Ascent of Wheeler on 2014-09-24

Climber: Ben Lostracco

Other People:Solo Ascent
Date:Wednesday, September 24, 2014
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
    Elevation:2372 ft / 722 m

Ascent Trip Report

I am on the way to NH's White Mountains for tomorrow's climb to the South Twin area. The plan for today was to pay a visit to a number of trailed peaks in Vermont's Lake Willoughby area all as per this one TR. Perhaps one on the nicest area around .... truly beautiful, especially today with the start of the fall colors. Probably the best time to come would be the 1st/2nd week of October.

WHEELER .... trail hike of 2.6 miles, 1:15 hours RT.
Driving south on I91 we got off at Exit 25 and drove #16 north to Barton and Hwy Junction #16/5 where we traveled south on #5 for 4.6 miles to a left turn onto Wheeler Mountain Road (it is 8.3 miles south on #5 to the village of West Burke).
We drove north on Wheeler Mountain Road for 1.3 miles to the Moose Mountain TH parking on the right (just after the pond), then in another .7 miles we arrived at the Wheeler TH on the left (2 miles from #5). This TH is just past a house on the right, the last 50 yards of the road is quite rough.
The trail drops to a road which goes north/ends at 150 yards and the start of the trails (red leaves right, white blazed stays left (straight). I took the white trail which climbs inside the woods to the top/edge of the cliff face of the mountain (meeting up with the red trail at about .4 miles). Then follows the top/edge of the cliff easterly on open rock most of the way to the summit (1.3 miles), some scrambling. You are rewarded with spectacular views throughout the top section of the trail, spoiled only by the ugly wind turbines to the south.
The nicest views that I saw of Wheeler were from #5A, the drive along the east shore of Lake Willoghby.

MOOSE MOUNTAIN ..... 2.4 miles, 1:15 hours RT.
From the road side TH Parking (see Wheeler above) the Moose Mountain Trail climbs moderately, with short steeper sections, easterly to the wooded the summit at approx. 1.2 miles. The register is located about half a mile up-trail, at a junction with a spur trail which goes right 25 yards to a nice lookout of Wheeler Pond.
This trail doesn't compare with that of the others when it comes to views.

MOUNT HOR ....... 2.6 miles, 1:15 hours RT
From West Burke I drove north on #5A for 5.6 miles to the large Pisgah South TH Parking on the right, across the road (west) is the CCC Road which heads westerly (stay right at a fork) for 1.75 miles to a small parking area on the right. The trail starts 20 yards beyond on the right.
I hiked the trail nb to a junction on the north ridge where right takes you .7 miles to a lookout with the cliffs of Pisgah being the prize. I turned sharply left (southwest) and climbed to the summit at about 1.3 miles from TH.
At a height-of-land (the trail continues 30 yards drops slightly to a lookout with good views to the south) a herd path leaves on the right and goes inside the woods 60 yards to the actual wooded summit ..... I found a small plastic Canister with a bunch of small loose papers, I signed in one of them.

MOUNT PISGAH ..... a trail hike of 3.4 miles, 2 hours RT.
From the TH (see Mount Hor for the driving directions) I climbed the moderate/steep trail (with some rock/boulders) to the wooded summit at 1.7 miles (no views). You get some partial views on the way up and near the summit but the best one being at the halfway point, at a lookout called Pulpit Rock .... an opening in the woods gave me a dramatic/sparkling view of Lake Willoughby with Mount Hor forming the background. I just loved this moment, I will add the photo to this TR.
The south end of Lake Willoughby with the cliffs of Pisgah and Hor rising out of the water on either side of the Lake is spectacular. Also beautiful is the view of this south end of the Lake from the north end of the Lake. A great hiking area.

There are a number of other trailed peaks in this lake area, I will return on way back from NH's White Mountains. I drove/will overnight at the Gale River TH, south west of the village of Twin Mountain.


Click on photo for original larger-size version.
Wheeler as seen from Westmore, at northeast end of Lake Willoughby (2014-09-24). Photo by Ben Lostracco.
Click here for larger-size photo.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:679 ft / 206 m
    Round-Trip Distance:2.6 mi / 4.2 km
    Route:wheeler mountain trail nb
    Trailhead:wheeler mountain Road  1693 ft / 516 m
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Scramble
Ascent Statistics
    Time:33 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Time:25 Minutes

Other Photos

Click on photo for original larger-size version.
View of south end of Lake Willoughby(with Pisgah (left) and Hor (right)), from Westmore at northeast end of Lake (2014-09-24). Photo by Ben Lostracco.
Click here for larger-size photo.
Click on photo for original larger-size version.
Mount Pisgah as seen from lookout on road to Mount Hor TH (2014-09-24). Photo by Ben Lostracco.
Click here for larger-size photo.

Click on photo for original larger-size version.
View of Lake Willoughby and Mount Hor as offered by Pulpit Rock, a dramatic lookout half-way up the South Trail to Pisgah (2014-09-24). Photo by Ben Lostracco.
Click here for larger-size photo.

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