Hike New Hampshire
Trips in NH

Mt. Monadnock

by Allan W. Gardner

Hike Length: Dayhike

Trails: North side trail

Date: May 18, 2003

After many years of scanning topo maps of this most popular peak it became apparent to me that the northern area, and the north slope in particular, have no trails reaching the summit. I thought perhaps one could create a challenging ascent by just following the main northern gully all the way to the top(?) It could be the most untravelled way to reach the "most climbed mountain" in New Hampshire.

Unfortunately, private property blocked off the obvious start at the junction of the north stream and Old Troy Road so I opted to ascend up the Dublin Trail for about a quarter of a mile and then cross-country over into the main northern watershed of the mountain. This was quite brushy, but relatively short, and soon I was in the central area of the face. From here one mainly follows the main stream up over several fairly short but tough waterfalls and large pools for some distance to a spot that gives a unique view ahead to the summit ridge through the trees. Looking up to the left of the summit rocks one sees a closer, rounded dome-like elevation. This is what I aimed for as the woods and brush became too dense and steep to allow any further line-of-sight navigation. A compass was helpful.

It took almost an hour to reach this lower summit but, by then, the real summit was only a short distance beyond and reached by traversing along the jumble of boulders above that connec! t to the summit ridge just east of the top. This route took me three hours to ascend. I descended the Dublin Trail back down to the roadhead. This route requires some bush-whacking and scrambling over both wet and dry rock, but the thrill of reaching this familiar place via such a route was a satisfying change from the usual noisy and overcrowded trails.

Equipment: bug spray, boots

Special Equipment: A compass, map and the usual "10 essentials".

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