Monday, November 5, 2012

Trail Report: Mount Moosilauke

November 3, 2012

Snow, snow and more snow.  The weather reports said 40% chance of snow showers in the morning, even my personal meteorologist, Tony, also said a light mixture of snow and rain today.  We were in for quite the surprise at the summit of Mount Moosilauke 4,802'.

As the Fall season is upon us and the sun sets early, we set out from Hudson around 6am, arriving at the trailhead about 730am, gearing up and hitting the trail a little after 8am.  The snow was already falling in the parking lot but it was really just a few flakes here and there, really nothing to be concerned about.  The temperature was hovering around 35 degrees and I started off with three layers, quickly losing the first layer about 15 minutes into the hike.  I think I have finally found the perfect temps for hiking, the 30-40 degree range is absolutely perfect!  I can't believe I am actually saying that.

This was our first time up this mountain and Tony decided to pick the hardest trail on the mountain.  There's a sign at the beginning of the trail warning you as to how dangerous this trail is but even with the snow fall, overcast and wet conditions we went for it anyway.

 Beaver Brook Trailhead

Trail sign

Second bridge crossing

The warning sign

The first two miles of this 3.8 mile route is very steep.  So steep in fact that the DOC (Dartmouth Outing Club) has installed wooden blocks and some iron hand rails in some of the more difficult areas.

One of many water falls along this trail

Tony @ another water fall

Wooden block stairs

Iron hand rail

Me @ another water fall

 The higher up we went the light rain started turning more into snow.  Around 2700' it was a light snow.  Around 4000' it really started accumulating.

Some light snow on the trees

More wooden block stairs

Around 4000' it started to stick to the ground

Gotta keep moving

It may look cold but I was sweating, a lot

Snow covered trees

Almost @ the summit

Close to the summit

Very close now

We went above treeline for about 10' and then decided to head back below treeline to put on an extra layer.  It was amazing how cold and windy it was above treeline.  The snow was blowing so hard it was almost white-out conditions.  After we put on our extra layer we made the final push to the summit.

First view above treeline

Tony in the distance pushing up the trail

Summit sign 4,802'

Me @ the summit

The summit was so cold and windy we stayed less than five minutes.  I took about a dozen photos, talked to a couple of other people that were at the summit (there were two guys in shorts), then we left.  We didn't even stay long enough to drink our celebratory Dogfish Head Pumpkin beers.  Once back below treeline there was virtually no wind and things warmed back up again quickly.  The trek down was long, just as long as coming up.  The batteries in my GPS died on the way down so I don't have all the stats for this trip.

GPS Track
Summit of Mount Moosilauke: 4,802'
Total hike time: 7h
Distance: 7.6 miles
Elevation Gain: 3100'
Trails: Beaver Brook Trail,  Benton Trail

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