Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Mt. Moosilauke & Mt. Blue (4000-Footer Hike & Social Gathering) - 6/9/13

Now that summer is just about here, and we've been more or less already into it with some decent weather, that also means dodging the rain on a more regular basis. On Sunday, June 9th (a day late because of rain), I joined a big group to take part in a 4000-footer club (Facebook Group) social hike to Mt. Moosilauke. There were several groups organized, starting at multiple trail heads, and the plan was to meet at the summit, which is a favorite in the Whites, to socialize and have a chance to meet the "faces behind the pictures and the avatars" we see online. It was going to be a great hike, and with mostly everyone having completed the 48, its always fun to share and hear of others' stories.

Our group of seven picked the Beaver Brook Trail and consisted of me, my brother Bill, Allison (One, Woman, 48 4000-footers), Kimball (TrailsNH), John, Marta, and Erik. I believe that we all had never been up the Beaver Brook Trail, which is why we chose it. This was my 6th time going to the summit of Mt. Moosilauke. I was definitely pumped to be ascending by the Beaver Brook Trail, because every time I've driven through Kinsman Notch, it always looked so cool and steep. I didn't really know awesome the waterfalls were going to be and the fact that it rained the day before was a real bonus for us all.
Looking up from the Beaver Brook Trail head  
This trail IS sort of tough... 
But well worth it on a nice day with mostly dry trail conditions...
Allison fascinated by a feature of this particular waterfall
Steps on the Beaver Brook Trail 
The climb was very steady, but it was also a lot of fun for us with a nice variety of trail work, including steps, boulders, and rungs to aid in our ascent. This is just the type of stuff that everyone tends to like - climbing! After a good pace, we stopped at the Beaver Brook Shelter for a lengthy break. Here we all rather easily got into a discussion of personal experiences while hiking.
View from the Beaver Brook Shelter 
After our nice break at the shelter, we carried on, making our way to the ridge on the Beaver Brook Trail. Once there, the trail follows the ridge up a little ways up to the junction with the Benton Trail. Before that though, we started to contemplate about hitting Mt. Blue, which is a peak on the Trailwrights 72 list. We had plenty of time still before the 1pm meet time, so of course we did. My brother and I reached the summit of Mt. Blue on the last day of winter in 2011, on our first ascent of Moosilauke, going up by way of the Asquam Ridge. It was warm afternoon when we got it, but the snow was still very deep, all we saw was a circle of snow shoe tracks at the top, and now we realize...a buried canister. Although none of the others in our group had been to Mt. Blue before, the herd path was easily located by them, and we followed it up to the canister, which was a pretty cool thing to see. Here below, you have a sweet shot of a bunch of bushwhackers who are all now officially going for the Trailwrights! This could have been the highlight of the day, and it was definitely a sweet bonus to get all of our names in the register.
Mt. Blue Summit - 
After this, it was still a little ways to the junction of a slightly tricky trail. It seemed that the summit was among the passing fog, and it was quite gusty, but not a total dud, as we at times got a little glimpse of something. Never a bad day, but we were still excited to get to meet some new friends at the summit. We passed a pair who were on the way down because it was gusty and cold up there, so at this point we had learned that some had already left the summit before the 1pm meet time because of that.
From treeline on Moosilauke summit
Mt. Moosilauke, 4th summit
Mt. Moosilauke, 6th summit
The walk above treeline to the summit of Moosilauke is always a good feeling. We arrived at the summit to see a couple of dozen happy hikers, all those we chatted with and shared experiences and photos online for some time now. It was cool to be surrounded by such as group of avid hikers who who've done some amazing hikes, and also who have contributed so much to the hiking community with photography, general information, trail conditions, and more. It was awesome to meet everyone. Although it was a little crappy up on top, it was a fun time at the summit. 
Everyone greeting and conversing near the summit
The Beaver Brook Trail Group - The coolest group of the day. JK
The two next pictures show the best views we had from the summit - just a few minutes, really.

On the way down from the summit, this spruce grouse pictured below allowed all of us to gather and photograph him. Encounters with these "trail chickens" are a mixed bag. They either stand there sternly and do let you pass, come after you or startle you, or some, like this one, are friendly and aren't bothered. This one happened to do the latter and looked very pretty (or handsome) doing it. It had some cool colors on it. After the show, we let it be, and departed and continued our descent under clearing skies....of course.

At the end of the hike, we all gathered for some brews provided by Kim - Thanks! It says something when 7 avid hikers will stand around for about an hour chatting while getting eaten alive by bugs and it doesn't seem to phase anyone.  It was such a fun hike, and I think that something like this should be planned again soon. Thanks a ton to Samantha and Baha for their efforts in organizing this event with this many people.

For even more great photos and perspectives on this hike, check out the trip reports from some of the others that were a part of this event. (If I missed anyone's please send me a message.)

Moosilauke Take Three from Allison.
The Moose in June from Samantha.
Trail Conditions Report on VFTT by Mike Cherim.
Trip report from Ken M. on Hike NH (Gorge Brook Group)
A Meetup on the Moose: Mt. Moosilauke from Chris D.
Trip Report from Scott. L.

Hike Stats
Trails: Beaver Brook Trail, herd path (Mt. Blue)
Distance: 7.6 miles
Elevation Gain: 3,100 ft.
Actual Book Time: 7:00 (includes nearly 2 hours of break time!)


  1. Nice write up, i wanna know how do u get to do all those links up top of ur blog??

    1. Thanks Marta, In Dashboard, click layout, and under site navigation you can set up the top navigation tabs. If you create additional pages, they'll show up there and you can select if you want the page to be one of the navigation tabs, and in what order. It looks like you need to add the site navigation block to your layout section