Sunday, November 22, 2015

Mt. Scaur (3605 Ft)

STATE: New Hampshire
TOWN: Waterville Valley
DESTINATION: Mt. Scaur
ELEVATION: 3605 feet
SUMMIT COORDINATES: N43 59.112, W71 27.006
TRAIL: Pine Bend Brook trail
DISTANCE: 6.6 miles
ELEVATION GAIN: 2245 feet
HIKING TIME: 1 hour 35 minutes
SEASON: fall
DATE: November 21, 2015
WEATHER: 35 degrees, overcast high clouds

PARKING: Parking can be found at the Pine Bend Brook trail head on route 112 (Kancamagus Highway) 1 mile west of the Sabbaday Falls parking area. Roadside shoulder parking is available for several cars. Drive time is approximately 90 minutes from Manchester

USGS QUAD: Mt. Tripyramid Quad

MAP: (Scaur)


DESCRIPTION: The Pine Bend Brook is a beautiful trail through open hardwoods as it follows and makes minor tributary crossings. The soft grade continues as it turns right after approximately one mile then makes two quick and rock hop crossings of Pine Bend Brook at its tributary. Several small crossings continue and the incline becomes slightly more moderate and at 2 miles, crosses the Sandwich Range Wilderness boundary as it soon becomes steep and rough paralleling a stream and rising up through a birch forest. The trail makes a sharp left makes a final crossing and steeply gains the ridge.

The Scaur bushwhack begins at the obvious height of land point on the Pine Bend Brook trail. The bushwhack is a distinct herd path leading through hobblebrush with multiple signs of moose as you traverse the narrow ridge. The narrow ridge line makes it easy to distinguish the 'trail' if you do get misaligned in the hobblebrush. The trail ascends the southern flank of Scaur and becomes difficult to follow through a few downed trees but can be found again with careful examination from the opposite side. The summit is in heavy trees and marked with a Scaur sign. There is no register.

Return the way you came or continue another 0.8 miles to 4180 foot North Tripyramid. For details on this route see my North and Middle Tripyramid trip report.


TRAIL DISTANCES:

HIKING DISTANCES
DESTINATION
DISTANCE TOTAL DIST.
Parking - Wilderness Boundary 2.0 miles 2.0 miles
Wilderness Boundary - final crossing* 0.5 miles 2.5 miles
final crossing* - height of land 0.5 miles 3.0 miles
height of land - Mt. Scaur 0.3 miles 3.3 miles

* Disclaimer - I try not to use descriptions like stream crossing or final crossing of stream as a reference point however this crossing is a noticeable point that you'll recognize when you reach it.

HIKING TIMES:

HIKING TIMES
DESTINATION
TIME TOTAL TIME
Parking - Wilderness Boundary 40 minutes 40 minutes
Wilderness Boundary - final crossing* 20 minutes 1 hour
final crossing* - height of land 20 minutes 1 hour 20 minutes
height of land - Mt. Scaur 15 minutes 1 Hour 35 minutes

NOTES / COMMENTS:

At 3605 feet Mt. Scaur is on the list of New Hampshire hundred highest peaks and one of the easiest bushwhack peaks to attain with a straight line approach, short bushwhacking distance and slightly over 200 foot elevation gain (bushwhack). It appears to be a popular side destination for one attempting to hike the Tripyramids. I was slightly disappointed by the herd path leading to the summit of Scaur. I intended to hone my navigational skills by using only a line of site to navigate. The trail made the bushwhack simple and no navigational aids are required. The summit is marked with a small wooden "Scaur" sign and offers no views.

The Pine Bend Brook Trail head
Wilderness Boundary
Scaur Summit sign
recent Moose gnawings on a downed tree




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