Sunday, August 14, 2011

Maine County High Points - part 2

Day three of my peakbagging adventures with Al would feature our fewest number of peaks, but a LONG time on our feet out there.

We started the day with a 4 mile run in Millinocket then drove 10 miles to the Baxter State park gate and another 10 miles on logging roads to the trailhead.  We started off with a nice hike up to the summit of South Turner Mountain (3,123').  The 1:04 to hike up was a great warm-up for what was to come. 

Al, checking out the summit of South Turner
We spent 15 minutes on the summit changing into wet weather gear.  It wasn't raining but there was dense fog and we'd be bushwhacking for quite a while in some seriously wet woods.  We headed out and Al did a heck of a job keeping us on course for the 3:10:28 it took to cover the short distance to East Turner (1.6 miles with 800' of drop and 120' of climb in incredibly thick woods).  East Turner at 2,456' is the highest point in Penobscot county.  We spent just under 15 minutes at the summit and then decided to drop down to Katahdin lake and take a shot at finding a trail that'd get us out a bit faster than plowing back to South Turner.
Soaked through on East Turner
Al again did a great job of navigating and the woods were great, we hit the lake (and trail) in 1:04.  We hung out at the Shelter near the lake and after 15 minutes to change and re-fuel we headed out on the trail for a 6+ mile run back to the car.  It took us another 1:18:31 to get back and the total time was 7:21:50.  I was very happy about the extra running, definitely made my day. 

Another 100 miles had us at the base of Mt Waldo (1,060') the most prominent peak in Waldo county.  We ran to the summit in 14:04 then spent 5:20 on top and ran back down in 13:54 for a total of 33:18.  I was pretty spent at this time but the day wasn't over yet...we had another 70 miles to drive to get to Augusta where we crashed for the night.

Al almost on the summit
Day 3 totals:
Drive - 200 miles
Run - 12+ miles
Hike - 4:16 (total time on our feet = 7:55:08)
Peaks - 3

Day 4 was another eary morning as I hit Dunkin Donuts right at sunrise.  We drove 25 miles to McGaffey Mountain and at 7am we were out and running.  Up to the 1,310' summit of the highest point in Kennebec county.  We ran up in 12:54, spent a few minutes kicking around then ran down in 9:09.

Next up was a 20 mile drive to Moose hill (1,116') the most prominent point in Androscoggin county.At 8am we zipped up the access road in 9:39 and ran back down in 7:15.  Another peak in the bag!

15 miles of driving and we were at the foot of Shackley hill for a nice run in the woods.  Our round trip run of 26:33 had us reaching the highest point in Androscoggin county.  This was Al's final county high point in Maine (I've still got two to go).

Al closes the book on Maine county high points
 As we headed for our next peak Al noticed that there was a mountain with a fire tower that we'd be driving by.  We were a bit ahead of schedule so we drove 25 miles to Streaked (1,750') in Oxford Maine.  Off we went for another short run...this time 12 minutes to the summit.  We bumped into another group on the top and chatted for a bit before running down in just over 10 minutes (total = 23:26 running).
Our final mountain of the day was Douglas mountain in Sebago.  I'd been there last fall but Al needed this peak to finish off the county prominence points in Maine.  We drove the 40 miles to the most prominent peak in Cumberland County and quickly hit the summit.  The run up included 4 minutes of road and 5 minutes on trail.  We spent another 10 minutes on top taking pictures before the 7 minute run down.   Total time was 26:25.

I don't think you really need to climb this boulder to claim the highest point
 We closed the book on this trip with 100 mile drive to Haverhill and a nice 5 mile run around Lake Kenoza in Winnekenni park.

Day four totals:
Drive - 225 miles
Run - 14 miles
Hike - 0
Peaks - 5

Trip totals
Drive - 1,020 miles
Run - 54 miles
Hike - 7:15
Peaks - 17


Wilesthing said...

Dave, what is the difference between a county high point and a prominence point?

double-d said...

County high point is simply the highest point in a county. Prominence is different...see below.

From Wikipedia:
Prominence is interesting to some mountaineers because it is an objective measurement that is strongly correlated with the subjective significance of a summit. Peaks with low prominences are either subsidiary tops of some higher summit or relatively insignificant independent summits. Peaks with high prominences tend to be the highest points around and are likely to have extraordinary views.

For example, the world's second highest mountain is K2 (height 8,611 m, prominence 4,017 m). While Mount Everest's South Summit (height 8,749 m, prominence about 10 m[1]) is taller, it is a subsummit of the main summit. Only summits with a sufficient degree of prominence are regarded as independent mountains.