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Mt Moosilauke
October 12, 1998

Route: Gorge Brook Trail, Moosilauke
Carriage Road, Snapper Trail
Map:
 
Elevation: 4802 ft
Vertical Climb: 2628 ft
Distance: 7.5 miles
Who Went: Paul, Erin

We left home about 5:30 to get a good early start, arriving at Moosilauke Ravine Lodge just after 8 o'clock. The day began foggy and cool. We were hoping that it would clear up as the day wore on, but except for occasional patches of sun above treeline, it never did and there were no real views. We stopped in the lodge to look around and buy a shirt, then started up the Gorge Brook Trail around 8:30.

The trail began at the end of the road, heading downhill and circling in back of the lodge by the brook. It had been raining for several days and the trail was muddy and slippery, especially in the lower areas where there were a lot of wet fallen leaves. We soon came a a bridge across Gorge Brook and cross over to begin heading uphill along the southwest bank. We saw several other hikers on the way up, but it wasnít crowded. The climb was fairly moderate with some steeper periods and some level areas. The trail continued to follow the brook for the first mile or so, and the sound of the water was soothing and nice. 

After crossing a third bridge over Gorge Brook, the trail turned right, passed a plaque for the Ross McKenney Forest, then went through a brief flat stretch where the trail was lined with rocks. This area was a mixture of spruce and birch, and I thought it was particularly picturesque. It soon turned left, and started up a long series of short switchbacks. Most of the birch trees up here had already lost their leaves for the winter.

There were a couple of spots along the trail that would have had great views if it hadnít been foggy. Near the top, the trail descended slightly into a damp sag in the middle of the krummholz where we could see the summit. It soon broke out into the open, where the ground  was covered with alpine plants and grasses that made the summit area look like a small hill in the middle of a field. The trail wound up through the fragile alpine zone between two rows of rocks. There were many warning signs about staying on the trail.

Moosilauke Ravine Lodge. The lodge and most of the surrounding land is owned by the Dartmouth (College) Outing Club, which also maintains the trails. Toi, Holly, Muffin, and I stayed there a year later in 1999. 

Crossing the bridge over Gorge Brook. The day began foggy and cool, and the trail was muddy and slippery in the lower areas where there were a lot of fallen leaves.

erin on hi-cannon.jpg (362569 bytes)

Gorge Brook. The trail followed the southwest bank of the brook for the first mile or so. The sound of the water was soothing and nice. 

Gorge Brook Trail as it passed through a flat area. I thought the rock-line trail here was particularly picturesque. 

gorge brook trail lined with rocks.jpg (58085 bytes)

Going up the switchbacks. Just after the flat area, the trail ascended a long series of short switchbacks.

switchback.jpg (83519 bytes)

Out in the open. After emerging from the scrub, the summit stood out like a small hill in the middle of a field.

nearing the top.jpg (34381 bytes)

Map

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