Ascent of Coburn Mountain on 2009-08-09

Climber: William Musser

Others in Party:only Daniel
Date:Sunday, August 9, 2009
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Coburn Mountain
    Elevation:3717 ft / 1132 m

Ascent Trip Report

Worried about the road clearance from Enchanted Mountain Road, we parked the HCV Suburban at 0.6 miles from US 201 and hiked up the ATV gravel and cobble stone road up to the trailhead. As a result, the hike was 4 miles each way (8 total) instead of 2. Once the trail was found, part of the 2 mile ascent is still a cobble stone ATV trail until one reaches a utility hunt. The actual ascent trail is poorly marked and very steep and poorly maintained at the time of the trip. Keene's book says it is well marked with orange tape but that was true at the time of the printing of the book. We only located two traces of the old plastic ribbon tape. The best markings of the trail today is the three american flags we found - including one at the ascent TH and the tower!

For rockhounds this was an interesting ascent. We hiked through shale, granite, and some limited patches of other sedimentary rock (limestone and sandstone) but the upper reaches was most interesting. On top of the sedimantary layers was igneous material that appeared to be rhyolite. Unlike Kineo to the east, the rhylolite of Colburn has vesicles where the CO2 gas bubbled out on the whitish sides of the stones but darker gray and blackish smooth glassier texture on other sides. Kineo Rhyloite has no vesicles.

The top still has a well maintained tower but it is only about 25 tall - enough to see in a full 360. We identified Sally Mountain that we did earlier in the week and over towards Kineo, Both Spencer Mountains, Shaw, Both Kineos were all easily visible. Baker and Lilly Bay Mountain near Greenville show well. The views were quite good all day.

The trail showed signs of not being used much. No footprints and places where the vegetation has hardly been trampled recently. Many dead trees from winter blow downs were still blocking the trail even in August so I would call this a fairly unmaintained trail. Places are so steep that you use hands for balance climbing the roots - thus it does have sections one might call an easy class three scramble. Very little of this hike is really class 1 so not for the casual day hiker.

Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:1967 ft / 599 m
    Round-Trip Distance:8 mi / 12.9 km
    Quality:6 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Unmaintained Trail, Scramble
    Weather:Pleasant, Breezy, Partly Cloudy
sunny and cloudy
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:1967 ft / 599 m
    Distance:4 mi / 6.4 km
    Route:Enchanted Road to Colburn TH
    Start Trailhead:1750 ft / 533 m
    Time:1 Hours 35 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Distance:4 mi / 6.4 km
    Time:1 Hours 

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