November 26, 2005
Saturday we were joined by 9 others and 2 dogs (Tuscany & Jelsi) to hike Mt Moosilauke via the Glencliff trail. It was great to meet so many new faces! We arrived at the parking lot with the temp of @ 15 degrees with sunny skies. The Glencliff Trail rises almost 3300 feet over 3.9 miles on the west side of MT Moosilauke.
Geri led the way starting off at a brisk pace. The trail goes through a large field ust after the start where the sunshine added it's warmth - soon we were are all ready to shed layers.
At first the ascent is gradual, but not for long. Soon the trail starts a steep climb to teh col between the main and South peaks. Here we all regroup and have a quick snack of home made cookies couresy of Christine. While donning layers we also tend the Jelsi's paws that have large frozen balls of snows stuck between her claws.
Moving on we made our way to the summit. The trail to the summit is well protected by 10 foot tall spruce so the actual summit conditions are not known at first. Halfway to the summit we leave the protection of the trees and find ourselves in near white out conditions - it is snowing and the wind is blowing at @30 mph. We loose the trail at one point but continue on straight, and rejoin the trail.
One of our group decides he should have have put gloves and a shell on while protected by the trees. AS he is digging through his pack, he quickly realizes how cold his hands have become in a very short time. Geri has spare gloves readily handy which he takes. Lesson learned - gear up early and have some critical gear always handy.
At the summit we find the sign coated with a heavy layer of ice we cannot break through. Waiting for others we retreat to the protection of an old foundation, while we wonder how other friends are faring over on Mt Washington. EVen the dogs are happier out of the wind. After we all arrive, take a few photos, we start our descnet back to the col. We meet some others coming up - this is a very popular peak regardless of conditions.
Back at the col we enjoy more food before starting our descent. The soft powdery snow makes for a quick return trip with lots of joking and laughter. A snowball fight almost starts - snow is knocked off of trees onto others, and onto the instigator.
Soon we are back to the parking lot, changed and headed off to the Woodstock Inn for dinner. This is a steep hike, but well protected for Winter hiking with some nice views along the way.
Directions to the trailhead: Rte 93 north to exit 26 (Rte 25), or Rte 93 north to exit 32 (Rte 112), then south on Rte 118 to Rte 25. From the intersection of Rte 25 and Rte 118, travel north to the town of Glencliff. Take a right onto High Street (formally Sanatorium Rd) just before the village.The parking is 1.2 miles on the right in gravel lot.
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