Ascent of Mount Pierce on 2009-08-16

Climber: Tony Rachupka

Others in Party:Carl
Date:Sunday, August 16, 2009
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Mount Pierce
    Location:USA-New Hampshire
    Elevation:4310 ft / 1313 m

Ascent Trip Report

My friend Carl and I thought we should try getting to a summit for sunrise. But we also wanted to do some peakbagging. So even though we were camping at Campton Campground, we were going to hike Pierce, Eisenhower and Jackson. We somehow woke up at 2:30am to the chagrin of our ladyfriends, who had no interest in taking part in our terrible idea. We hit the road at 3am and got to Crawford Notch at 4am. Neither of us had done this hike before so we needed an extra half hour to find the trailhead. Not the best start. We were on the trail at 4:30am wearing headlamps to light the way up the Crawford Path. We had never done a hike in the dark before so we were not sure what to expect. With our headlamps we had no trouble following the path. We hiked along wondering why the heck we were doing this and enjoying every minute of it. At around 6:20am we made it to the summit of Pierce. After taking some pictures we sat down for some snacks. About five minutes later we were shocked when three guys came around the corner on their way to Washington. We were not the only crazy people!

After a rest we hiked over to Eisenhower, which is a particularly impressive peak when standing on Pierce. By 7:45am we were on the summit of Eisenhower, two 4000 footers before 8am?!? I enjoyed this summit a lot. We had clear views all around and had the summit to ourselves.

We retraced our steps to Pierce and headed down to the Mizpah Spring Hut. We would arrive around 9:20am and took a much needed rest. I was definitely feeling tired at this point. I liked this hut a lot, a pretty lively bunch works there. We left and got to Jackson by 10:30am. We were surprised that this peak had views. But mostly we were hungry. We’d eat and then head down the steep trail back to Crawford Notch. We got back to the car at 12:40. In eight hours we hiked 11.7 miles.

We went back to our campsite to have lunch before coming back to Crawford Notch to go to Arethusa Falls in the afternoon. Holy crap that was amazing! So we hiked around fourteen and a half miles for the day. It was a hot day so the early start time was ideal. With a little better planning we should be able to hit a summit for sunrise sometime. Great hike for us!
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