Thursday, May 7, 2015

Mt. Moosilauke & Mt. Tecumseh - 5/6/15

Talk about a beautiful evening for a hike. With my friend Alton, we decided this Wednesday night would be a good candidate for a Moosilauke and Tecumseh double.  Knowing how awesome sunset from the Moose is, we decided to hit that one first.  With the weather really nice, we moved quickly up to South Peak, and then arrived perfectly on-time for sunset on the summit of Moosilauke.  There is nothing better than a perfectly timed sunset summit arrival, especially when your flying out of work and just trying to get two hikes in.  With a little constant breeze across the summit, we spent about 10 minutes or so watching the sun dip below the mountains to the west.  After that, we ran all the way down.
Glencliff Trail
Hummmmmmmmmmmmm - South Peak Sunset
Cole leading us all to the summit
Sunset from Moosilauke
Moosilauke summit
It took us exactly one hour to race over to Mt. Tecumseh.  With dry socks but soaked shoes, up we went the steady and mighty Tecumseh.  It was much icier than the Moose, so it was pretty tough on the legs.  At one point the moon had risen over the horizon and seemed as if someone turned a light on.  We pushed up the last stretch, where the monorail was a real crumbly knife edge, and we hit the summit in the almost full-moonlight.  Looking at the time, and knowing we'd get home by 2am, we ran all the way down putting the trust in our legs on the trail of ice.
Fast and fun hiking duo
Cole on Tecumseh in the moonlight
All said and done, I put up new fastest times to each of these peaks (any season), doing them back to back, and with icy post-holed monorail conditions.

Moosilauke - 12th Round
Tecumseh - 10th Round
New personal fastest book times on both peaks.
Spectacular sunset on Moosilauke followed by illuminated woods on Tecumseh from the brightness of an almost full moon.

Trail Conditions:
Moosilauke - The trail is bare for about half of the ascent to ridge, where it turns into sections of ice, followed by sections of larger monorail that is basically a little knife edge dirtied by all the pine needles.  The snow was hardened enough to make it fairly easy to bareboot it all of the way to South Peak and Moosilauke, but be warned, you will get your feet soaked if you don't wear full gaiters.  We wore microspikes for half of the descent to cope with the snow and ice.

Soft snow, with some hardened steps and postholes
Tecumseh - Tecumseh was bare to start, but the ice and snow started very early.  The ice on the trail was much more slippery and treacherous.  Slowly, there was more snow than ice, however the stepping was irregular, which really made it seem like a hamstring workout to try to prevent your step up from slipping back.  Although we bare-booted up, microspikes would be helpful.  They were required for the descent so to not kill our selves on the treacherous ice.

Icy trail

Hike Stats

Trails: Glencliff Trail, South Peak Spur, Moosilauke Carriage Road
Distance: 7.8 miles
Elevation Gain: 3,508 ft.
Actual Book Time: 3:05
Garmin Adventure Not Available

Trails: Mt. Tecumseh Trail
Distance: 4.8 miles
Elevation Gain: 2,488 ft.
Actual Book Time: 1:54
Garmin Adventure Not Available

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