Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Mt. Snow (Cupsuptic) - 3784 feet

The PVC canister on the Mt. Snow Summit.
STATE: Maine
TOWN: Cupsuptic
DESTINATION: Snow (Cupsuptic)
ELEVATION: 3784 feet
SUMMIT COORDINATES: N45 10.157, W70 49.607
TRAIL: Logging road, bushwhack
DISTANCE: 3.0 miles
ELEVATION GAIN: 1080 feet
HIKING TIME: 1 hour 45 minutes
SEASON: fall
DATE: October 16, 2010
WEATHER: Cool temperatures, overcast skies, fog

PARKING:

From ME 16 west of Rangeley turn onto the graded gravel Morton Cutoff and follow it 3.2 miles to it's intersection with Tim Pond Road. Turn right then bear left onto Burnt Mountain road following it 1.6 miles to a sharp left turn to skirt the base of Burnt Mountain following it a total of 5 miles. At the intersection bear right for 1.2 miles and bearing left at the Y intersection for a total of 3.25 miles to Cupsuptic Tote road. At 1.3 miles continue right and 0.2 miles later bear left driving 2.5 miles to a small parking area just before a logging clear cut area. Refer to the driving map below.


USGS QUAD: USGS Little Kennebago Lake Quad

MAP: (Snow - Cupsuptic)



DESCRIPTION:

The most challenging aspect of this hike is finding the correct route though the maze of unnamed logging roads to access this peak. Mt. Snow is often hiked from the North due to easier navigational access from Wiggle Brook Road. My ascent (shown in red on the map) from the south made for a shorter hike but a much longer driving time. Follow parking directions above to approximately 2700 feet elevation then continue on foot, walking the logging road approximately 1.0 miles to 3100 feet elevation. Find a suitable entry point to begin your bushwhack in the relatively open woods heading almost due north.  During the ascent I hoped to find a herd path as I increased elevation however ended up in a band of relatively thick 5-10 foot tall spruce trees between 3400 and 3600 feet elevation. I needed to skirt east to avoid heavy bushwhacking. Once I broke through the spruce trees the woods opened up and last few hundred feet of elevation was smooth sailing. I encountered a herd path leading 500 feet to the summit canister. The viewless summit contained a PVC canister.

I descended (shown in blue on the map) the herd path leading southwest for approximately 0.25 miles, unfortunately the herd path was curving it's way to the north in the direction of Wiggle Brook Rd bringing me further from my southerly destination. I left the herd path heading south - southeast through very open woods hitting the logging road a few hundred feet lower than my entry elevation. If you intend to replicate this route I would recommend starting the bushwhack between 2900 and 3000 feet elevation and ascending the southwest shoulder of Snow.

TRAIL DISTANCES:

HIKING DISTANCES
DESTINATION
DISTANCE TOTAL DIST.
logging road - bushwhack 1.0 miles 1.0 miles
bushwhack - Snow summit 0.5 miles 1.5 miles

HIKING TIMES:

HIKING TIMES
DESTINATION
TIME TOTAL TIME
logging road - bushwhack 30 minutes 30 minutes
bushwhack - Snow summit 30 minutes 1 hour
Snow summit - parking 45 minutes 1 hour 45 minutes

NOTES / COMMENTS:

Snow (Cupsuptic) is a trail less peak with no views from it's summit however it is the 24th highest peak in the state of Maine placing it 94th on the AMC list of New England 100 highest Mountains.  The relatively short unidirectional hike requires limited navigational skills and is an excellent confidence booster for my novice bushwhacking ability. 

Looking closely at the blog header picture shows the top of the PVC canister painted green.  The significance of a green top is not for camouflage but signifies a hiker has completed all 770 New England 3000 foot mountains on this particular peak.  After reading the log book I congratulate "Carl" who finished his NE3k list here.

 A moose eyeing me as I bushwhack to Mt. Snow.
 
 A dusting of snow covering the summit area of Mt. Snow.

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