MichaelJ, finishing in style

MichaelJ's 48th on Moosilauke - 25/Sep/2004

By David Metsky

VftT has spawned a tradition of shadowly organized summit assaults for someones 4000er or 100 highest completion and this was one of the most fun. This was MichaelJs final 4000er, and he chose to finish on my mountain, Moosilauke. Naturally, I had to be there, which meant missing out on hiking Carrigain with my friends Eric, Jeff, Charlan, and Amy. They however were flexible so they decided to join us instead. MichaelJ has a few other acquaintances and this led to a fairly substantial party gathering at the Moosilauke Ravine Lodge to fill water bottles and get ready for the hike. We had a fine group assembled, including our Spiritual Leader. Other groups were headed up other trails, all planning on converging on the summit at noon. So we started up Gorge Brook, splitting up into a few groups pretty quickly, the fast people and the rest of us. This is the problem when you hike with triatheletes and marathon runners. Fortunately were not all like that, and we had a great time on the way up, stopping frequently for food, water, and just chatter. The group formed and unformed several times, and as we hiked along youd occasionally find groups of hikers lounging on the side of the trail waiting for others to catch up or just enjoying the day. Since we were all going to meet up top at noon there was no point racing ahead. At treeline, Michael hung back a bit so we could get the summit crew organized. There it is! By the time he got there people were bedecked and bejeweled, wearing their summit finest and partaking of libations. Aside from the traditional champagne we had beer and single malt scotch, all seemed appropriate. The group was large but well behaved, for the most part. SherpaK and his ilk came up Beaver Brook, arriving just a bit after the party had started. Someone produced a congratulations card that we all signed and a few photos may have been taken. They finest of hiking fashions were on display. It was a uniquely enjoyable summit experience. There were a few more folks supposedly coming up Beaver Brook, but they never materialized. The Doctor was the suspected cause of their disappearence, but not Doc Benton. Eventually our happy clan decided it was time to head down, and the process of packing up and heading out began. Most were headed back down to the Carriage Road to Snapper and back to the Lodge, but we spread out very quickly. By the time I made it to the junction with the Glencliff trail many had gone on. A few of us ran up South Peak which was a nice antidote to the main summit with only a handful of us up there and near complete quiet. Many folks waited at the Snapper-Carriage Road junction so we did a regroup there and headed down Snapper. It was a great hike down, people talking and enjoying each other's company as we walked through the woods. Our final stop was at the Snapper-Gorge junction and we all arranged to meet at Woodstock Station, the VftT official brewpub, for the celebratory dinner afterwards. Another group had hiked Carrigain that day, finishing their NorthEast 115 so it was a joyous time at dinner. Thank you Michael for including us in your completion day. For someone who's climbed Moosilauke a whole bunch of times, it's great to have new and differeny memories from a familiar place. Delete Reply Forward Spam Move... Previous | Next | Back to Messages

Brenda, Mike and I got to the trailhead around 9:30 after a fairly leisurely start. There was only a few cars in the lot as we headed up the woods road that starts the trip. There was one good sized stream crossing near the bottom, but we all made it without incident. The trail climbs steadily through some nice woods, with an occasional side trip to a view.

Looking west     Looking south

There scenery along side the trail was lush and beautiful, with mushrooms, mosses, and bare rock all mixed into a healthy forest. As we climbed higher we began encountering bare rock, and some pretty major ledges that involved scrambling. Good boot soles is important on this trail. And it is steep, but fun.

Finally we came out on the South Whiteface summit ledges, and the wind picked up a bit. We threw on some layers and sat down for lunch. There were a few folks up top, but wed only seen one other party on the hike up, and that was just below the top. Im sure there were more folks headed up Blueberry Ledges but Id put McCrillis up against it for an enjoyable hike any day. We hung at the south summit for a while, and none of us felt any desire to go to the main summit.

As we finished lunch and got a little cold, we headed back down, tackling the smooth granite with nothing but our wits. Well, that and nice boots and carbide-tipped hiking poles. Nothing much to report from the trip down except for some nice views, exceptional hair, that stream crossing again, and more mushrooms. A nice day for a hike.

Looking west     Ossipee Mountains     Summit ledges from below

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