Ascent of Big Attitash Mountain on 2016-12-28

Climber: Ryan Aschbrenner

Date:Wednesday, December 28, 2016
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Big Attitash Mountain
    Location:USA-New Hampshire
    Elevation:2900 ft / 883 m

Ascent Trip Report

From West Side Road, I took the Moat Mountain and Attitash Trails up Big Attitash. I then descended from Big Attitash a bit, and then went off-trail heading up North Moat. From there, I took the Moat Mtn Trail back down to my starting point.

* The trail was wide and heavily traveled for the first mile, up to Diana's Baths. There were significant tracks beyond that point, all turning up toward the Moats, and there weren't any tracks heading up to Big Attitash. I had to break out the 2.5 mile section of trail from the Moat Mtn Trail junction up to the Big Attitash summit, but that won't end up helping anyone as heavy snow is on the way tomorrow.

* The snow had a light crust that my snowshoes broke through with every step, punching through a few inches. A bit tedious, but not too bad along the gently-sloping section following Lucy Brook. Then the trail heads very steeply up the ravine, and that was some of the more difficult trail breaking I've ever done. The grade moderates above 2500', making for an easier final push to the summit.

* I think the eastern 2900' contour is considered to be the summit of Big Attitash, but I continued a short distance to the next 2900' contour, going off trail a bit through some scrappy spruce. There are two more, much smaller 2900' contours further west, but I didn't go that far. I doubt either of those two is the summit (given how small they are), but someday I'll approach from the west and hit those two bumps.

* You get a nice look at North Moat from the east side of Big Attitash. I went off-trail, and headed up there. I won't go into specifics, except to say that I tried to stay a bit north of the ridge, and that I came out on the Moat Mtn Trail just south of the North Moat summit.

* The view from North Moat was partially obstructed by low clouds, as it was lightly snowing by this point, but I've seen the view in clear-sky conditions, four years ago. Still pretty impressive, what I could see.

* I encountered lots of ice while coming down off the summit of North Moat, requiring great care. Also some icy spots at other points along the Moat Mtn Trail while descending toward the north. Nice views toward Kearsarge North and Cranmore from many points during the descent.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:2350 ft / 716 m
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Snow on Ground
    Gear Used:
Crampons, Ski Poles, Snowshoes
    Weather:Cool, Breezy, Overcast
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:2350 ft / 716 m
    Route:Moat Mtn-Attitash Trails
    Start Trailhead:550 ft / 167 m
Descent Statistics

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