Thursday, August 6, 2009
I have this peculiar affliction that causes me to not pay attention to directional details when I am with a man--when I'm with two men--forget it--I couldn't read a map or find where I parked the car if you paid me. I am not proud of this affliction. When I'm alone, I know where I am and where I'm going and how to get there but throw a couple of good men into the mix and I just follow them up the trail. Somehow I completely missed this sign warning of the difficulties of the Beaver Brook Trail up Mt. Moosilauke--my 46th New Hampshire 4000 footer.
So up we went. Soon after we started hiking, we came upon a beautiful cascading waterfall. The trail became very steep at that point and as we continued climbing beside what seemed to be an unending series of cascading waterfalls, the grade did not ease up. Fortunately, the falls were so beautiful that we stopped frequently for pictures and for my heart and lungs to catch up.
Mt. Moosilauke is a large mountain on the western fringe of the White Mountains. There are many trails on the mountain and I am not sure why Charlie chose this one but despite the difficulty it was so beautiful that within a breathless mile I declared it my favorite trail ever. After a mile and a half we had ascended 2000 vertical feet--a grade of about 25%. The trail continued around the shoulder of two other mountains and gained an additional 1100 feet over 2.3 miles--a much more comfortable steepness ratio before emerging onto the bald summit of Mt. Moosilauke.
It was a beautiful day and a new favorite mountain. The views extended 360 degrees into Vermont and east to the Presidentials. Only two more New Hampshire 4000 footers for me to complete and it seems likely that I will get them climbed this year. I have lost hope on completing the New England 4000 footers in 2009 as the rain kept us from our Baxter State Park reservations in July and the two summits that I needed from there. But, the mountains aren't going anywhere--I'll be very happy with completing New Hampshire and perhaps Vermont in 2009 and completing Maine's peaks in 2010.