Franconia Ridge

Franconia Ridge

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Super Moon Hike To Mount Pierce

With a Full Super Moon rising on Monday night I was looking to hike a 4,000 footer to get a preview on Sunday evening. I would be joining fellow hikers Todd, Christina and Jill on Mount Pierce (4,310') to try and capture some photos of the moon coming up over the Presidentials. Jill would be meeting us on the summit after hiking to Mount Eisenhower.

The time for moonrise was 4:14pm and sunset was 4:23pm. Todd, Christina and I would be starting our hike at 1:00pm from the Crawford Connector trailhead. We estimated this would get us to the summit between 3:30 and 4:00. Todd and I were carrying tripods so that time period would allow us to get setup and ready to go in time for the moonrise.

There was a clear sky and the sun was warm in the parking lot. I knew that would change as we gained elevation and I had plenty of warm layers, gloves and hat in my backpack. The trail was clear but it wasn't long before we started to run into icy patches on the trail and we had to watch our step. It was easy enough to navigate around the ice on the lower part of the trail but up past the Mizpah Cutoff we all had our microspikes on.

Hikers that were coming down were bundled up in warm layers and told us about the cold wind that was blowing at the summit. As the temperature continued to drop I added a fleece layer. When we arrived at the Webster Cliff Trail junction the trail was in the shadow of Mount Pierce and there was a cold wind blowing. We turned to make the final approach to the summit. I took my microspikes off as the trail ice was gone at this point.

We reached the summit of Mount Pierce and Jill was there waiting. Todd and I setup our tripods and got ready for the moonrise. The sun was getting ready to set but I had to do a short bushwhack through the woods in order to get a good shot. After my sunset pics I hurried back to the exposed summit. We didn't have to wait long for the moon. Todd was the first to see it and we all started to capture some shots. The moon did not rise close to Mount Washington like I thought it would but I managed to get both in a photo. After many photos we packed up and started our descent. I would find out later that my closeup shots of the moon did not come out well at all. I did manage to get a few descent ones of the moon hovering over the ridgeline.

It was a dark descent with headlamps and microspikes. We all managed to get down without slipping on the icy trail. We arrived back at the trailhead parking lot at 6:30pm, plenty of time to get home for the Patriots game at 8:30pm. After this November supermoon the full moon will not come as close to the Earth again until November 25, 2034. A little too soon to make plans for a hike on that date. Thanks Todd, Christina and Jill for a fun Super Moon hike!

Enjoy the pics!

 Presidential Summits under blue sky

 Mount Washington summit

 Gibbs Brook

 Todd and Christina crossing the bridge over Gibbs Brook

 Icicles forming

 Gibbs Falls

 Crawford Path starts to get icy

 I put my microspikes on here

 More ice

 A little bit of snow in the woods

 Gray Jay looking for a handout

 Snow on the trail

 A view through the trees on the Crawford Path

 Snow-covered spruce branches

 A view toward the northern Presidentials

 A closer view

 At the Webster Cliff Trail junction

Sun is dropping behind Mount Pierce

On the summit of Mount Pierce

Todd is ready to capture some moonshots


Sun dropping fast

Going down

Almost down

Sun has set

Super Moon rising

Moon rising over the ridgeline

A last look back at the Super Moon as the trail drops down into the trees

Having Fun in the Great Outdoors!

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