Monday, April 30, 2012

Mt. Moosilauke & South Peak 4/28/12

After hiking Mt. Tecumseh earlier in the morning, I drove my way over to the Glencliff Trail to hike Moosilauke and South Peak. For those who have hiked it, Moosilauke is always great. The forecast for the weekend was pretty rough, but it turned out to be much better in terms of the amount of wind, especially by the afternoon. It was in the low 30s and breezy at the trail head, so I made sure to have my winter face protection and gloves, and an extra layer, as opposed to what I had in my pack earlier. The sun was bright and pretty warm, so as long as you kept moving it was a great day to be out.

I love the fact that on my 3rd time around, I'm still able to approach the peaks from different ways. That is only a minuscule part of what makes us crazy hikers keep coming back to the 48. At 10am, I started up the Glencliff Trail, which follows a pasture road from a parking lot on High Street. It was bright and sunny, and I was wondering how cold and windy it was going to be up top.
White blaze on the AT, near start of Glencliff Trail
Glencliff Trail to Mt. Moosilauke
At whatever elevation it started at, the trail was as nicely coated as Tecumseh from the overnight and morning snow. I only passed one couple on the way up, and once at the top, there were more hikers. It was nice hike up, but it felt much slower. I had not hiked since the weekend before the Awards dinner, which was four weeks ago. I still finished this one in 4 hours, but I'm still sore as I'm writing this. The approach is really the most difficult part. Once you get to the Carriage Road, both peaks are easy from there (pending conditions).
Trail bridge on the Glencliff Trail
The summit was spectacular. It was crystal clear with puffy clouds, and the deep blue color of the sky was just amazing. It was nice to see the snow capped peaks still. There were several groups hanging around the summit. Franconia Ridge looked just as great as ever. I could look at pictures of it all day long.
Franconia Ridge from Mt. Moosilauke
My GoPro camera is insane. It's fun. When you learn to use all of the features, the stuff you come back with is awesome. I switched the video mode to the widest angle possible, and I won't be going back. The video at the end of this report is not to be missed. I might need to go re-do a couple hikes, haha. The two pictures below are 8MP, and I can set it to take a picture every 2, 5, 10, or 30 seconds to get cool shots like these.

I hung around the summit for about 15 minutes. I sat behind one of the walls, put my bag down, and took some shots all around. There is nothing like being on the summit of a prominent peak After that, I head back the same way and scooted up to South Peak, why not get it again, right? There was no one else up there, so having a 4500' peak to my self for a few more minutes before descending is all worth it in my book.
Me on Mt. Moosilauke, with a favorite over my shoulder
Bagging Mt. Moosilauke, South Peak
The descent was pretty quick. I thought the Glencliff Trail was pretty steep, and the wet snow from being melted in the snow all day was pretty tricky. I fell at least three times on the way down. Once I nearly pulled my shoulder, and once I nearly hit my temple on a rock, its one of those close calls that make you think about the dangers out here. On the way down, it is easy to tell when it is not going to be steep any more, that was cool, because it was a nice walk out with under a mile left. My legs were toast.
Franconia Ridge taken from Route 118

Hike Stats
Trails: Glencliff Trail, Moosilauke Carriage Road
Distance: 7.8 miles
Elevation Gain: 3,300 ft
Book Time: 4hrs


  1. Great video with the GoPro. What did you edit it with? I've been thinking about getting one.

    I like the Moose. My first 4,000 footer was up the Beaver Brook Trail, would you believe? I love south peak too.

    1. Thank you - I am using NCH Software VideoPad Editor Professional, which I purchased and downloaded for $69. It is not perfect. When I add transitions other than Fade, it seems to chop up. I also get a sound error on some longer videos, so right now those are issues I can't find a solution for, but its good and easy to use. You can download a free trial of it, I think.

      The very first time I went up Moosilauke, my brother, his friend and I got a good video. I still have it, but its corrupted so it won't copy from the SD card. I really wanted to make up for that and do a good video. They are great peaks.

  2. Another great day Dan! The GoPro video is sweet! Amazingly clear and smooth. I've seen a few skiing videos done with these by friends but this is the first hiking one. You're right, you need to go back and redo some hikes to bag te videos. Maybe start with that winter ascent up the headwall on Mt Washington ;-). Looking forward to following more great journeys!


    1. Mark - You knew exactly what I was talking about! The winter presi traverse was shot in the 1080p medium angle, and actually the Tuckerman Ravine Climb was shot with my Olympus Tough which shoots 720p. I had it on a Joby Gorillapod strapped to my shoulder strap. If only I had the GoPro for that one...

  3. Nice stuff - thanks for sharing it. Remarkable that only a week after your hike, on 5/5/12, I encountered very little snow on Moosilauke, just occasional remnants of monorail in shadier spots on Gorge Brook and Carriage Road, with none on Snapper or the South Peak spur. M was my first 4000 footer, but not my last. Did Lafayette two weeks ago and intend to do as many as my legs, schedule and budget will allow me this year and into future years. Mt. W west side, Jewell/AT/Ammo Loop is next up. What beautiful mountains - I especially like Moosilauke.