Monday, October 12, 2009

Mt. Moosilauke South Peak 10/11/09

Trip Report:

Sunday was looking like a beautiful day in the WMNF so we (Jason & Scott) changed our Saturday hike for Sunday. Sunday morning we made the drive with beautiful foliage all around. Stopping not to far from our Glencliff trailhead to take some pics, we arrived at 8:30 am. It was a brisk 48 degrees and the skies were overcast. I figured the clouds would lift by noon. We started up Glencliff trail and up past the always picturesque fields. The foliage this year is magnificent! Our main goal was to nab the South Peak and hopefully carry on to Mossilauke.

It began to sprinkle a bit not even half-an-hour into the hike and we tried to remain positive. The Glencliff Trail pretty much climbs moderately and generally remains that way until leveling off as it rounds the South Peak then rises more steeply. It was on this more level area we began to see blue sky in the distance and the clouds were brightening. Despite the cold air we were hoping the sun would break through as forecasted and warm us up. Well those hopes were rudely disrupted as snow flurries began to fall. We hurried on now on the steep section of trail. Soon the snow flurries turned into a windy snow squall. Cold, Excited and disappointed we stopped and talked about what we wanted to do. Not having heavy winter gear with us was an issue. Not to mention we were planning on a Sunny day with outstanding views. I had a strong feeling conditions would not improve much if at all. So we decided to call it quits, though I wanted to bag the South Peak (this being the second attempt spoiled because of snow, the first was in April with deep snow on the trail that we couldn't manage without snow shoes). The time was 11:45 am at 4198'.

We made it back down passing several groups headed up. The cloud cover broke near 3000' though the gray clouds still hovered over the Moose even as we got back to the truck at 2:30pm. We chatted with two guys who had just returned from an overnight on Moosilauke and said that the day before they dealt with 80mph wind and a lot of ice.

Another failure on South Peak but a great hike and even greater foliage! Guess we'll try again next year! Cheers for being in my first October Snow Squall!

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