Franconia Ridge

Franconia Ridge

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Over Mount Surprise to Mount Moriah

The full moon setting and the sun rising created some spectacular scenery on the drive to the trailhead today. My destination was Gorham, NH for a hike to Mount Moriah (4,049 ft.) via the Carter-Moriah Trail over Mount Surprise.

 Full moon two hours before sunrise

 Full Hunter Moon setting over Kilkenny


 Carter-Moriah Trailhead

 Leafy path
The Carter-Moriah Trail starts at the end of a dead-end street where there is limited parking. There is additional parking about 100 yards before the end of the street and this is where I parked. I saw two hikers with two dogs starting their hike as I arrived.

 Hairy Woodpecker

 Presidential view

 Forgotten pickaxe

 Glider getting a tow aloft

There was a cool breeze blowing as I started up the trail but it was refreshing and felt good. I did put my gloves on for the first time this Fall. Most of the leaves are now off the trees and on the ground with roots and rocks covered requiring a little more care to not twist an ankle on one of these concealed "hazards".

 View from Mount Surprise ledges

 Town of Gorham in the valley

 Steep rocky climb

 Bog bridge

Along the way I came upon an unusual item about a mile and a half up the trail. Appears someone forgot their pickaxe and it was hung in a tree. I sure wasn't the one that would be carrying it back out so it remains in the tree.

 Huge boulder on a precarious perch

 Presidentials from Mount Moriah

I reached the first ledges on Mount Surprise. There was a nice view across the open expanse to the Presidential summits. I stopped long enough to take a few photos and continued on.

 Shelburne Moriah Mountain

 Mount Moriah summit

 Mount Washington

 Androscoggin River from Mount Moriah

 View to the Northeast

A couple of sections along this trail require bog bridges. I was curious to see how deep the muck might be so I pushed my trekking pole in and it went to the hand grip, three feet without stopping. Definitely not a place you want to slip and fall into.

 Federal Prison in Berlin from Mount Moriah

 Northern view

 The Carters

There were more ledges and more views as I made my way past the summit of Mount Surprise. I never did see the summit and didn't spend any time trying to find it. As the trail climbed higher there were some fairly steep ledge scrambles. This has to be a very challenging trail in icy conditions.

 Trekking pole three feet down without hitting bottom

 Bog bridge

As I reached the trail junction at the summit of Mount Moriah I heard some growling. It was one of the dogs that I had seen earlier at the trailhead. He was on a leash but interested in this stranger on his summit. After a few minutes I noticed he was no longer on his leash and was busy exploring, not paying any attention to me anymore.

 Peabody River far below

 Avoiding the wet spots

 Smooth steep granite trail

The summit of Mount Moriah is a small rocky peak. Five hikers made it crowded. Except for a cluster of trees to the northwest the view is spectacular. The sun was warm and there was not even a hint of a breeze. I absorbed the sun and scenery, got lots of photos, had a snack then started my descent.

Trail of leaves

 Last one hundred yards back to the trailhead

I took my time going down over the ledges. Any falls that I've had on past hikes were on descent, and I've had some good ones but no serious injuries. So I was extra cautious today. I took it slow but still managed to slip once, caught myself and continued on without any further mishaps.

 Peabody River

Suspension bridge over the Peabody River

This was a beautiful Fall day and perfect for today's hike to Mount Moriah. Weather was fantastic and except for a few wet and slippery spots the trail was in good condition. A great day for #20 on my list of 4,000 footers.

Having Fun in the Great Outdoors!

No comments:

Post a Comment