Article by KK1W on Nov 30 2011 at 22:11

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NE1SJ Trip Report of November 27th, 2011

One of the more challenging peaks in the Connecticut River (CR) section of W1. Not so much a hiking challenge as finding a reasonable approach. This is one of those mountains that internet research doesn\'t turn up much, if any, trail information. But, that has not stopped the SOTA Jerks in the past so why should Notch Mtn. be any different? Following is how Frandy/N1FJ and myself/KK1W achieved the peak. Looking at the topo maps the peak is only 1000\' west of a large north/south running power line. The downside is access to the power line, at least from the east, south or west is difficult. To the east the maps show a road running parallel to the power line. That road (Old Warwick/Parker Camp Road) peters out quickly and all the approaches to the power line require crossing private property so that route was scratched. To the south the power lines cross Warwick/Northfield Road. Initially we choose this route as the shortest, but steepest and fastest, route. On a dry summer\'s day this would work, but with all the recent rain/snow Frandy and I spent about a half hour walking the south side of the rapidly flowing stream looking for a way to get across. We decided that slipping on a wet rock and falling in the stream was not how we wanted to start our hike so we headed off to our last, but longest choice. This choice is a logging road that starts at the intersection of Warwick/Northfield Road and School Street. The stream is to the south at this point so crossing is unnecessary. What is necessary is an almost two mile hike to get back to the power lines. Rats! The logging road is indeed passable with a 4WD vehicle except for the fact that the entrance is blocked by, you guessed it, a large log! Anyway we resigned ourselves to the hike, loaded our packs back in the Explorer and headed west toward the logging road. About a quarter mile or less the light bulb came on in our heads as we noticed the stream went under Warwick/Northfield Road! We decided to park near that bridge, bushwhack to the logging road, to the power lines and then bushwhack to the mountain - cool. For you GPS folks here\'s the waypoints. Park on the south side of Warwick/Northfield Road at: N 42.70631 W 72.41070 Cross the road and bushwhack to the logging road. We intersected the logging rad at: N 42.70798 W 72.40881. Just head northeast from the parking spot and you will intersect the logging road somewhere along it\'s length, it isn\'t critical. Head east along the logging road. As you\'re nearing the power lines look for a trail on the left heading northeast and take that trail. You will find that trail head at: N 42.70824 W 72.4077. This will save you a few steps by cutting off the corner of the route. This trail will intersect the power lines at: N 42.70884 W 72.40683. Turn left (north) and head up the hill following the power lines. Yes, this section is quite steep! As you hike north along the power lines you will see the mountain peak on your left. You could turn west as soon as you\'re abreast of it and bushwhack to the peak (we did) but if you\'re just a little more patient continue north a little further. At N 42.7125 W 72.40824 there is a well marked trail on your left. Follow this trail southwest to the peak at: N 42.71082 W 72.41119. You\'re there! The peak is wooded and there\'s some decently tall trees to hang wire antennas from, that\'s what we did. Our station today was an FT-100, LDG tuner and dipoles for 17 and 12 meters. We managed to get setup and operating by 1:15 EST and made 20 CW contacts by 2:30. The weather turned colder and windy so we packed up and headed back down to the car. This is one of those hikes that is truly (take your pick) uphill or downhill all the way. The hike back to the car probably didn\'t take 30 minutes! This was our final peak of the sixteen Connecticut River peaks. Frandy and I now qualify for the C.R.A.P. Award (Connecticut River All Peaks) but aren\'t quite sure how to claim it! It should be mentioned that once on the peak there is a well maintained trail to the north. We\'re not sure where it comes out but if anyone has information about it please add it to this peaks database. Hopefully this information will help the next activators of Notch Mountain/W1/CR-007. \'73... Frandy/N1FJ and Jim/KK1W