Ascent of Fort Mountain on 2016-08-08

Climber: Aleksey Zinger

Date:Monday, August 8, 2016
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Fort Mountain
    Elevation:3867 ft / 1178 m

Ascent Trip Report

Fort was my first trailless peak. My first attempt to reach it from North Brother ended back on the latter after over an hour, as I was focusing on the treadway and not paying attention to the direction. I had even taken a bearing from North Brother, but stupidly did not occasionally use it to periodically check my direction and apparently made a u-turn somewhere in the saddle (and pretty close to Fort). The second attempt took about 40 minutes to reach Fort. The path starts off with two fairly small cairns going in the direction of Fort. If you cannot see them from the summit sign, you probably cannot see the blue blazes on rocks pointing your way home off North Brother and got more serious problems to worry about. Past the two cairns, the treadway is generally clear, but is often obscured by branches; there are very few stretches when one does not have to push through them. There are often cairns in open areas and occasional orange tape on trees; I found the former very useful and the latter generally useless. An important point is mentioned in Matt's TR: after some scrubs on North Brother (and an actual blue blaze), the path splits into two; the correct branch goes sharp left, while the one going straight soon runs through dense growth (before rejoining the correct branch). Another tricky spot is in the col: after passing through some branches, a clear path continues straight and runs into trees soon after. However, there is also path bearing right at the very beginning of this relatively open area which is almost completely obscured by low branches; this is the correct path to take. The trickiest part is right before the path emerges from the shrubs on Fort, especially on the way down; it took me about 10 minutes to get back on the path on my way from Fort. Overall, the path looks like a long abandoned trail (perhaps 40+ years). The trickiest spot seems to correspond to where the trail to Fort shown on the NEHH topo ends.
Summary Total Data
    Route Conditions:
Unmaintained Trail
Ascent Part of Trip: Marston Loop

Complete Trip Sequence:
1Mount Coe2016-08-08 
2South Brother2016-08-08 
3North Brother2016-08-08 
4Fort Mountain2016-08-08 

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