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Mt Clinton Trailwork, Mt Pierce
September 6, 2007

Route: Crawford Path, Mizpah Cutoff,
Mt Clinton Trail, Webster Cliff Trail
Map:
 
Elevation: Mizpah Springs Hut - 3800 ft
Mt Clinton trailwork - 2740-3800 ft
Mt Pierce - 4310 ft
Vertical Climb: 3550 ft
Distance: 9.5 miles
Who Went: Paul (solo)

This was my third trip of the year doing trail maintenance on the Mt Clinton Trail. I had forgotten my own bow saw, so I picked one up, along with a pair of loppers, from the AMC storage locker in Crawford Notch. I was going to work on removing blowdowns and trimming branches on the portion of the trail below where I had left off in June.

After climbing up the Crawford Path to Mizpah Springs Hut, I rested for a few minutes in the hut's dining room, eating a power bar, drinking some water, and taking a picture of Mt Jackson out the window before hitting the trail.

Luckily, there were no new blowdowns along the section I had worked on back in June, and only a few spots that needed some additional touchup brushing. Below that was a different story. All-in-all, I removed about 8 or 9 blowdowns, which was harder than usual because the borrowed saw was a bit dull. I also did quite a bit of brushing.

As I worked my way lower down the trail, I started to see a lot of moosewood, much of which was growing up right in the middle of the trail. It seems to spread by underground runners, so it was a bit harder to get rid of than spruce or fir. When removing entire small trees, we were taught to cut them off slightly below ground to avoid ugly stumps that someone might trip over.

By 3:30, I had worked my way down to about 2700 ft, almost 1100 feet below the hut, and about halfway (or just over) to the junction with the Dry River Trail. I was tired, and it was time to call it quits. It took me an hour to hike back up to the hut, where I rested and refilled my water bottles, and then started to head back by way of Mt Pierce.

There are very few views along the Mt Clinton Trail, so it's nice to climb up to Mt Pierce on the way back. It's a bit of a steep climb up from the hut, but the views are worth it. This time, Washington and Monroe were enshrouded in clouds. Only Eisenhower stood out on the long ridge, seemingly holding back the fog from its southern neighbors.

Closeup of Mt Jackson from the window in the Mizpah Springs Hut dining area.

A cloudy view from the summit of Mt Pierce. Everything north of Mt Eisenhower was enshrouded in clouds.

Mt Eisenhower from Mt Pierce. Somewhere behind those clouds lie Mts Monroe and Washington.

Self-portrait on the summit of Mt Pierce, with part of Mt Eisenhower behind me.

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