Monday, August 25, 2014

Starting into New Hampshire

Greetings and sorry for the delay getting new posts up. I've had difficulty getting a fast enough internet connection to post photos, but here we are.

I started out this year where I left off last year--at Starbucks. Yes, one has to love a trail town where the AT goes right past Starbucks and that would be Hanover.
I headed out on the AT on Monday 8/11 in sunny, warm New England summer. Even though I had a few days (maybe 45mi) of trail to warm up before the White Mtns, the trail starts getting pretty rough from the get go. Moose Mt., Sharps Mt., and Cube Mt. all have ups of 1500-2000' so it was a rough wake up call for what lay ahead. The reward for some of these climbs however was some great views into the Whites. My first view of Mt. Moosilauke, the unofficial entry to the Whites, was both inspiring and daunting.
At 4800' with its granite dome above treeline and a 3800' climb, it's a formidable challenge for me with 4 days of trail legs on. But before I got there, a wicked storm sweeped the area on Wednesday, knocking out power, causing floods and lots of blow downs. I hiked through it but it was a really scary day and made an unplanned stop at a hostel in Glencliff to regroup.
Beautiful high elevation pond

The terrain on top of Mt Moosilauke is alpine forest, either above treeline or with dwarfed spruce and small shrubs and wildflowers. It's almost other wordly to me being a Florida boy.

Even though the climb up the south side of Moosilauke involves a lot of elevation gain, it's fairly gradual most of the way (with some steep, rocky ruts along the way). Going over the south side and down the Beaver Brook Trail to Kinsman notch is much more extreme. Once the AT hits the "cascades" section, much of the trail traverses rock inclines and drop offs made accessible by rebar handles and wooden steps driven into the rock by trail crews. Really scary stuff for me, especially when the rocks were still wet from the rain a coupe days earlier.


Patty said...
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Patty said...

Wishing you good luck and good health on your trek into Maine.
Happy to have shared, Moose Mt., Mt. Moosilake, the Carter madness and Mt. Moriah and most of all the down time :)
Missing you already!
See you at Katahdin...or sooner!
Love you, Me