With my friends David Hooke, David Metsky, and Ed Lowney, we skied up and down Moosilauke.
One day in March, a bunch of us Daves and one Ed decided to ski Moosilauke, since the snow was supposed to be good and we hadn’t skied the mountain since December. So, we parked just off 118 at the Access Road and skied up to the Moosilauke Ravine Lodge, where we put on skins. We chose to ski up the Gorge Brook trail, since it’s a more challanging route than the new Snapper trail.
Down low, the conditions were perfect, with nice sunshine on fresh snow. We crossed Gorge Brook and started climbing for real. At the upper views, the clouds were coming in, but we could still see the Blue Ridge poking through.
Above there, the trail is much more exposed, here crossing the Balcony. The first views of the summit ended our hopes of getting any views, but that wasn’t about to stop us. At treeline, we removed our skis and pushed on into the 40 MPH winds after gearing up.
The summit was windy, cold, and wonderful. We took a few summit shots (#1,#2), looked around and headed back to our skis for the descent. We were warming ourselves up on the upper stretches, occasionally stopping for views of the ridge before starting the fast and furious descent. The snow was excellent, and for me I finally had a skill level that was up to the task. We made it back down in about 1/5th the time it took to make it up and we only kissed a few trees.
The trip to the hut is pretty straightforward, just up the Crawford Path and take a right onto the Mizpah cut-off, total distance is only about 3 miles. People had hiked infront of us, but in places the light snow had drifted in and completely covered the tracks.
When we got to the closed hut the weather seemed to be turning worse. The snow was falling heavier as we stopped for lunch. There were lots of folks tenting near the hut (much too close, actually) and one group set up their tents under a huge huge cornice on the far end of the hut. I hope they made it through the night.
The summer was starting and a bunch of friends decided to do a one-day Presidential Traverse around the summer solstice. It’s a very seasonal thing to do, don’t you know. Most of us had done a Traverse, although I think I was the only one to who’d done a one-day trip before.