Nine of us met at the Richmond Park and Ride shortly before 6 AM for the almost two hour drive over to Mt. Moosilauke in NH. After a short pickup in Berlin for an additional hiker we were on our way. Snowy and slippery roads slowed us a bit (as did slow moving salt trucks!), but we arrived at 8 AM and geared up.
Our planned route for the day was up the Gorge Brook Trail to the summit across the AT to the south summit and then down the Carriage and Snapper Trails before returning to the road. About 9.5 miles total with about 3K of elevation gain. The hike up was fairly gradual with a nice snow pack throughout. (We were the first group laying tracks so opted for snowshoes.)
The hike up was uneventful with gradually clearing skies offering some nice views to the east as we head up. The conditions changed dramatically as we approached tree line. What was a pleasant (for many of us coat-less) hike up turned windy and very cold with limited visibility as we entered the cloud covering the summit. Temperatures were just above zero with wind chills estimated to be around – 20 degrees.
We spent just a few minutes on the summit for photos before seeking the AT to head to South Peak. Trail finding would have been challenging, but the placement of large cairns helped guide us across the exposed summit and back into the trees toward South Peak.
Views at South Peak were also limited due to cloud cover, but the wind was less extreme. We made our way back to the trail junction for a short lunch before joining the Carriage and Snapper Trails for a relatively easy and fun hike through the evergreens which would take us back to the road at the Ravine Lodge to make our way back to the parking lot.
Participants: Julie Cimonetti Liana Edwards, Robynn Albert, Jill George, Michael Mortelliti, Tim Welsh, Corinn Julow, Andy Julow, Dale Schmit and Chris Luczynski (Trip Leader)