Scott and I had made several attempts to reach Moosilauke's South Peak via Glencliff trail, but each time were turned back due to bad weather. Today looked very promising to finally reach this 4, 523 foot mountain. Not on the list as a 4000 footer however because it doesn't meet the specicifications. Either way it was very much a 4000 footer hike to us! We began our hike on Glencliff trail at 7:30am with long sleeves and hats on, fall has arrived in the mountains! The trail passes through and next to some fields before reaching Hurricane Trail junction and now climbs moderately here on out with good footing. About a mile in we could here the eerie sound of Loons from one of the distant valley ponds.
We climbed what seemed like forever before leveling out as the trail turned North. Elevation was slowly gained until the trail swung East again and climbed steeply over rocky ground before finally opening up to some partial views as we passed a group of campers. We passed a talus slope to the right that had beautiful views West and soon we arrived at the spur trail to South Peak summit. Marked by a sign post (sign was missing) and a well beaten path due South. The trail follows a small ridge, then climbs and we finally reached the open summit at 10:00am. Views were great West to rocky Webster Slide/Blueberry/Black mountains with Mt. Clough's slide scarred slope and mud ponds right in the forefront. North was the impressive Moosilauke Peak and it's ridges and subsidiary peaks. And North and East to Franconia and Crawford Notches, the Pemi Wilderness and Mt. Washington to name just the main areas. The wind was blowing with temps. near 50 so we hunkered down and had a quick bite to eat.
We did what we came to do, had great views and thus decided to call it a day. Heading down was rough the first part. Steep and rocky and many people coming up, much more than what I had expected. Once the trail got back to easy footing we hustled down getting back to the parking lot at 12:30pm. A lovely day and a pretty rough hike for what you would think would be a walk-in-the-park. 6.4 miles, 3063 feet elevation gain, 5 hours.