Hiked Big Coolidge on 2/21/2017 with Bill and Diane Schor. Weather was bright and sunny and a little cool in the morning but it warmed up in the afternoon. Big Coolidge is almost directly across from Loon Mountain Ski Area and is accessed from the abandoned but still used Old Osseo trail. This is the same trail we used a few weeks ago to get to South Whaleback. We hiked about 3/4 mile up the Old Osseo trail to the start of the bushwhack. Fortunately the trail had seen some use so we didn’t have to break trail. We started the bushwhack at a point where some people had camped and had packed out a fairly large area.
We had almost 1700 feet of elevation gain to accomplish in less than a mile so we started going up right away and it just got steeper and steeper as we went up.
There was no relief from going up and the higher we went the steeper it got, there were a few limited views. One was to South Whaleback which we visited a few weeks ago.
As it got steeper there were also some spruce and spruce traps to deal with which slowed us down a bit.
It kept getting steeper and eventually we reached a band of cliffs that others mentioned in their hiking reports. We managed to go slightly left and make our way up the cliff and then the final push through some thick spruce to the summit. We found the summit canister but unfortunately the sticker giving the name and elevation was missing.
We signed in and ate our PBJs and then headed down. We slid down the cliff by holding on to a few trees and made our way through a few other steep spots which were getting slippery with the afternoon sun on them. Got a quick glimpse of Loon Mountain through the trees.
We got back to the parking area and home before dark. Only 57 more peaks to complete the New Hampshire 200 Highest. It took us 5.5 hours to hike a little over 4 miles, it was tough going in the steep parts.