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Old 02-17-2012, 01:53 AM
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Trip Report Moosilauke Solo skin n' ski Feb. 15th

I'm Long time T4T creeper, but a newbie as a contributor.

Here are some pics from my solo day trip up Mt. Moosilauke this past Wednesday, Feb. 15th. I had never been on Moosilauke before, summer or winter, so I was looking forward to experiencing something new.

Gear used was my heavy alpine setup:
Skis: 186 Scott Dozers
Bindings: Dukes
Boots: Lange RX130s
Skins: G3 Alpinist
Car ride up: trusty '96 4Runner with 224k miles

Leaving Boston at 6:30am got me to the gate off 118 on the Ravine Lodge Rd. as the only car at 9am and started my skin up at 9:10am.



I had no idea what the snow pack would be like down low, but was pleased with the cover on the road. The weather was ridiculously pleasant. My mid-layer came off within 10 minutes, and I went the rest of the way up with no gloves and just my base layer on top.


Dozers n Dukes..


I made it to the Dartmouth lodges, the summer trail head I suppose, in about 40 minutes and signed the registry which hadn't been signed for few days. This is also when I realized I had left the delicious lunch I'd prepared the night before on the counter in my Boston apt... Good thing I always keep a Nature Valley bar packed as back up... ha.


From the trail head my plan was to go up the Snapper trail to the Carriage Road Trail to the Summit, then take the Gorge Brook Trail on the way down.


While snowpack is totally decent up there, it was definitely dust on crust. About half to an inch in spots of really soft stuff on top of super hard ice and snow. It also looked like it had been very windy in recent days. I spent a good amount of time sweeping downed limbs and branches off the snow in front of my skis with my poles.


Lower Snapper... You can tell no one had been up here in a few days..




Some company around somewhere...


End of the snapper, on to the Carriage Rd...


Carriage Rd. Great views all morning!


Reeeeeally pissed off about forgetting my lunch on the counter in Boston at this point...


Finally some summit views


Good views of the Franconia Ridge and such.




View from South Peak. Meeting up with the AT on the ridge line was the first time I encountered any other people tracks other than my own. I saw a small group of people with snow shoes and crampons near the summit. It started getting a bit darker, as some weather seemed to be moving in.




Looking back towards South Peak


I'm a sucker for a good frozen cairn


Summit, 12:35pm




Crappy summit pano...


As I started transitioning into downhill mode and ate my crappy Nature Valley Bar lunch, I got pretty darn cold. I mentioned before, I decided not to ski down the way I came up. While it seems that the traditional route I'd heard about was to go up the Gorge then down the Carriage/Snapper, I read some trip report from some other dude earlier this winter suggesting that it would be better to do it the other way around (which is what I did)...I'm not sure he's right about that. After skiing down the bald summit fields, the Gorge Brook was very narrow and bobsled-like. The Carriage Road is fairly wide in comparison to the Snapper and Gorge Brook, but on this day the snow underneath the soft stuff was so rock solid that it probably made no difference which direction I did the loop in terms of the quality of skiing.

I didn't take too many pictures on the way down the Gorge Brook Trail, as the skiing was really survival skiing; I was a little more focused on trying not to slam into the trees that the tips of my skis seemed to keep heading for like magnets. In many spots the trail was barely wider than the length of my skis.

Heading down, back to treeline..


Starting to snow pretty good...


The Moose behind me as I started down the Gorge Brook


Last view of the summit before diving back into tree cover


Skis had to come off a couple of times to get over some stream crossings. Also, once back to the Ravine Lodge, there's a bit of uphill to tackle to get back on the road. It took me a solid 45minutes to ski all the way back to my car, which was still the only one parked at the gate.

This trip was a blast! Good weather, great views, and no signs of other people (except for a few short minutes at the summit) made for a really enjoyable day in the mountains. I will honestly say that the skin up was the best part for me. Being able to ski down was just icing on the cake.

Oh, and Truants for a few beers and a heaping pile of nachos was great motivation to make haste on the way down! Can't wait to get back up to the Whites ASAP!
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Old 02-17-2012, 08:33 AM
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Bummer about the lunch...

... but that appears to be the only thing that went wrong on a great tour!

Nice pics, I like the way the changing light conditions affected how things looked up top.
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Old 02-17-2012, 08:54 AM
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A bit of spice to a great adventure.. Superiffic TR! Looks like you have plenty of gumption to go with your caution. Descending that Gorge Brook Trail will focus one's attention!

..............
Time to put together a possibles bag to leave in your pack...with a bit more grub 6-8 more ounces of weight would approximate a good lunch.

Cliff Shot Blocks are great for replenishing electrolytes and Cliff Bars resist freezing surprisingly well. In combination with a source of complex carbs, different kinds of jerky (carnivore or veggie types) really stretch out a person's endurance too.
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Old 02-17-2012, 09:52 AM
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Wow! Quality report. Rep
Food? who needs food? Good call on Truants, I love their chicken parm after a big trek.
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Old 02-17-2012, 10:45 AM
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Way to go! Nice photos from the ridge.
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Old 02-17-2012, 10:46 AM
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ARLOthePEAR ARLOthePEAR is offline
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Yeah, funny thing is I actually unpacked the Jerky that was still in my pack from my last Sherbie trip. Stoopid.
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Old 02-17-2012, 11:21 AM
Dynafiddle Dynafiddle is offline
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Nice TR. was thinking about heading uP there today to scope it out myself! How were snow fields on summit?
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Old 02-17-2012, 11:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dynafiddle View Post
Nice TR. was thinking about heading uP there today to scope it out myself! How were snow fields on summit?
Summit fields were extremely hard packed and variable. A lot of variable snow because of the wind up there. One turn would be somewhat soft, then the next would be no snow just blue ice. Visibility is also a concern if you have overcast conditions as I did; the light was pretty flat.

Also, if you do descend the Gorge Brook, be careful following the cairns down from the summit. If you end up going too far right or left, it may be tough to find the trail when you get to tree line.
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Old 02-17-2012, 04:10 PM
Dynafiddle Dynafiddle is offline
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Thanks!
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Old 02-18-2012, 12:23 AM
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ARLOthePear, you should get reps just for your wacky name! GREAT photos--really nice work there. And up Snapper, down Gorge in those conditions. Honestly, you might have enjoyed it more the other direction, but what do I know. My choice would have been the Carriage Rd. Bummer about the lunch--big day for fewer calories than anticipated. Next time, check out The Station after--decent micro brews and good grub as well as the crowds, although you can usually find a bar seat.

Reps!
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Old 02-18-2012, 02:45 PM
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Thanks for the report on Moosilauke. Planning to hit it this season. Did Gorge Brook last time, I thik this time I'm heading up the Carriage Road. Reps!
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Old 02-18-2012, 04:59 PM
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Nice trip report, I liked the photos. I saw your original request for a touring partner before you went up there, but I didn't have time to register as a member on here at that time otherwise I would've shared my TR with you from two weeks ago. I took the exact same route as you and came away with pretty much the exact same sentiments! If you're interested, here it is:
http://www.tadahill.com/main/news/mt...ke-trip-report
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Old 02-19-2012, 12:29 PM
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Seeker, I'll def. check out the Station next time. As for my "wacky name," it's a reference from one of my all-time favorite Richard Pryor flicks!

Mike, your TR indeed sounds similar to my experience. Thanks for the link.

I hit Mt. Cardigan with a few friends yesterday with mixed results; we went up from the west and skied down the same side since not everyone in the group had skins and skis. Some sketchy snow cover, as would be expected that far south and lowish elevation, but still a fun day. I'm thinking Greylock/Thunderbolt is next if anyone is interested... Although that's starting to get pretty far away from Pinkham Notch to be posting about in T4T!
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Old 02-19-2012, 05:30 PM
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Loop de loop

Thoroughly enjoyed the TR! Never had much luck with the summit snow fields myself, anyone else? I have a mutual understanding of how you felt going down the Gorge Brook ...
Really liked this picture, very ominous...
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Old 02-20-2012, 05:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ARLOthePEAR View Post
Seeker, I'll def. check out the Station next time. As for my "wacky name," it's a reference from one of my all-time favorite Richard Pryor flicks!

Mike, your TR indeed sounds similar to my experience. Thanks for the link.

I hit Mt. Cardigan with a few friends yesterday with mixed results; we went up from the west and skied down the same side since not everyone in the group had skins and skis. Some sketchy snow cover, as would be expected that far south and lowish elevation, but still a fun day. I'm thinking Greylock/Thunderbolt is next if anyone is interested... Although that's starting to get pretty far away from Pinkham Notch to be posting about in T4T!
I snowshoed Cardigan late Sat afternoon - must have been your ski tracks I saw on the summit ledges? VERY impressive!!!!! Also, someone had skinned/skied Dukes (someone else?). Given the light coverage, THAT was QUITE impressive as well!!!! (my skis stayed in the car!!!!) No evidence of skiers on the Alexandria Ski Tr - it was postholed in places. --Becca
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