Ascent of The Horns-North Peak on 2014-07-30

Climber: William Musser

Others in Party:Willie-Weimaraner Musser
Karen Musser
Date:Wednesday, July 30, 2014
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:The Horns-North Peak
    Elevation:3792 ft / 1155 m

Ascent Trip Report

Karen and Willy and I struggled to find the correct parking area. We first found the AT parking lot then realized we needed to go down the road a bit and take the unpaved but well maintained Stratton Brook Road. Heading east the road become a bit rougher then ends in a small parking area with a rough trail east and the road jogs north. Cars were parked there but no further but we were sure there was another parking area by the Stratton Brook Pond but the puddles in the road going forward were very muddy and deep and we did not want to risk it. Thus the 12 mile loop described in Chunn's "50 Hikes in the Maine Woods" begins at the pond outlet not this upper parking area.

It was not a far walk to the lower parking area. The road when dry would be passable by our Ford Edge. I saw only one rock that would bottom out the car if you did not straddle it correctly but then again, with the huge puddles from the rains this week - that was our limiting factor.

Once we got to the lower parking area along the pond it got confusing. We found several trails but the book showed the main trail heading NW not North along the pond and we found a heavily used trail heading in that direction and crossed the creek in fairly deep water only to find the trail died. Going back over the outlet stream, crossing on top of the rocks, we then found another trail heading NW and it simply deadened at a privy! Then finally we simply took the heavily used trail along the pond and of course, that is the one that takes you to all the MATC signs that make it clear moving forward where to go. Things went smooth thereafter.

The book talks of finding the OLD Horn trail within a few tenths and not to take it. The MATC signs make it clear there again the distances to the junction with the New Horn Trail and the Warden Trail.
We took the New Horn trail up to the AT and then over to check out the Horn Pond which I thought was a nice as an embedded mountain pond as I have ever seen in Maine. Passed all the AT hiking huts, and made our way up the very steep class 2 rocky west slopes to the Horns. The first cutoff trail is signed to go the "observation point" at 0.2 miles away and that is the North Horn which is slightly lower than the South Horn but the views are 360 degree and spectacular there.

Additional gain was estimated:
1) 150 feet from lower parking to junction with New Horn Trail;
2) 75 feet along New Horn Trail;
3) 40 feet regain along North Horn Spur to drop into saddle
Or, 260' up

Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:2779 ft / 847 m
    Total Elevation Loss:352 ft / 107 m
    Round-Trip Distance:4.7 mi / 7.6 km
    Grade/Class:1 and 1+
    Quality:7 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Stream Ford
    Weather:Pleasant, Calm, Partly Cloudy
55F but cloudy
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:2779 ft / 847 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 2539 ft / 774 m; Extra: 240 ft / 73m
    Loss on way in:240 ft / 73 m
    Distance:4.6 mi / 7.4 km
    Route:Stratton Brook Road to Warden's Trail to New Horn
    Start Trailhead:Stratton Brook Road Upper Parking  1253 ft / 381 m
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:112 ft / 34 m
    Distance:0.1 mi / 0.2 km
    Route:North Horn Spur
    End Trailhead:Saddle between the Horns  3680 ft / 1121 m
Ascent Part of Trip: Bigalow

Complete Trip Sequence:
1The Horns-North Peak2014-07-30 a2779 ft / 847 m
1Bigelow Mountain2014-07-30 c840 ft / 256 m
2The Horns2014-07-30 b200 ft / 61 m
4Avery Peak2014-07-30 d418 ft / 127 m
Total Trip Gain: 4237 ft / 1291 m    Total Trip Loss: 4237 ft / 1292 m

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