Saturday, March 19, 2016

The Carters

This weekend we joined our friends Paul and Alan on an overnight hiking trip to the Carter range, with a stay at the AMC Carter Notch hut on Friday night.  

As the trip drew closer we watched the weather with interest and when we left the forecast for Friday night and Saturday was for 40-50 mph winds (with gusts of 60-70 mph) and temperatures around 0-degree Fahrenheit!

The hike to the hut on Friday was unexpectedly warm and we shed many layers as we hiked up to the hut.  We arrived before darkness and enjoyed views of the Carter Notch lakes and Wildcat Mountain.  Our "micro spikes" (on our boots) made the hike seem easy!  The hut was cozy and comfortable, and we got a pretty good night's sleep in our new winter sleeping bags.

Saturday dawned sunny and bright, and, after a hearty breakfast of oatmeal and tea, we headed up to Carter Dome for our first 4000+' summit of the day.  The wind was brisk, but not too unpleasant provided we kept our hats and gloves on.  After reaching the summit of Carter Dome we continued on to Mount Hight and enjoyed spectacular views in all directions.  From there we dropped down steeply to Zeta Pass for a picnic lunch and hot soup made by the trail side on Paul's camping stove.  

We continued along the ridge to South Carter and Middle Carter (two more 4000+' peaks) and even saw a grouse on the trail along the way.  More views were enjoyed in every direction before we dropped down to the Imp trail for the hike back to the car.  

Luckily we avoided the wind for most of the day and the conditions were far tamer than had been forecast, so we enjoyed one of the best winter hiking days of the season.  We hiked about 8-miles over some fairly rugged terrain, so we pretty tired when we got back to the cars.

Sheri on the hike into the hut.

Arriving at Carter Notch (looking towards Wildcat A)

A great view all around.

Our evening at the hut

The hut is in the middle of this photo (by the lake, with a green metal roof)

A grouse on the trail on Saturday

Sheri, with views of Mount Washington in the background 

More views of the Presidential Range

Looking north towards Maine and Canada

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