MOUNT MOOSILAUKE VIA GLENCLIFF TRAIL: 9/4/14
I hadn't been up the Moose via this route from the SW in a few years. The Glencliff Trail - a link in the Appalachian Trail - is in excellent shape. Kudos to my friends who maintain this trail (with its 200 waterbars!) - Steven Martin and Thom Davis.
On a late summer morning, the fields along the lower part of the trail were humming with insects.
Above the junction with the Hurricane Trail, the Glencliff Trail passes through ranks of dusky birches.
Higher up, there's some fine hardwood forest.
This massive yellow birch towers above the left side of the trail. The footing is quite good up through the hardwoods to about 2750 ft.
Around 3000 ft. you enter the boreal conifer forest and the trail becomes quite rocky. On the upper steep section, nicknamed "The Agony" by Dartmouth Outing Club crews who once packed supplies to the Summit House, I saw what looked like a patch of snow but was actually a chunk of quartz.
A hiker ascending "The Agony." I found this steep rocky section more agonizing coming down.
At 4250 ft. a short rocky path leads up to an open talus slope just above the trail.
Wide westerly views are gained with a careful scramble up the jumble of rocks. This was a great place to hang out in the sun for a while.
A short additional climb up Glencliff Trail and a little rocky scramble up a side trail brought me to the beautiful and usually quiet South Peak.
Looking north to the main summit.
A plaque at the end of a short side path honors J. Pennington Haile, a Dartmouth alumnus whose generosity added much of the 4,500 Moosilauke acres now owned by the college.
South Peak offers views that you don't get from the main summit, especially looking into Tunnel Brook Notch and Slide Ravine. I was joined here by a thru-hiker named Raven from New York City.
A closer look at Mud Pond and the nameless ponds to its north.
A zoom on the big slide on the north side of Slide Ravine.
Approaching the summit on the Carriage Road.
I found the old Mount Moosilauke summit benchmark from the U.S. Coast & Geodetic Survey in 1873, placed under the direction of Dartmouth professor E.T. Quimby.
The more recent summit benchmark, placed in 1958.
Amidst the stone ruins of the Summit House (1860-1942) was this rusted old bed frame.
This rock appears to be inscribed "Bradford VT Aug 6 1911."
An Appalachian Trail thru-hiker heading north. I ran into about a dozen of them during the day, plus a couple of southbounders.
Looking north along the summit ridge. Moosilauke's horizons are vast!
The high peaks of the Whites.
From the north ridge, looking back at the summit.
Peering down into Lincoln, with the Hancocks and Mt. Carrigain beyond.
Summit signs and Moosilauke's East Peak.
Heading down after a nice long stay up top, looking back up at the summit.
Another thru-hiker hustling up to the summit.
Hazy view to the west.
A view down into the Gorge Brook valley from an outlook reached by a short rocky side path off the Carriage Road.
New signs at the Carriage Road/Glencliff junction, replacing those stolen last winter.
Rocky descent along The Agony.
A two-thirds moon hangs above the fields.