Windy Winter Single-Season Finish : Mount Moosilauke

Date of Hike: 3/13/15

Glencliff Trail: 3.1 miles  /  Moosilauke Carriage Road: 1.8 miles  /  Glencliff Trail: 3.1 miles
Total Miles: 8.0 miles (3,275 feet elevation gained)

Trip Report:
- Mount Moosilauke was the final peak to climb to accomplish a Single-Season Winter 48 - 4,000 Footers of New Hampshire.  It's a great peak with several trails leading in all directions to and from its bald and expansive summit.  At 4,802 feet it is the tenth highest in elevation of the 48 peaks and is known for big time views and big time wind, both of which did not disappoint on Friday morning.
- Whitney and I got an early start just after 7:30 a.m. as we headed up the Glencliff Trail.  It's a relatively easy climb over moderate grades through the woods for the first 2.5 miles before it becomes steep as it gains the ridge at the Moosilauke Carriage Road Junction a mile south of the summit.
- We wore microspikes until the steep section where the minor drifts started.  Whitney lead the way through the drifts as I followed behind with one broken snowshoe.  For the past three weeks I have been using one old Tubbs Flex Alp and one newer one.  Amazingly, the newer one broke in the same spot as the other newer one, what are the odds of that??!!  Anyway, the snowshoe worked just well enough to get me up and down the drifted spots.
- As we made our way out of the protection of the trees we were both blasted by 40 mph winds with 50 mph gusts, not enough to knock us around but enough to steer us in the direction it was blowing.
- We made it to the summit around 9:30 a.m. and quickly took a few photos.  The cold wind was whipping so hard it made my iPhone shut down from getting too cold.  Luckily, I snapped some decent pictures before it bonked.
- From the summit we descended as fast as we could back into the trees to get out of the wind where we warmed up as we dropped in elevation.  On the way down the Glencliff Trail we saw two other hikers heading up the Moose to take in the views while tackling the wind.
- We made it back to the trailhead at 11 a.m. under a sunny sky, a very moderate winter temperature, and a windless parking lot.
- It felt great to accomplish a single-season winter round of the 48 - 4,000 footers.  It's been a wild winter for all of New England and especially in the White Mountains.  There were plenty of sub-zero hiking days filled with cold rides to and from the trailhead, so much so we nicknamed the Jeep the 'Ice Box' since it doesn't heat up that well, hey it's a Jeep!  Along the way there was plenty of snow, some fierce wind gusts, a decent amount of trail breaking with almost all hikes were done in snowshoes, all while having phenomenal views for a majority of the hikes.
-  I couldn't have asked for better company to do half the peaks with than Whitney.  She's been supportive, appreciative, and accommodating.  I'm very lucky to have a girlfriend who likes to see me happy/proud of the mountains I hike and goals I set and accomplish :).  It doesn't get any better than that!

 Early morning on the lower section of the Glencliff Trail

 Whitney makes her way up the steeps, while I look back and take a picture!

 Gaining the ridge just below South Peak we hook onto the Carriage Road and soon the summit comes into view

 Breaking above treeline on our way to Mount Moosilauke

 The snow is wind packed down for the most part as we battle the winds over the final half mile

 Summit of Mount Moosilauke

 Time to head back south along the Moosilauke Carriage Road

 The Glencliff Trail passes through and open field a few tenths of a mile from the trailhead

Trailside junk!

 Signs spied along the way

My broken snowshoes. Not a real good place for it to break.  This happened on both of my newer models in the exact same spot.  My original Tubbs Flex Alp were from December 2009 and only had minor issues with the lower rivets popping out.  This newer model was from December 2013, no rivet issue but this is a major fail!
route for the day, click here for details


  1. Impressive accomplishment to go along with all the other hiking and running accomplishments you have already achieved. Thanks for always posting those beautiful pics. -Ben-

    1. Thanks, Ben. Glad you like my pics and report, much appreciated :)

  2. Great job on finishing your Winter 48! Huge achievement--wow! What's the next challenge?

    --Carla (from VFTT)

    1. Thanks, Carla! Next winter I'd like to try and do a single season Adirondack 46 :)

  3. Congrats!! Really tough winter you picked. Even more impressive for a Rhode Islanders - that's a lot of gas and road mileage.

    1. Thanks, Marvin! I had the advantage that Whitney lives in North Conway, which helped out a lot not needing to find a place to stay after those long drives up from RI. Hope you are doing well :)

  4. Congratulations! Such a great accomplishment considering the winter we had. Nice have a little extra help up in N. Conway, too. ;)

    1. Thanks, Summerset. Hope you have a great spring hiking as the warm temps and the snow melts away :)

  5. Congrats on the Winter 48 Finish and I enjoy reading your trip reports.

    1. Thanks, Matt! Glad you like reading the reports, I try to keep them simple and not make too many spelling mistakes :)