Black Mountain   17-18 Mar 01

1.0 Overview

This outing is a winter overnight ascent of Black Mountain for scouts experienced in winter climbing. At 2,836 feet, Black Mountain is not large, but it rises steeply from the Connecticut River valley to a rocky summit, so in winter conditions it provides plenty of challenge. The approach over the Chippewa trail is quite steep in places, and with the recent large snowfalls it will present very significant difficulties. The rocky summit will provide a classic winter mountaineering experience, and the snow and weather conditions will make for serious winter camping. This outing may provide some Climbing Merit Badge advancement opportunities, and will be useful experience for those intending to form a mountaineering Venture Patrol.

2.0 Concept

2.1 Description

We will approach the mountain via the Chippewa Trail, starting at the trailhead on Limekiln Road. Although the trail is only about 2.5 miles, it involves deep snow, crossing bodies of water (the beaver ponds), several steep grades, and some mixed technical terrain near the summit. Snowshoes will be essential for travel, since the snow is probably about five feet deep.

Given the difficulty of the approach, the troop will be prepared to camp enroute, but if all goes well, we should be able to camp at the site just below the summit.

After climbing and setting up camp, we will do some technical climbing on the summit rocks. There should be opportunities to do some moderate ice climbing for those with ice axe and crampons.

In the morning we will break camp and return to the base by way of the Chippewa Trail.

Note: If you are interested in going for the day only, please coordinate with Mr. Richardson.

2.2 Schedule of Events

9:00am = Meet at parking lot.
10:30 = Arrive at trailhead.
2-3:00pm = Arrive at summit.
3:00 = Set up camp, climbing with time permitting
5:00 = Dinner
7:30 = Campfire
9:00pm = Lights Out
8:00am = Breakfast
10:00am = Strike Camp
10:30 = Begin Descent
12:00 = Reach Trailhead
1:30 = Arrive in Hanover

2.3 Expected Conditions and Difficulty

This is a serious winter climb, not to be taken lightly.

The weather for this weekend might be bad. Temperatures are going to be low. The current forecast is for mixed precipitation on Saturday.

The trail is not normally difficult, but snow depth could easily be around five feet. The trail might not be broken in. The trail itself is steep and may require crampons. Slogging through deep snow on snowshoes will slow the group down considerably.

There is some technical terrain near the summit. This area can be bypassed if necessary, but our intention is to climb it. Expect snow, ice, rock, and cold conditions. Ice axe and crampons are not required, but those who have them will find them useful.

Water is available by melting snow.

The campsite is fairly level and well protected from the weather, both by being off the summit and in the woods.

2.4 Special Requirements

Ice axe training required.

3.0 Administration and Logistics

3.1 Announcement Date: 1 MAR 2001

3.2 Roster Closing Date: 14 Mar 2001

3.3 Costs


3.4 Equipment

3.4.1 Individual Equipment

  • Winter camping gear.
  • Adequate clothing for the weather!
  • Snowshoes!
  • Ice Axe and Crampons recommended.
  • Personal Climbing Gear (harness, rack, tie-in, helmet, descender) recommended.
  • Class A uniform for travel.

    3.4.2 Patrol Equipment

  • As planned by patrols.
  • Meals: Lunch, Dinner, Breakfast, Reserve Lunch

    3.4.3 Troop Equipment

  • First Aid Kit
  • AMC Map 5, or East Haverhill Quadrangle
  • Rope (9mmx120ft, 2 ea)
  • Ice Screws
  • Chocks

    3.5 Transportation Plan

    Drop-off Point: old hospital parking lot.

    Drop-off Time: 0845 Sat 17 Mar

    Pick-up Point: Delivered home

    Pick-up Time: Approx 1400

    Drivers We will do final coordination of transportation at the OHP on Saturday morning. Please volunteer to drive.
    Directions: NH 10 north through Haverhill. Right on NH 25, east to East Haverhill. Left on Limekiln Road, north about 4 miles to trailhead parking. The spot is on the right at the first left curve after a long, straight section.

    4.0 Leadership

    4.1 Planning Committee


    4.2 Adult Leaders

    SMIC: Mr. Brown
    Mr. Hoge

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    Approved YJB 13Mar01