Sunday, December 8, 2013

Tecumseh & Moosilauke Double - 12/7/2013

With only two more weekends left to go before the start of winter, my plan for Saturday was to hike a double hit and run of Tecumseh and Moosilauke. Winter's coming, and this entire day's goal was to make sure that my determination, drive, and ability is just as it was this time last year. Also to make sure I'm ready for the mind game of climbing up and down multiple 4000-footers in a day. Sure enough, I found that it was there.
Mt. Tecumseh / Waterville Valley parking lot
I began my hike up Mt. Tecumseh at 6:42am. The lower part of the trail had some ice, mostly right in the middle of the lane. Heading down into the col and the second crossing is where it become mostly iced over. I continued up.  The few inches of snow from the day before, became the couple of  inches of solid ice, mixed in with the rocks. Microspikes went on near the halfway viewpoint. I arrived at the summit in a smidge over an hour at 7:50. There were heavy clouds and a limited view, so I took a couple of photos, tightened up the gear, and started my rapid descent down.

Mt. Tecumseh summit
Since I saw the far ski trail all grassy still, I decided to head out there, but after I started down and came around the bend slightly, I saw the lower half open with skiers flying down. I quickly banged a left back into the woods, and did a Tecumseh bushwhack back to the trail (FYI - Waterville now has detailed Wildcat-like rules for hiking on trails, check their website).  It added a couple of hundred feet to get over the ridge, but it actually reduced the mileage to 4.5 on this trip. I arrived back at my car in 2 hours and 10 minutes. I have twice completed a Tecumseh in two hours before, but those two were when I sledded down.

Next, I hopped in the car quickly, and started my drive to the Glencliff Trail for Moosilauke, which took 55 minutes. I needed about 15 minutes to prep my pack at the trail head, but at 10:30am, I was on my way up. The lower part of the trail was free and clear of most ice.  About halfway up, the ice started. Crazily, I was moving so fast, that I pushed and tested myself by not putting on the microspikes. I passed 3 groups on the way, and once onto the Carriage Road Trail, I put on the spikes, intending to have them on from here on out. It was a bit windy once on the ridge, so I had my balaclava on and heavy gloves. It was probably around 10 degrees with a below zero wind chill.  Moosilauke is always great, and I reached summit where I exchanged summit photos quickly with another pair. They had come up Beaver Brook, which I'm sure was pretty icy.
Glencliff Trail to Moosilauke 
Not going on here yet in terms of winter 
Some winter here, but definitely still looks like December 
Mt. Moosilauke for the 7th time
The rest was history. With my microspikes on, I speed-walked and jogged my way all the way down. Careful, calculated steps over the ice only resulted in 4 full-on wipeouts along the way, but none of which resulted in pain! I had passed two of the three groups I passed while ascending. I arrived back at the car finishing Mt. Moosilauke in 3 hours 35 minutes.  I completed the same hike last January in 3 hours 30 minutes. Since the trails were so icy, one might think I brought my ice skates. These hikes were tougher with the rock and ice than with the typical winter snow pack and broken out trail.  All in all, I had set a plan, and did it exactly as I wanted. Those days in the mountains leave you feeling good. One more week before winter....

Total Actual Book Time: 6:42:04 (Including Drive)

The Hike Stats (combined)
Distance: 11.9 miles
Elevation Gain: 5,749 ft.
Elevation Loss: 5,869 ft
Total Hiking Book Time: 5:46:41

Trails: Mt. Tecumseh Trail
Distance: 4.5 miles
Elevation Gain: 2,347 ft.
Elevation Loss: 2,397
Actual Book Time: 2:10:18
Moving: 1:53:26
Stopped: 16:52

Drive to Glencliff Trail head
Distance: 43.9 miles
Drive Time: 55:54
Stopped Time: 1:34

Trails: Glencliff Trail, Moosilauke Carriage Road Trail
Distance: 7.4 miles
Elevation Gain: 3,402 ft.
Elevation Loss: 3,472 ft.
Actual Book Time: 3:35:52
Moving: 2:53:38
Stopped: 30:36

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