Cheshire County Highpoint Trip Report

Date: October 16, 2010
Author: Adam Helman

White Dot Trail under less-than-ideal conditions

note: All coordinates are in the WGS84 datum.

This effort was part of a larger journey collecting New England county highpoints in October 2010.

In nearby Jaffrey, north-south US Route 202 makes a dog-leg for one city block along east-west Route 124. From the western end of this shared block drive west 2.1 miles and turn right (north) on Dublin Road. Drive 1.2 miles north and then turn left (west) on Poole Road. Drive 0.7 mile west to reach the toll booth for visiting and climbing this insanely popular mountain.

The White Dot and White Cross Trails begin as one entity here at (42.84594° N, 72.08908° W) with a GPS-measured 1,418 foot elevation.

The two trails eventually split here at (42.85430° N, 72.09328° W), with the White Cross Trail heading left and the White Dot Trail proceeding straight ahead.

The two trails rejoin at (42.85976° N, 72.10468° W) atop a level boulder slab well above timberline and "not too far" from the summit, the measured elevation being 2,898 feet.

The trail today is in terrible shape starting halfway up owing to snow and runoff water from the previous day's storm. One has the option of slick, wet boulder slab or snow. Although the latter is certainly acceptable, the problem arises because it's accompanied by puddles of ice-cold water in-between the boulders.

Furthermore, the white dots are partly hidden by snow. I reach the summit amidst several other groups - and all of us are "treated" to 50 MPH winds that, combined with the 40° F temperature suggest retreat to below the treeline prior to enjoying my "summit" food.

I am surprised that such a large fraction of people persevered to the top despite these conditions. Later I talked to the park staff at the toll booth. They had been advising hikers to turn-back at the snowline. Clearly not very many folks were actually taking that suggestion.

"Everybody" was there, despite the conditions, from entire families (with six year old children) to cub scout troups to some trail-runners to one particularly rotund teenage girl that I swore would never make it past the snowline. I was wrong - but her slim boyfriend had to wait interminably for her to catch up, breathless at every step. What patience!

I was the only solo hiker among maybe a hundred groups.