Ascent of Mount Greylock on 2015-08-04

Climber: Spencer Corcoran

Others in Party:Layne C (Dad)
Date:Tuesday, August 4, 2015
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Mount Greylock
    Elevation:3487 ft / 1062 m

Ascent Trip Report

My Dad wanted to hike the Massachusetts state highpoint this week, so off we went on Tuesday the 4th! I wanted to keep it easy and moderately short, so the Cheshire Harbor/AT route was the plan. We left the house around 6:30 AM and after some food stops and nice driving through the Green Mountains, we got to the trailhead off West Mountain Rd. in Adams, MA shortly before 10 AM. Hit the trail at just about 10 AM.

The Cheshire Harbor Trail followed old woods roads pretty much all the way to the AT junction near Rockwell Rd (the auto road to the top), and had easy grades and decent footing almost all the way. A mile in, we passed the start of Old Adams Rd, and shortly after that, we passed a connector path to the Gould Trail, another route to Greylock. From there, the trail made a more moderate climb to the ridge crest, reaching it (and the Appalachian Trail and Rockwell Rd.) at 2.4 mi. Not the most scenic route, but it was a nice, mellow woods walk.

From the end of the Cheshire Harbor Trail, we took the AT 0.7 mi to the summit. This part of the hike was very nice, with mountain pine woods, neat bog bridges, and an actual trail bed rather than an old road bed. A half mile from the top, we came to a neat little pond near the road which had a small shelter overlooking it. We made a detour to the shelter, and found the inside covered in dates, some from the late 1960s. After that, we headed further up the Appalachian Trail, crossed Rockwell Rd. again, and then made a moderate 0.4 mi climb to the summit area and then the 3,491 ft. summit (arrival time: 11:55 AM), which was the site of the Massachusetts War Memorial Tower, a massive observation tower built in the 1930s. A little downslope was the Bascom Lodge, which was built with local stones and red spruce wood. I took some pictures here of the views, but they weren't that great due to incoming storm clouds. My Dad and I grabbed a bite to eat in the lodge after that. Good-tasting, but expensive! $4.50 for a hot dog! (To be fair, the price included potato salad as well.) We walked around the lodge for a bit, but the sky began turning dark and we felt scant raindrops, so we decided that it was time to head down Departure time: 12:30 PM.

Not long after leaving the summit, it began to rain off and on. At 12:40, near the pond I mentioned, it started coming down. Hard. Fortunately, my Dad remembered that we were right near the shelter, so we ran over there and hid in it for over a half-hour. Since we knew we'd be there for a while, we ate the food we brought and looked at all the dates on the walls (and roof). Once the rain let up and we saw tamer skies coming, we booked it back to the Cheshire Harbor Trail around 1:10 PM, and by that time the skies were blue again. Got back to the trailhead around 2:15 PM after an uneventful hike down.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:2100 ft / 640 m
    Total Elevation Loss:2100 ft / 640 m
    Round-Trip Distance:6.3 mi / 10.1 km
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail
    Weather:Raining, Pleasant, Calm, Overcast
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:2100 ft / 640 m
    Distance:3.1 mi / 5 km
    Route:Cheshire Harbor Trail, Appalachian Trail
    Start Trailhead:West Mountain Rd  1387 ft / 422 m
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:2100 ft / 640 m
    Distance:3.2 mi / 5.2 km
    Route:Cheshire Harbor Trail, Appalachian Trail
    End Trailhead:West Mountain Rd  1387 ft / 422 m

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