Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Back to the Whites

During our trip to the White Mountains in July we found a number of hikes that looked interesting, so we returned to the Kancamangus on Thursday night for another long weekend.  While Friday was a bit of a wash, literally, it turned out to be nearly perfect weather on Saturday and Sunday.  

On Friday we dodged raindrops, made a brief stop at Echo Lake and the base of Cathedral Ledge, a famous climbing spot in the area. With hopes the weather would improve we located the Moat Mountain trail head with plans to return for a hike to the three summits of Moat Mountain on Saturday morning.  After a nice dinner under the tarp, we settled in early at our site at the Covered Bridge Campground.

Saturday morning we woke to crystal clear skies of blue and low humidity.  Typically this hike is done starting from the north, often as a through hike.  With only one car, we opted to start at the south side of Moat Mountain heading north,  to the south, middle then north summits.  The aim - to maximize the view for effort (VFE) ratio. This section was described as a "ridge hike with many rocky ledges and spectacular views" which would give us an 11 miles that was largely spent above tree line.   It turned out our planning was spot on!   This route was declared "one of the best hikes we have ever done" by days-end.  After only one hour of hiking we were above tree line, and within two hours we had 360 views looking north to Mount Washington, east to North Conway and to Mt Chocurau to the west.  As we continued to hike the north the views continued to amaze us, the weather remained cool and crisp and we met some fine folks along the way.

First view south of the south summit of Moat Mountain
...along the entire ridge! 
 The ridge between middle and south Moat
Middle Moat
 Afternoon on South Summit

 Heading south
 View to Mt Washington during second stop at South Summit of Moat Mt

The weather Sunday was a repeat of Saturday and hiked to Mt. Stanton and on to Mt. Pickering.  This was short, but very steep hike, and also afforded really nice views from only the ~2100 ft summits.  With tired legs and big smiles, we hopped in the car and headed home.  We made a stop in Lincoln, NH on the way home and enjoyed the Maps and Books shop on Main Street (thanks to Paul Luner for another good tip!).  With a few maps in hand, we are planning our next adventure.

Tea on Mt Stanton
View from Summit of Mt. Pickering

No comments: