings but rather indicating we were on a designated snow mobile route! Yes much better than tresspassing gates. You pass on old rotting car and a shack as you get to the first open field. The fields were more open and cleared swinging to the left (east) but my notes showed to go southeast so we headed up the clearing and the snow mobile trail through tick infested high grass. Big mistake. We shoudl have headed left on the nice cleared track up and around the field to the upper field but that made for a nice way home.

Soon the snow mobile route became thicker vegetation and steep and then headed back east. We foolishly headed up slope (towards Cunningham Peak) but realized that this was a mistak and came back down to the upper snowmobile track to the east regaining about 70 feet. The snow mobile track eventually parallels the upper open field which is full of blueberry bushes. We bushwhacked thru a short woods into the upper field and found the coordinates for the highpoint. Up above was some rock croppings that looked like nearing the true summit so we headed for that as well (separate report).

Then we came back along the blueberry field picking ticks off of us and found a jeep trail on the other side of the fields. Study your aerials and pick the routes on the left side of the hill going up and right side going down and save yourself taller bushwhacking through the grasses and likely less ticks. The views from these fields were nice and we could see quite a ways.

The entire trip up and back including hitting the peak of Cunningham above was 30 minutes but we were moving fast and ran down the mountain to our car.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:420 ft / 128 m
    Total Elevation Loss:70 ft / 21 m
    Grade/Class:1
    Quality:3 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Open Country, Bushwhack
    Weather:Pleasant, Calm, Clear
78F but hot
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:420 ft / 128 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 350 ft / 107 m; Extra: 70 ft / 21m
    Loss on way in:70 ft / 21 m
    Distance:0.5 mi / 0.8 km
    Route:Snow Mobile route to open field
    Start Trailhead:Jeep trail intersection with Gore Rd  410 ft / 124 m
Descent Statistics
Ascent Part of Trip: Cunningham

Complete Trip Sequence:
OrderPeak/PointDateGain
1Cunningham Mountain-Northwest Slope2014-06-09 a420 ft / 128 m
2Cunningham Mountain2014-06-09 b60 ft / 18 m
Total Trip Gain: 480 ft / 146 m    Total Trip Loss: 480 ft / 146 m



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