Mt Cardigan Hike -- 11 Dec 10

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1.0 Overview

Mount Cardigan, located about 4 miles east of Canaan, NH, rises to an elevation of 3155 feet. Although it is not too tall in comparison with other peaks in the White Mountains to the north, Mt. Cardigan is situated in such a way that it frequently experiences extremely high winds and considerable snow and ice accumulation on its exposed, bare rock summit. Mt Cardigan offers us the opportunity to practice for winter alpine conditions without the commitment of a major peak.

This outing will offer scouts of all experience levels to get an early taste of winter hiking and mountaineering. Advancement opportunities include first and second class hiking and troop activity requirements, hiking merit badge requirements and opportunities for advanced Scouts to cultivate their alpine travel and winter mountaineering skills. This outing is suitable for the second class 5-mile hike requirement provided the Scouts do the necessary preparatory work in advance.

2.0 Concept

2.1 Description

Except for the particularly demanding terrain and weather, this outing is pretty much a straightforward hike. We will meet at the Community Center and travel by car to the trailhead parking lot at Mt Cardigan State Park in Orange. From there we will hike to the summit of Mt. Cardigan via the West Ridge trail, stopping at "The Boulder" to suit up in preparation for conditions above treeline. At the summit we will eat lunch at "The Riviera." After lunch we will make an excursion via the Mowglis Trail to the summit of Firescrew and return. On the descent of the West Ridge trail we will again stop at "The Boulder" to prepare for the remainder of the descent below treeline.

2.2 Schedule of Events

Saturday 11 Dec
0900 -- Meet at Community Center.
Rigorous gear check.
0930 -- Depart.
1015 -- Arrive at trailhead.
1030 -- On Trail.
Climb via the West Ridge Trail. Training activities enroute.
1130 -- The Boulder.
1200 -- Summit of Cardigan. Lunch at The Rivera.
1300 -- Summit of Firescrew
1330 -- The Boulder
1430 -- Trailhead parking lot. Debrief.
1445 -- Depart for Hanover.
1530 -- Arrive at Community Center.

2.3 Expected Conditions and Difficulty

Mt Cardigan is not very high, but its location and exposed summit combine to create genuine alpine conditions in winter. A traverse over Cardigan and Firescrew, even this early in the season, must not be taken lightly. Depending on the weather it is possible that we could see high winds, snow, ice, and dangerously low wind-chill values. All participante must be prepared for winter alpine conditions.

2.4 Special Requirements

Open to all Boy Scouts, Scouters, and parents. There are no skill prerequisites for this outing, although proper equipment is required.

Experienced Scouts who have completed T45 ice axe are encouraged to bring ice axes. Experienced Scouts who have completed T45 crampon training are encouraged to bring crampons. Scouts without this training may not bring ice axes or crampons.

3.0 Administration and Logistics

3.1 Announcement Date: 6 Oct 10

3.2 Roster Closing Date: 10 Dec 10

3.3 Costs


3.4 Equipment

3.4.1 Individual Equipment

  • Class A uniform for travel.
  • Winter hiking gear as described in the Personal Equipment List. Pay particular attention to the clothing, winter supplement, and survival equipment sections.
  • You must have
    -- Full body and full face wind protection!
    -- Spare gloves or mittens.
    -- Spare hat.
  • Lunch and water.
  • Ice axe if qualified.
  • Crampons if qualified.
  • YakTrax, Stabilicers, or similar traction devices if desired. (No qualification necessary.)

    3.4.2 Patrol Equipment

  • Map. Mt Cardigan quad.

    3.4.3 Troop Equipment

  • First Aid Kit.
  • Map.

    3.5 Transportation Plan

    Drop-off Point: Community Center
    Drop-off Time: 0900 Sat 11 Dec 10
    Pick-up Point: Community Center
    Pick-up Time: 1530 Same Day

    Driving Directions:
    Rt 4 East to Canaan.
    Left on Rt 118 (Dorchester Rd) East 3/4 mi
    Right on Orange Rd through Orange (becomes Cardigan Mt Rd, aka Burnt Hill Rd, aka Dorchester Turnpike)

    Left on Park Entrance Road if gate is open. Proceed to parking lot. If gate is closed, park at the parking lot at the entrance.

    4.0 Leadership

    4.1 Planning Committee

  • Fritz
  • Adult owner: Mr. Brown

    4.2 Adult Leaders

    Orange Cove Patrol:
  • SMIC: Mr. Brown
  • Mr. Smith

    Approved YJB 9Dec10

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