Winter Shows Up Fashionably Late . . . Mount Moriah

Date of Hike: 12/30/15

Mount Carter Drive & abandoned Stony Brook Trail: 1.2 miles  /  Stony Brook Trail: 2.3 miles  / Carter - Moriah Trail: 2. 8 miles  /  Stony Brook Trail: 2.3 miles  /  Abondoned Stony Brook Trail & Mount Carter Drive: 1.2 miles
Total Miles: 9.8 miles (3,188 feet elevation gained) Garmin Forerunner 910XT

Trip Report:
- It took awhile but winter conditions finally returned to the White Mountains.  Tuesday brought a snow storm totalling six to nine inches in the Pinkham Notch area.  Whitney, Kyle, Tony and his dog, Duke, decided to break trail up to my neighbor, Mount Moriah.
- We got an early start around 7AM and were shocked to see another car at the Stony Brook trailhead, we bypassed the start of the trail and hiked up Mount Carter Drive to the old trailhead where we strapped on our snowshoes.  The first two miles of the ascent and the last mile and a half were decent snowshoe conditions, while there was a half mile stretch or so of some rocks hiding underneath the snow making for slow going.  Hopefully it will snow again soon, about six more inches and the whole trail will be good to go from now until spring.
- After about a combined mile on the road and the old trail we rejoined the most recent reroute (from the late 80's or early 90's).  We saw a couple of boot prints on the trail and then soon we passed by a tent just off trail from the hikers who car we spotted at the trailhead, they drove up late last night and hiked about a mile and a half in set up camp.
- From here we broke trail up to the summit, the snow depths were not really deep so it was easy breaking, the only negative were the hidden rocks under the snow which slowed us down the last mile up to the ridge.
- The real fun part of this hike is from the Stony Brook / Carter - Moriah Trail junction.  The trail curves its way up to the summit over a few open ledges and a semi open alpine meadow with great views.  There was enough snow up on the ridge that almost all the roots and rocks were buried making for a pleasant hike up to the top.
- We didn't stay long at the summit since Kyle, Whitney, and myself had to get back down and go to work.  Other than my snowshoes falling apart (new screws popped off of the crampons), the descent was uneventful and fun.  We ran into several people, including Hiker Ed, who like us took the "shortcut" from the old trailhead.
- It was a nice early morning hike up Mount Moriah in the snow, another decent snowfall is needed but we'll take what we can get after the lack of snow over the past month.

 Duke leads the way up to the old trailhead

 The group heads up the Stony Brook Trail

Duke breaks some trail with his four paw traction

Whitney maneuvers her snowshoes through an annoying section where there's just not enough snow to bury the rocks

On the Carter-Moriah Trail, heading up to the open ledges

Whitney leads the way up and over the ledges

 Closing in on Moriah, about a half mile to go from this spot

The final approach to the summit

One last tricky snowy/icy scramble

Red rover - red rover send Duke and Tony on over!

View of the Carter Range from Mount Moriah's summit

Descending the snowy/icy spot just below the summit

Duke, Tony, and Kyle head through a small scrubby alpine meadow

Sun and clouds creating a dramatic effect over the Wild River Wilderness

Kyle lost his pole while taking out his camera, he carefully inches his way down some slab to retrieve it...Duke can barely watch!
Whitney snapping a picture of the Wild River Wilderness

Carters and the remote eastern ridge of Mount Moriah

Descending the ledges in some fluffy snow!

On our way out over the old trail

The home stretch on Mount Carter Drive


  1. Looks like you had a great hike - Love the pics - especially of Duke - so cute. Moriah is on the list for this summer :) Happy New Year to you and Whitney - Wendy

    1. Hiking with Duke was a lot of fun, his tail was wagging the whole morning!

      Hope you have a happy new year, too!