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View Full Version : Does X mark the spot on Owlshead?



CaptCaper
08-12-2004, 05:42 AM
We did a trip to Owlshead last Sunday and after we got back we were supprised in finding we were at the first knob on Owlshead for the summit. The caron was there as well as a sign nailed to the tree. The NGeographic USGS map has an X on the northern knob. I assume that should be the summit?

If you click on the link you should see the track we took and eneded at the southern knob and the X at the northern knob on the USGS map.

I checked DeLorme's USGS map and that has the X 4025 at the northern knob also.

The contour lines are the same for both so why would the USGS put the X at the northern knob? What's the odds they're both the exact same altitude?



Click here for our Owlshead USGS map with track (http://community.webshots.com/album/173400861jTLWLS)

p.s. if you see the red blob next to the river about 1/4 of a mile from the turn to the slide that's my camp for the nite. Don't use that spot it wasn't too good but " any port in a storm."

SherpaKroto
08-12-2004, 06:54 AM
Don't know, but I certainly felt like I had gone far enough when I got there on Monday :). The cairn and sign were good enough for Lisa and me!

CaptCaper
08-12-2004, 06:57 AM
Wouldn't it funny if peakbaggers have to do it over again?

CaptCaper
08-12-2004, 07:34 AM
Originally posted by Kevin Rooney
If it's a little home-made sign bolted vertically to a tree - yup, you're there.

My question is " why isn't the sign at the X on the USGS? I would believe that is the true summit according to the USGS.

Mr. X
08-12-2004, 07:55 AM
See what you don't realize is that the X was just a mark left by me, kinda like Zorro.

ken
08-12-2004, 10:56 AM
i poked around on "topo", first on the hump that you stopped on and then on the one with the "x" - on your hump i couldn't even get to 4000 feet - on the "x" hump i can get as high as 4009 feet - according to the map software you missed the summit (or your gps was wrong which i have seen happen) but it does look like the gps is on the slide (maybe someone just wanted to make a long walk .15 miles shorter?

RoySwkr
08-12-2004, 12:18 PM
Interesting!

On one of my winter ascents, we came up from the E and wound up in a flattish area with an open view W to Franconia Ridge. We had to go S quite aways to the sign and it didn't seem any higher. Last spring I headed N from the cairn to try to find that point again, but the herd path petered out and I had miles to go SE and didn't do it.

Surely you aren't the first person to take a GPS reading at the summit cairn, anybody else want to chime in? And presumably the official summit is the highest one, not necessarily the one with the X, so it would take a survey with a level and not just a GPS to be sure. And if you decide to rent a laser level to find the true high point, perhaps you could also take it to S Carter, S Kinsman, and Guyot to determine which bump is higher.

Miriam Underhill has a story in which a previous ascender went to the wrong summit of Owls Head but she went a little farther and found a higher point. (Perhaps ME will supply the exact quote.) Wouldn't it be funny if the cairn wound up on the false peak?

Papa Bear
08-12-2004, 12:25 PM
Originally posted by RoySwkr
Interesting!

...

Wouldn't it be funny if the cairn wound up on the false peak? Yes Interesting. It would also explain why I ended up in the gully rather than on the ridge line last Thursday when I bushwhacked east from the summit. If that were the case, I don't feel so bad about my navigating skills. One always holds out hope that something not our fault explains our mistakes!

:D

ken
08-12-2004, 02:30 PM
oh well - lets chop & chainsaw all the trees between the 2 summits and use a surveyors transit/level to see if the north hump is higher - then if it is, turn in all those patches that we don't deserve until we climb the real summit for the n.h. 4000', new england 4000' & northeast 111... wait... even though the patch says 111 we have to climb 115 to get it - so as long as we climbed 115 we can keep that one since it says 111 (it has an error factor of 4 built in to it).

CaptCaper
08-12-2004, 04:34 PM
I'd bet with a good fix with waas locked in good (at least an hour) and using the averageing funtion with the gps it could detect the difference if any at those knobs. Also the barometer in the Gps I have increases the accuracy from gps satelites alone by 3X.

My gps said 4025 at the southern knob but it's never that right on with that quick of a reading. It's usually off some. So the northern knob with the X the the USGS service put on that topo could be the true summit by 30 feet.


Anyway the sign isn't at the X 4025.

Capt.

alpinista
08-13-2004, 06:34 AM
I guess SherpaK was right when he remarked that the top portion of the trail seems to meander as if the trailblazers weren't entirely sure where the summit was and decided to direct us hikers all over the place just to make darn certain we hit the summit! :D

SherpaKroto
08-13-2004, 07:02 AM
Originally posted by alpinista
I guess SherpaK was right when he remarked that the top portion of the trail seems to meander as if the trailblazers weren't entirely sure where the summit was and decided to direct us hikers all over the place just to make darn certain we hit the summit! :D

Problem is they finally gave up and said this must be it. Sounds like they should have continued a bit further. If you think this one is tough to find, check out Mt Wilson in VT without a GPSR.

dougbear
08-13-2004, 03:07 PM
This is a great excuse to put off Owl's Head. I'll wait until the summit location is certain.
This guy Joe I usually hike with wouldn't react well to being led all up and down a trail-less ridge on his Tin Man knees. I could lose my reputation. So far, I have him convinced I'm always right. Heh heh. :D