October Grid Completed : Mount Moosilauke

Date of Hike: 10/24/15

Beaver Brook Trail: 2.3 miles  /  Abandoned Beaver Brook Trail 1.0 miles  /  Beaver Brook Trail: 3.5 miles
Total Miles: 6.75 (3,200 feet elevation gained)

Trip Report:
- On Saturday I made my way over to Kinsman Notch to head up one of the more steeper and rugged trails that's not located in the Presidential Range, the Beaver Brook Trail.  The first mile and a half is very steep with some slippery footing on slab that parallels the beautiful Beaver Brook Cascades.  There are wooden block steps and re-bar that has been strategically placed by the DOC (Dartmouth Outing Club) to assist hikers through some of the more sketchier sections.
- Above the cascades the trail passes by the Beaver Brook lean-to and the grade eases off significantly as the remaining two miles to the summit becomes much easier on the feet.
- Around 2.3 miles the Beaver Brook Trail makes a sharp right, there's even a tiny wooden arrow sign alerting a hiker to turn right.  I ignored the arrow and kept heading strait over the original, now abandoned, cut of the Beaver Brook Trail.  The trail skirts above the steep slopes of Jobildunc Ravine and makes more of a direct line towards the summit.  The first half of the old trail is easy to follow, initially it heads through a small tunnel like corridor followed by a short walk over a tiny alpine meadow with a unique view of Mount Moosilauke.  From here the old trail heads back into the woods as it snakes through an overgrown mossy section, the moss has overtaken most of the trail but a small swath still remains making it easy to follow and hike through.  Unfortunately the trail transitions from moss to a narrow overgrown trail, still I was able to follow it with ease pushing through branches and being careful not to hit my head on any bigger branches that have overtaken the trail.  When I was within a few tenths of a mile from the summit there was a blowdown patch and I could not locate the old trail so I just decided to bushwhack straight up.  The whack was nasty and thick but only lasted about ten minutes before I popped out above treeline just a few hundred feet north of the summit.  Having done this old section of the trail before back in May of 2013 with Scott, Rachel and her dog Isis, I immediately knew where I went wrong, when I ran into the blowdown patch I should have looked below it not above it for the old path as it curves from there up to the summit. (see image below)
- Needless to say I got some strange looks from a couple of the few dozen people on the summit as I emerged from the scrub.  Moosilauke is a very popular mountain and on this day it was packed with people enjoying the super huge views in all directions, views to the west over to the Green Mountains and the Adirondacks behind them were especially good on Saturday.
- After spending awhile on the summit eating and relaxing I made the descent back down over the regular hiking trails taking time to stop and snap some pictures of the cascades as I made my way back to the Jeep.
-  When I grid out a peak or a month I try and incorporate something that is a little out-of-the-box for that hike to go along with a trail that I've always enjoyed, so heading up Beaver Brook Trail and mixing in the original upper section of the trail made for a nice way to close out the month of October after twenty-six years and fifteen days (Wildcat A Peak, October 9th, 1989 - Moosilauke, October 24th 2015)
- This brings my grid months total to three, August (27 years), September (24 years), October (26 years).  My goal is to finish next July, I have 75 peaks to go over the next nine months so it should be nice finishing my remaining peaks while still being able to explore other places as well.

A little over two miles in I come to the little arrow alerting hikers to take a sharp right.  I stay straight and head onto the old trail, first through a low but easy to hike trail corridor then out into a small alpine meadow

A very nice view of the summit from the tiny meadow

The old trail heads back into the woods through a really cool overgrown mossy section

As you can see the moss has taken over the old trail except for a small dirt path that snakes through it

The old path skirts above the steep slopes of Jubildunc Ravine and there is a nice obstructed view of Mount Blue 

Old DOC blaze and the old trail starts to become narrow and overgrown

After hitting a blowdown path I bushwhacked up and popped out above treeline a few hundred feet north of the summit

Here is the route of the upper portion of the hike.  Most of the yellow is the old Beaver Brook Trail.  The orange is where I should have gone when I ran into the blowdown patch, instead I went straight up.  The blue is the current trail.

Mount Moosilauke is a bald summit offering 360 degree views.  It is one of the more windier summits but on Saturday the wind was very tame 

 Looking to the southwest

South peak of Mount Moosilauke in view

Looking north

Beaver Brook cascades

Nice little cascades flowing over a few different steps

Heading past the cascades and through the remaining foliage

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