Ascent of Mount Moosilauke on 2020-06-13
|Date:||Saturday, June 13, 2020|
|Ascent Type:||Successful Summit Attained|
| Location:||USA-New Hampshire|
| Elevation:||4802 ft / 1463 m|
Ascent Trip ReportFollowing a sunny morning drive, I parked at Breezy Point Road. No sooner did I open my car door when I spotted a gray wolf about 30 yards up the dirt road. He watched me lace my boots and then disappeared into the woods. The weather had been clear until then, but was becoming a bit overcast.
I purposely brought more gear than necessary, intending to benchmark my fitness level for a multi-day trip that I have planned at the end of this month. The first two miles of the Carriage Road trail were very gradual, so I was not particularly aware of the extra burden as I started out. Four creeks, including Merrill Brook, flow beneath the trail's bridges in this early section.
Perhaps only a mile in, I had another notable wildlife encounter. As I rounded a bend in the trail, I came face to face with a moose! We both flinched, and she clumsily trotted further up the path. We met again five minutes later in similar fashion.
Carriage Road joins up with Hurricane Trail for a brief period; it is where they again diverge that the slope steepens. I became much more aware of the extra weight at this point, and took more regular rests until I reached South Peak. After oscillating between periods of sunshine clouds, the weather seemed to settle emphatically on the latter. Everything above 4,500 feet was white.
I followed the cairns from South Peak to Mt. Moosilauke, but I did not dwell there long as there were no views and it was quite cold in the wind. I descended via the Asquam Ridge Trail, which rounds the rim of Jubildunc Ravine. The trail was rockier and narrower than Carriage Road had been on the ascent, and I particularly enjoyed the section in the bottom of the ravine with the river rushing along the left-hand side. From there I made quick work of Hurricane Trail and the early section of Carriage Road where I had seen the moose.
Of course, by this time, the skies had become perfectly clear once again. My legs were heavy after the 14.5-mile loop, but I knew I could manage another peak before I lost sunlight. I decided to tackle Mt. Tecumseh. As one of the shortest 4,000 footers, it seemed too small to justify a trip of its own, and yet logistically difficult to pair with any of the other peaks in the Waterville area. So I hopped in the car and made my way to the opposite side of I-93.
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