Mount Moosilauke (#33)

Date of Hike: 1/3/11

Glencliff Trail: 3.0 miles
Moosilauke Carriage Road: 1.8 miles
Glencliff Trail: 3.0 miles
Total Miles: 7.8 miles (3,300 feet)
click here for trail descriptions

Trip Report:
- After a few days of unseasonably warm weather making for spring-like hiking conditions temperatures dropped sharply freezing trails overnight resulting in the return of winter as I headed to the western most White Mountain 4,000 footer, Mount Moosilauke.
- On trail 7:55am, Moosilauke summit 9:55am, finished 11:15pm. Temps at trailhead low 20's, low teens above 4,000 feet, 50 plus mph wind above treeline with gusts above 60mph, summit clouded in but good views to the south and west below summit mass.
- I was pretty pumped up that the temps plummeted and the trails froze up turning all the slush and heavy snow on trails into ice and frozen snow and I was able to hike in microspikes the whole day as the snowshoes stayed on my pack.
- The Glencliff Trail has moderate grades and only gets semi steep before gaining the ridge just below Moosilauke's south summit where the trail ends at the Moosilauke Carriage Road Trail.
- Before heading up the final 0.9 miles to the summit I put on dry layers and my winter windbreaker in preparation for the last section of above treeline hiking where the wind would be waiting for me.
- Once I left the protection of the scrub filled trail the wind came at me with full force out of the west constantly knocking me off the trail to my right, I had to hike with my body angled into the wind so I wouldn't be lead by the wind away from the trail.  At one point I crouched down until the wind let up and toughed it out to the summit.  I took some pics and shielded myself from the wind behind the stone foundation left from the old summit house.  My original plan was to relax at the summit until the skies cleared but after about five minutes I got out of dodge as the wind and the cold temps made it pretty unforgiving to stay around.
- As I descended the Carriage Road I was going to hike up to the South summit but there was a big cloud hanging around up there and just didn't want to leave so I decided not to take the spur path and just head back down to the car.
- On the way down I ran into two hikers who were happy that winter had returned for their hike up the "Moose."  It looked as if the skies might be clearing enough for them to enjoy better views from the summit than I did.
- Back at the car I packed up and headed back to RI after a pretty interesting and fun three days in the White's!

Pictures: Click here for all pictures

Mount Moosilauke Summit
 Looking to Moosilauke's South Summit

 Moosilauke Carriage Road (A.T.)


  1. What a string of climbs you've head to start the year! You'll have your Winter 48 done in no time!

  2. Hey Chris,

    I love the blog, thanks so much for all the work you do!

    Question: What kind of footwear choice have you made for winter travel?


  3. Hi Dan, I'm glad you enjoy the blog, thanks!

    As for the boot I wear in the winter it's the Columbia Titanium Bugaboot XTM Omni-Tech. They have held up awesome so far and have felt comfortable every step of the way.