Moriah and Cannon (#30 & #31)

Date of Hike: 1/1/10

Mount Moriah
Carter-Moriah Trail: 9.0 miles (3,550 elevation gain)

Cannon Mountain
Kinsman Ridge Trail: 4.4 (2,200 elevation gain)

Total Miles: 13.4 (5,750 elevation gain)
Click here for trail descriptions

Trip Report:
- With unseasonably warm temps and an imprecise weather forecast predicted I decided to head up Mount Moriah hoping to maybe luck out and steal some views along the way, unfortunately it ended up one of those hikes where the higher you get the more socked in it becomes.
- The drive up from RI went pretty fast, I left at 4am and pretty much cruised controlled through all of NH making a pit stop at Dunkin D's in Gorham, where I ran into Steven (hope I remembered your name correctly!) who recognized me from my blog, nice meeting you!
- On trail 7:45am, summit 10:05am, finished 11:30am. Temps in high 30's to low 40's winds under 15mph, no views above 3,500 feet.
- The White Mountains got hammered with snow just after Christmas but luckily enough the Carter-Moriah trail had been broken out extremely well which was great news because after the first 2.5 miles the trail can become very hard to follow in unbroken snowy conditions.
- I made good time up to Mount Surprise and took in some minor views below to Gorham and into Maine but after that the hike became a slog.
- The warm temps have made the snow heavy, wet, and slippery in spots. luckily I didn't posthole or fall and continued on my way up to the summit, unluckily the last 1.0 miles of this hike dragged and took for what seemed forever.
- Once at the summit I took a picture of the summit ledge rock engulfed in a grey fog turned around and booked it back down the mountain.
- I figured I'd start running into a few hikers on descent but never did. The only highlight was the two big wipeouts I took into the snow!
- Once back at the car I packed my gear and headed south figuring I was done hiking for the day.
- However when I came around the bend on Route 3 into Franconia Notch I noticed the skies were opening up above Cannon and decided to hike up the steep 2.2 miles to the summit. To be safe before I started hiking I gave myself a turnaround time of 3pm.
- On trail at 12:55pm, summit 2:10pm, finished 2:55pm. Very warm temps in the high 40's with very little wind, decent views of Franconia Notch.
- The Kinsman Ridge Trail from the Tramway parking area is steep and pretty unforgiving in the summer. However with the heavy wet snow I figured it be easier with all the rough and rocky footing covered up.
- I was a little bit tired from the Moriah hike so I just tried to keep a good pace and drink lots of water. Luckily to help battle against the steep trail I was able to enjoy pretty awesome views down to Echo Lake and across to Lafayette and Lincoln once in the scrub.
- I thought for sure I'd run into people descending as I hiked up but again I ran into no one!
- Once I got within a half mile of the Observation Tower I was pretty beat up and I could feel my quads weakening. Luckily from here on out it's not as steep and I was able to make my way to the summit observation tower where I took some pics of the cool cloud cover and shot a video (Click here for video).
- The descent was fast and furious! I knew I was going to be able to speed down the trail because of the heavy-wet-padded snow. I took two gnarly slips along the way which were pretty fun and I beat the living crap out of my snowshoes (Tubbs Flex Alps) which after 35 miles of hiking this winter I have never had to adjust them or anything, they are kick ass!

Pictures: Click here for all pictures

Carter-Moriah Trail
 Echo Lake
Franconia Ridge

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