Ascent of Mount Moosilauke on 2015-04-26

Climber: Spencer Corcoran

Other People:Solo Ascent
Date:Sunday, April 26, 2015
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Mount Moosilauke
    Location:USA-New Hampshire
    Elevation:4802 ft / 1463 m

Ascent Trip Report

Spring and winter were duking it out on the Moose today!

I took the Moosilauke Carriage Road bottom to top. From my parking spot at the end of Breezy Point Rd, I walked down a rough dirt road to the FS sign for the trail. Officially on trail at 1:05 PM. 5.1 miles to the top, and it's kind of broken into sections (trail junctions every mile or so), so it went by rather quickly. Barebooted the whole thing, although spikes would've helped in some sections.

Overall, the trail had mostly easy grades, with a few moderate pitches. That was good for me, since this was my first 10+ mile hike since Flags on the 48 last year. Yeah, I know, pathetic :roll: . Anyway, the lower part had seen better days. Blowdowns and debris everywhere, with spotty snow. Oh yeah, and MUD! Covered most of the first 1.3 mi of the trail :evil: . Eventually, I got to the lower junction with the Hurricane Trail, and then after a series of turns, the upper junction at 1.6 mi. From there, I gained more elevation via switchbacks, and at this point the snow became more prevalent. By the time I reached the Snapper Trail junction at 3.0 mi, the entire trail and mountainside was covered in white, sticky snow. From here, I had 2.1 miles left to the top.

This next section, 1.2 miles long, was much more attractive than the previous 3 miles. The snow was deeper and more consolidated (although it got considerably softer on the descent), plus the corridor had nice, thick spruce woods, with some views off the slopes. Kinda reminded me of the Polecat trail on Wildcat D, and if you watch that particular part of the video, hopefully you'll see why!

Near the junction with the Glencliff Trail, I came to a large brown sign marking the alpine zone, as well as the upper limit for snowmobile travel. Fortunately, no snowmobiles today. Don't think they'd want to ride through 2 miles of mud :shock: . After about two hours, I arrived at the junction with the Glencliff Trail/AT. The snow was still at least three feet deep, seeing how low the sign was. From here, it was a quick 0.9 mile to the top.

Not an easy 0.9 mile, though! On the sheltered part of the ridge, the snow was still very deep; however, once out in the open, the snow base was much lower (all prob'ly blown into the ravines). The icing on the proverbial cake was that once above treeline, the summit, as well as the whole upper portion of the mountain, turned to white out conditions. Wasn't snowing, but the clouds were white, it was windy, and frigid- wind chills were easily around zero, give or take. Going up this part was a nice challenge, though- it was a good test for my eyes to play a game of find-the-cairn. After that little jaunt, I stood on the socked-in summit of 4,802 ft. Mount Moosilauke at 3:35, 2 and a half hours after leaving Breezy Point.

I ate some granola bars and inspected the new summit sign (this was my first time seeing it- the last time I hiked the Moose, the big original sign was still standing). Oh yeah, and I took a summit selfie. Besides that, I didn't stay long. No views due to the clouds, plus it was windy and frigid, so I headed back down after checking out the area.

Conditions going down were similar to going up, except that the snow was a little softer, and some of the small patches down low were melted. Got back to the car at 5:20 PM.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:3100 ft / 944 m
    Round-Trip Distance:10.2 mi / 16.4 km
    Route:Mount Moosilauke Carriage Road
    Trailhead:Breezy Point Rd.  1702 ft / 518 m
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Snow on Ground
    Weather:Frigid, Windy, White-out
Ascent Statistics
    Time:2 Hours 30 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Time:1 Hours 30 Minutes

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