Ascent of Mount Moriah on 2007-11-23

Climber: Michael Blair

Others in Party:Monica Leo + Stephen
Date:Friday, November 23, 2007
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Mount Moriah
    Location:USA-New Hampshire
    Elevation:4049 ft / 1234 m

Ascent Trip Report

Monica and I camped out the night before at the Barnes Field Campground. Leo joined us and brought us left-over Thanksgiving food. A nice treat considering that nothing was open for food - I guess most people got the night off to spend the Thanksgiving holiday with friends and family. Stephen met us at the trailhead and joined us for the hike. Temperatures where in the mid-teens when we woke up and hadn't gotten any warmer by the time we started our hike. We followed the Carter-Moriah Trail from the northern end located along Route 2 in Gorham, NH. You start climbing right from the parking lot and don't stop until you reach the summit. The rocky ledges were covered in ice and very slippery. Stephen took a pretty good tumble on the way up and then again on the way down. While all of us had our share of slips, his were by far the most spectacular. In fact, they both made it into my "Top Falls of 2007" list. Others in the top five...Monica's plunge into the river on our Isolation hike, my encounter with the stinkiest mud on earth on our hike of the Hancocks, and Monica's attempt to save her trekking pole (actually my daughter's pole) by nearly slamming her face into a tree. Just missing the top five was my head-over-heels drop, stop, and roll into Max on our way up Cannon Balls. Anyway, we flew up to the summit in about 3.5 hours in some pretty difficult conditions. I was beat - felt like turning back. Not sure if left-over tired from yesterday's hike or just the fact that I had no energy despite an award-winning breakfast of a bag of Cape Cod Salt and Cracked Pepper potato chips. Anyway, turns out that I reached my "Forest Gump Moment" (when he decides to stop running across the country simply by declaring "I'm pretty tired... I think I'll go home now.") less than 100 yards from the summit. Could almost see the sign from where I thought that I was going to expire. Decided that I needed to continue on and reached the summit. Leo's thermometer showed about 10 degrees at the summit - but that didn't factor in the wind. Probably at or below zero when you consider the wind chill factor. After some hot chocolate and grub we headed back down to the cars. This is probably the last attempt at a 4,000 foot peak until next spring. In three months I was able to get 36 of the NH 4K peaks while Monica finished with 30. I managed to get in a two-day backpacking trip to hit the Bonds and the Twins and I did Cannon on my own. She did Flume on her own. The last 12 will be easy, although I am still upset about having to skip Liberty and Flume on our two-day backpacking trip of the Franconia Ridge because of bad weather and losing the trail on our way up to Isolation because the trail was poorly marked and covered in 6 inches of snow. I had wanted to get to 40 by 12/01 - missed it by just a bit.
Summary Total Data
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Snow on Ground, Scramble, Snow Climb
    Gear Used:
Crampons, Ski Poles
    Weather:Frigid, Windy, Partly Cloudy

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