Ascent of White Cap Mountain on 2014-09-13

Climber: Dan Quinlan

Others in Party:Gudi Quinlan
Date:Saturday, September 13, 2014
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:White Cap Mountain
    Elevation:3856 ft / 1175 m

Ascent Trip Report

September 13, 2014
White Cap and N. Kennebago Divide
Overcast skies, 35 degrees at the start.
8:45 am
I think I worried way too much about getting to the parking, but with the help of a garmin nuvi and a waypoint we managed to get to the log landing without any problems – its slow traveling the dirt roads but we didn’t get lost. From the parking Gudrun and I headed up the logging ‘trail’, it was a road that was just covered in slash –kinda hard to walk along. This didn’t last too long, as it turned to the left and we could see the ATV trail head straight.
9:25 am
Found a small cairn that we think is the split where you can head toward White Cap or Kennebago. We have chosen to visit White Cap first so we continue straight instead of heading left. We marked the point for our return. So far the trail is very easy to follow, it looks like it gets some ATV traffic as it isn’t very wide.
9:40 am
We have reached a second cairn – the ATV trail looks like it might continue straight, but it is not as ‘pronounced’ as what we have been following so far. At this point there are some downed trees and a small cairn. To the left we can see that we will need to dive into the woods and begin following the herd path / or start bushwhacking.
9:55 am
Wow, we have already reached the summit of White Cap. I guess I had been so worried about actually finding the parking that I never really studied the length of the hike or the elevation profile. But this has to be the easiest NEHH we have done so far. The ATV trail was easy to follow and once we headed into the woods, the herd path was also a nice hike in the woods.
Today is pretty cloudy and the temperature at the summit is 37 degrees. But even without the clouds, there isn’t much to see from the summit as it is pretty well treed. So after a quick break and a snack, Gudi and I leave the White Cap and head toward N. Kennebago at 10:00 am
We returned to the first cairn we saw this morning and started to follow the trail. Turns out this was a mistake, this was taking us in a westerly direction and down off the col between White Cap and Kennebago. This must be the trail if you star the hike from the west.
This was the beginning of our ‘bushwhack’. From here we were unable to find any sort of a herd path so we headed toward the summit along the ridge. It took us about 15 minutes of fighting through the trees before we finally came upon a herd path around 10:40 am that we could follow.
Wow the difference it the paths to these 2 mountains is incredible. You would think that everyone who visits one must also summit the other. But as easy as it was to get to White Cap, getting to N. Kennebag is much more difficult. After our initial bushwhack, we did find the herd path which changes direction often, fades in and out and in general a challenge to follow. Luckily today is a bit cool, so we don’t have shorts so we aren’t scratching up our legs.
We reached the summit of N. Kennego, again not much too see here and we are surprised the we have already visited the 2 summits we had planned for the day. While we are having lunch at the summit, a couple also reached the top. They mentioned that we are very close to Snow Cupsubtic and since it is pretty early, Gudi and decided we will head over there once we get back to the car.
11:40 am
After visiting with the other hikers and learning some things about the other mountains in the area, we head off the summit. It turns out we found it much easier to get down and back to the main path. We were able to follow the herd path pretty much right down to the col. When we realized we are very close to the main ATV path, we found a small well grown in path that lead us to the ATV trail. This was not well marked at all and there is no wonder we couldn’t find it on the way up.
12:30pm We were back at the log landing. These are definitely 2 very different peaks, it was easy to get to White Cap but getting to Kennebago wasn’t impossible, it was just surprising how different the path was compared to White Cap.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:1800 ft / 548 m
    Quality:6 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Unmaintained Trail, Bushwhack
    Weather:Cool, Calm, Overcast
Overcast skies, 35 degrees at the start.
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:1800 ft / 548 m
    Distance:4.8 mi / 7.7 km
    Route:ATV trail, Herd Path
    Start Trailhead:Wiggle Brook Rd  2056 ft / 626 m
    Time:3 Hours 45 Minutes
Descent Statistics
Ascent Part of Trip: WhiteCap_Kennebago

Complete Trip Sequence:
1White Cap Mountain2014-09-13 a1800 ft / 549 m
2Kennebago Divide2014-09-13 b 
Total Trip Gain: 1800 ft / 549 m
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Dan Quinlan
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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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