Hike and activation of Rose Mountain

Posted on October 31, 2015 by Chris Lumens in , , .

I didn’t have a lot of time for a hike on Saturday, because we needed to be down at David’s house in the afternoon to help with antenna raising and passing out candy. Thus I needed to find something local and quick to do. I’m also a little bored of the usual Wapack peaks, so I had to figure out somewhere new to go. For reference, I figured I might as well use the Summits On The Air maps to find somewhere a little more obscure that I could also get some radio done from. Rose Mountain in Lyndeborough fit the bill.

Hiking In

It’s only 45 minutes from my house to the trailhead, so that was a big plus. It also looked to be about a seven mile round trip hike, with not a lot of elevation gain, which meant I could crank through it pretty quickly. And then of course, I’d never been there. The parking situation was a little weird - you basically have to get to the height height of land on Mountain Road, then look for a little sign that says “Please stay on trail”, which is of course perpendicular to the road, and then pull over to the side there. It really looks like you are trespassing, but I don’t believe you are.

Anyway this time I brought less radio crud with me (no APRS this time) so I packed up a lot faster. I then got moving down the unmarked trail. It started out easily enough and there were no junctions or old forest roads to confuse matters. After about half a mile, I reached a map nailed to a tree indicating that I was now on Helen’s Trail. This was also where the trail got a lot steeper, picked up some orange blazes, and I realized I’d calculated things wrong. This was really going to be a four or five mile round trip, so I was going to be at the summit a lot earlier. Oh well.

I slowed down my pace but still made it up the steep part pretty quickly. After several hundred feet of gain, I was at The Pinnacle, the first little summit of the day. Here there was a cairn and limited views in several different directions. The summit itself is typical of southern New Hampshire mountains - it looks like an old pasture that has grown back over, but still isn’t densely wooded. I spent some extra minutes looking for various viewpoints and chewing up some of that extra time.

The next destination was Lyndeborough Mountain. From the summit of The Pinnacle, you can see the summit off to the west. I ditched the orange-blazed trail and followed the wider snowmobile path down off The Pinnacle. It started off with a short, steep drop and passed the other fork of Helen’s Trail before becoming a much more mellow path. I followed that for a while, tagged the short summit of Lyndeborough Mountain, and kept moving. The snowmobile path went all the way around one side of Rose Mountain, then all the way back up to the other before turning uphill at a junction. A little before 9:30, I was on the summit.


I took a few minutes to look around before getting the radio set up. Rose Mountain is the most open of the three little summits on this hike. I could see east to the Uncanoonucs; southwest to North Pack Monadnock, Pack Monadnock, and Temple; more west to Monadnock and Vermont; and to various peaks in the north that I couldn’t identify. The north view was also the most blocked.

Anyway I got the HT out and put the Arrow antenna together. I shot Rik a message on the phone to get him paying attention to 146.52, and made a call. He came in very clear, and we were both really pleased with how well it worked. I then sent a spot to let everyone else know I was there and started calling. My very next call was with N1JBG, who was parked at the base of Cannon, 85 miles away! That was pretty surprising considering how well he came in and that I was just using five watts on my HT. I also talked to WA1MYZ down in Allston, which was 55 miles away. Those two contacts ended up being the highlights of the trip.

Hiking Out

After about 45 minutes, I’d gotten eight contacts (more than enough for the activation to count) and was running a little behind, so I had to move it. I looked at my GPS map and saw the snowmobile path continued off the summit and would eventually curve back around to connect to my previous path, so I went that way. After five minutes, it was obvious that the curving back around wouldn’t actually happen so I bushwhacked back over to my previous path. You can see this on the map below. From there, I followed my path back but skipping going back up Lyndeborough Mountain and taking the other side of Helen’s Trail to bypass the summit of The Pinnacle. That was much more like a hiking trail. I moved a lot faster on the way out and was at the car in no time.

GPS Track

What I Did Better This Time

Last time, I posted a list of lessons I learned. How did I do on them on this activation?