Mt. Moosilauke Hike
Hiking/Walk DATE: 12/13/2014 - 12/13/2014
Trip/Event Location: Glencliff, NH
Max # People: 15
Trip Guiding / Event Fee: No, I will not be asking participants for money
Difficulty Level: Strenuous
This southwestern outpost of the high peaks is unmatched for the variety of its views!
We will be hiking Mt. Moosilauke [4,802 feet] via the Glencliff Trail and Moosilauke Carriage Road to the...
From I-93 take the Tenney Mountain Highway Exit 26 [Plymouth, NH] and follow NH 25 to the tiny village of Glencliff, between Warren and Haverhill. Turn north [right] onto High St. [formerly Sanatorium Rd.] and drive 1.2 miles to the parking area for Glencliff Trail on right in area of fields and pastures just below Glencliff Home for the Elderly. We will be driving a blue FJ Cruiser.
Seven GO members climbed Mount Moosilauke (4,802 ft), the westernmost 4,000 footer in the White Mountains. This was a 3,300 foot climb from the trail head up the Glenncliff Trail. We wore MicroSpikes from start to finish. As we climbed higher, the trees had more snow on them and near the summit ridge, we enjoyed the gorgeous hoar frost coating the trees!
Moosilauke in winter can be a challenging peak to climb because the summit is completely bald and very windy. There’s good cover up until treeline, but the last 0.2 to 0.3 miles (on the south side) are fully exposed. We definitely had some wind today, as you can see in the summit pictures! The temperature was a balmy 20 degrees and we were not cold despite being in the 35 mph winds.
Although most of the 4,000 footers we climb in winter are day hikes, they’re actually fairly high consequence climbs that take a fair amount of preparation to pull off safely. For example, Jon and have been on Moosilauke before in winter and know that the summit is often shrouded in cloud, making the cairns difficult to see.
Those are the conditions we found today when we got to treeline, and we were able to see tracks in the snow as we moved from cairn to cairn. Even so, three members in our party were driven back due to a number of factors.
The wind was definitely blowing as we climbed out in the open to the summit sign. We hung out for a couple minutes for photos and then about faced down the way we’d come, into the relative safety of the krumholz.
This was a good hike with a few members we have never hiked with before. Despite that, we climbed well together at a reasonable pace and stuck together, which is especially important in winter. We came away from this climb feeling good about our upcoming winter trips. We are on track for a couple more 4,000+ foot hikes in the next 30 days.
Mike and Jon
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