A Beautiful Day for Mt. Moriah
Today was the perfect day to tackle Mt. Moriah, for #46 out of the NH48 4,000 footers. I've been working on the 48 since June now, and the finish has been pretty drawn out over the last four months with only six peaks left since October. I was originally planning to finish with a Wildcat-Carter-Moriah traverse, knocking off all of them in a day. Unfortunately the weather was not on my side, and with the added pressure of grad school it's been hard to get up here. That being said, I'm so close to finishing my NH48, and this hike got me to the final step of the way! I now only have the Wildcats left, so I'll hopefully be able to finish tomorrow!
Today started out relatively early at 7:00. There were a few cars at the trailhead, which was a relief after the recent snow. I met up with one of my friends and we started on our way. The trail ascended pretty slowly at the beginning and gradually got more intense as the trail went on. It was pretty straightforward because the trail was well trod by the hikers before us. We still used snowshoes because the snow wasn't quite packed down yet. It was a nice, calm walk in the woods for the first mile or two until we got to the ledges near Mt. Surprise.
The ledges were very tame, probably a result of the snowfall this week, so there wasn't any ice to worry about. It wasn't even as steep as I thought it would be. I had been a little nervous because I had heard it was steep and often covered in ice in the winter. We had no trouble whatsoever. After a quick, cloudy view on Mt. Surprise, we started towards the summit of Moriah. We took two quick breaks, but other than that we were moving pretty much the whole time. There were some slightly steep spots getting up to the summit, but they were more energy consuming than sketchy.
When we reached the top of Mt. Moriah we grabbed some pictures and descended promptly. It was windy at the top with speeds gusting around 35 mph. This was nothing compared to last weekend, but it still threatened to knock us over because we were so exposed. On the way down there were some spots that made for great butt sledding! It was a pretty gradual trail overall though, so we mostly just hiked down taking our time to avoid postholes.
The trail was beautiful besides the gaping holes left by another hiker that was just behind us. He didn't have snowshoes and shouldn't have really been out there without them if we're being honest. He made it within a half a mile of the summit but ended up turning around, most likely because he was so tired from postholing all day. We did our best to even out the gaps he left behind, but they were threatening to twist our ankles with every step.
On our way down we saw lots of hikers on their way up all of them helping to pack out the snow with their snowshoes. This was great to see because it's a lot of work to wear snowshoes and break a trail, so having the respect to help maintain it is a nice courtesy for those who spent their time and energy on it. I ended up coming across another hiker I had met back in August on the Presidential traverse, so it was nice to catch up with him a bit!
We made it back to the parking lot just after 1:00, beating book time by 10 minutes. It was a great day of hiking even though the views weren't awesome, but I guess that just gives me a reason to come back and hike Mt. Moriah again!
#46 Mt. Moriah (4,049 ft) via. Carter-Moriah Tr [8.9 mi, 3802 ft, 6:05]