Ascent of Scar Ridge on 2018-07-11

Climber: Map Man

Date:Wednesday, July 11, 2018
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Scar Ridge
    Location:USA-New Hampshire
    Elevation:3774 ft / 1150 m

Ascent Trip Report

This was our third bushwhack for the NEHH. We took the standard route up the Loon ski trails, which are horrendous to climb but quick and easy to descend. The route is easy to find - just walk up the paved path across the ski slope in front of the lodges. This becomes a dirt path, which follows the Brookway ski trail. Continue to follow the road up to the Camp III ski lift, then stay left and hike up the Walking Boss ski trail. This trail gains 1500 feet over just 0.9 miles, so expect to despise this hike by the time you get to the top. If you want a longer and gentler option, you can take the Bear's Claw ski trail to the top of the gondola, then follow Sunset to the North Peak summit. When we climbed, there was a plentiful variety of wildflowers in the grass, including a stunning Canada Lily. Right before you reach the top of he chairlift on Walking Boss, look to the left for a yellow sign marking the ski boundary area. Around this sign, you will find a slight herd path through a brush pile. Once you pass beyond the side of the ski trail, the herd path is an easy stroll along the north side of the connecting ridge between Loon and Scar. You should be on this path for about 0.6 miles, until it just begins to curve to the north. At this point, we found a makeshift arrow pointing the way to the bushwhack. In this general area, you should begin the bushwhack toward the col between Loon and , which is only about 0.1 miles away. You will know you have reached the low point when you find the green, mossy bog. Get to the other side of the marsh to continue the bushwhack.

From here, we followed a bearing toward the top of the slide on the north side of the ridge. The woods were a little thick, and we found out on the way down that staying a little higher on the ridge is better. As we approached the slide, the thickening trees forced us to ascend high above the top. We attempted to get down to the slide for a view, but didn't realize how high above it we had gone and eventually gave up because it was too difficult to hike down to it. From this area, we took a new bearing and went straight for the summit. The forest here was very thick to push through, but it was not a long way. We emerged in the blowdown patch just to the northwest of the canister. It did not take too long to locate since it is bright orange. Despite the sad lack of views on this trek, the blowdown patch is actually pretty amazing. Forces of nature at work.

From my experience on Scar Ridge, which I did not think was as bad as people make it out to be, I believe the route we took was the best possible option. I would recommend bushwhacking toward the slide as we did, but just walking wherever is most convenient instead of trying to struggle directly toward it. You can recognize where to turn toward the summit when you hit the forest above the slide, which is distinctive. You can see the slope below is full of short, dense fir trees and you can see a bit of the view through the trees. Despite the thick forest when heading toward the summit from this side, we encountered not a single major blowdown on our hike. We experienced none of the misery other hikers have detailed online of crawling and clambering over huge fallen trees. Short lesson: stay on the north side of the ridge!
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:3174 ft / 966 m
    Total Elevation Loss:3174 ft / 966 m
    Round-Trip Distance:7.8 mi / 12.6 km
    Quality:8 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Bushwhack
    Weather:Pleasant, Calm, Partly Cloudy
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:2974 ft / 906 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 2774 ft / 846 m; Extra: 200 ft / 60m
    Loss on way in:200 ft / 60 m
    Distance:3.9 mi / 6.3 km
    Route:Brookway/Walking Boss/herd path/bushwhack
    Start Trailhead:Loon Mountain Ski Area  1000 ft / 304 m
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:2974 ft / 906 m
        Loss Breakdown:Net: 2774 ft / 846 m; Extra: 200 ft / 60m
    Gain on way out:200 ft / 60 m
    Distance:3.9 mi / 6.3 km
    Route:bushwhack/herd path/Walking Boss/Brookway
    End Trailhead:Loon Mountain Ski Area  1000 ft / 304 m
Ascent Part of Trip: Scar Ridge

Complete Trip Sequence:
1Loon Mountain-Northeast Peak2018-07-11 a 
2Scar Ridge2018-07-11 b3174 ft / 967 m
Total Trip Gain: 3174 ft / 967 m    Total Trip Loss: 3174 ft / 967 m

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