Franconia Ridge

Franconia Ridge

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Springtime on the Moats

Finally after a seemingly endless winter up till now we got a weekend forecast of warm temps and sunshine. I checked the trail reports and decided to hike South and Middle Moats based on a snow-free trail. That meant leaving the winter gear at home. There would be no need for snowshoes, microspikes, extra layers or winter jacket.

 My destination up there

 Crossing the logging road

 Logging area

 Back on the main trail

I have a list of Spring projects that I need to complete around the house so I got an early start. It was just before sunrise when I left the driveway. The morning started cool but the temps were forecast to rise into the 60's. Pinkham Notch was beautiful and as I passed through the sunshine was hitting the high summits. The sun rises early these days and it was high in the sky by the time I reached the trailhead.

 Looking up a slippery ledge

 Looking down a slippery ledge

 Enjoying the view

The parking lot was empty so I would be the first one on the trail today. I started my hike at 6:50am. The bottom part of the trail has been rerouted due to logging but there is no equipment around and it's a straight shot into where the original trail begins or follow the "flagged" trail from the parking lot.

 Mount Chocorua

 Looking down on North Conway

 First patch of snow

The trail was dry and in great shape up to the ledges where a little caution was required where water was running down over them making for some slippery sections but this was minimal and not a problem. As I caught a glimpse of my first views there was blue sky and just a few random clouds in the distance. I knew there would be a nice reward at the top.

 North Moat with Mount Washington in the distance

 Mount Washington

 Summit of Mount Chocorua

 White Horse Ledge

Just before reaching the summit of South Moat I saw my first patch of snow in the woods. Up on the summit there was unobstructed views in every direction. It was a spectacular sight and I absorbed all 360 degrees of it. I took a brief break for photos before moving on to Middle Moat.

 Snow on the trail

 Looking back at South Moat

It was on the way to Middle Moat that I encountered snow on the trail. There was not much and I was able to easily cross over it without a problem. I stayed on Middle Moat long enough to snap some more photos then turned around and started my trip back to the trailhead. Back on South Moat there were still no hikers. Making my way down I met my first two hikers that were doing a Moat traverse.

 Cranmore Mountain

 Fire tower on the summit of Mount Kearsarge

 On Middle Moat

 North Moat summit

I started seeing more and more hikers. As I came around a bend in the trail I saw a familiar face, it was Jill Lamond on her way up the trail. We agreed this was the perfect hike for today and glad not having to contend with snow, postholes, frigid temps and heavy packs. A group of hikers came along that we spoke with and we were soon all on our way. 

Back at the trailhead I found the parking lot to be almost full. It was very warm by now. I changed and relaxed for a few minutes. After a long, cold winter this was a very enjoyable hike and I was hoping this warm, sunny weather would be sticking around for awhile.

A look back at where I just came from

Having Fun in the Great Outdoors!

No comments:

Post a Comment