View Full Version : Mt. Moosilauke, Aug 30, 2009 -- NH48 finish

09-01-2009, 12:38 AM
Cut and pasted from our hiking blog: http://trishandalex.blogspot.com
Accompanying pictures can be found there -- however, other people's photos are much better than mine, so folks, please continue to post your pictures and links!

Gorge Brook Trail, 7.6 miles roundtrip.

Please note: my camera had a smear on its lens, therefore the pictures came out a tad blurry. I will eventually incorporate the photography of other hikers into this entry (with their permission, of course).

On August 30, 2009, Alex and I reached the peak of Mt. Moosilauke, thus bringing to an end our fourteen month peakbagging quest. We have now ascended and descended, on foot, each of the 48 mountains that is included in the AMC's White Mountains Four Thousand Footer list.

We hiked during each month of the year, experiencing the unique beauties and challenges of every season. Along the way, we learned how to use snowshoes and Microspikes, and how to layer, delayer, and layer again. We recognized the value of balaclavas and chemical hand warmers. We found that we really, really don't like to posthole. We discovered that winter hiking can be a lot easier than summer hiking, and we realized that slugs are people too.

Most importantly, we've formed what I hope are lifelong friendships with certain wonderful hikers. We've also discovered that chocolate is the Eleventh Essential. Hmmm...maybe that's more important. Guess it's a tie.

Enough with the preliminaries....now on to the trip report.

The plan was for boots-on-trail at 8:30. Lots of folks showed up to hike with us, including MadRiver and Susan, happyhiker, BobnGeri, bikehikeskifish and his family, lawnsale, Tim&Val, BarkingCat, Salty, Joe and his family, Paradox and his daughter, and DaveBear.

There was a flurry of camera action just before we headed out...

...and then a few more moments of photo-taking at the information kiosk by Ravine Lodge.

With that, we were on our way toward Gorge Brook Trail.

Sage started off on her own two feet, tackling the rocks with aplomb and often hiking ahead of the crowd with MadRiver. She made it just under a mile and a half before asking to be carried. I put her inside my almost-empty winter pack and carried her as I would a sleeping bag. MadRiver and happyhiker graciously carried most of my gear so I could handle Sage.

Alex hiked with Amanda and Matthew, hikebikeskifish's two friendly and outgoing kids. Alex loves the company of other kid hikers.

At the "Last Water" point, we took a sit-down break. Almost half-way up!

When all were properly fed and sated, we continued on our way. Tim of Tim&Val offered to switch packs with me for a while so he could carry Sage. I gratefully accepted his offer.

We kept on truckin', the crowd chatting pleasantly and everyone enjoying the beautiful, sunny weather.

After a steady blur of hiking, talking, and shoelace-tying, we reached the first of the stone steps.

The kids continued upward while the adults followed closely behind. At one point we were able to turn and see Ravine Lodge below.

Dave Metsky and a few of his friends now joined our group. We made our introductions, then complimented him on the excellent craftsmanship of the trail, much of which he had fashioned himself.

Kids were getting tired (Sage even fell asleep in the backpack, though she vehemently denied it afterward), but luckily we were very close to the top. Everyone seemed to revive once we reached scrub. Sage woke up and was removed from the pack, then quite a few small stones were joyously rearranged as everyone took another break.

When the kids felt rested, we journeyed onward.

A short dip back down into the trees (where more rocks were picked up and moved around)...

...then we broke above treeline for good. Alex picked up her pace and moved quickly and confidently toward the summit. We could see and hear people above us, cheering her on.

Hugh was waiting close to the summit. He had started out well before us in case he needed extra time to ascend. He was all smiles as Alex and Sage approached. We paused for a few moments while they embraced, then we moved onward.

Alex approached the final steps under a hail of cheers. Geri, Paradox, and bikehikeskifish formed a bridge with their hiking poles, and Alex hiked underneath them, followed by Sage, and then myself. Then, finally, we were at the high point. Folks at the top burst into applause and there was a lot of picture taking all around. Here we are, joined by bikehikeskifish's two kids.

Bob and MadRiver presented us with our official AMC NH48 patches.

Bob then presented Alex with a shirt that lists all the NH48 peaks on the back. I put it on over her turtleneck while Sage and Hugh watched.

Now it was time to relax and enjoy the moment.

Others at the top: Mohamed Ellozy, Silverfox, rocket21, una_dogger, MichaelJ, The Feathered Hat, Joe, Joe's wife (I'm sorry, I can't remember your name!) and their incredibly fast and strong young daughters, and many others. Please forgive me if I am forgetting anyone.

Dave Metsky, Mohamed Ellozy, Geri.

MichaelJ and Jason.

The Feathered Hat, Salty, Silverfox, Bob, and una_dogger.

Jason and MadRiver.

The Feathered Hat, Tuckerman, and Terra.

una_dogger, Geri, Silverfox, and Supermodel Rocket21.


We hung out for an hour and a half, then the crowd split up and descended various routes. Alex and Sage wanted to stick with Amanda and Matthew, so our two families went back down Gorge Brook together. Hugh, BobnGeri, and happyhiker accompanied us.

Going down is always easier than going up -- the kids ran and laughed, even played tag along the trail. Sage was carried for a while -- this time, bikehikeskifish did the honors -- but once we reached the "Last Water" sign, Sage decided to walk the rest of the way on her own.

Here are four peanuts on a log bridge.

The rest of the descent was routine, though Alex went ahead and hiked with Amanda most of the way. When we reached the bottom, I called her to me. I wanted to officially finish with her, side-by-side. Selfish of me, perhaps, because she was happy going ahead with her new found friends. However, I wanted to catch just one last quiet moment with my daughter. A final few solitary minutes, for nostalgia's sake.

It was bittersweet, knowing that she is growing older and needing me less and less. At the beginning of our quest, she was a five and a half year old girl who still very much wanted her mama nearby. Now, she's over six and a half and taking bigger and bigger steps away from me every day. Natural and appropriate, of course. Yet sad, at least for me.

Here, we officially finish our 4Ks. Just the two of us, together.

Then, it was off to the fabulous after-party thrown by MadRiver and Susan, where DiamondRidge and Gwynna presented us with a great poster of all our summit pictures...in order!

Many, many thanks to all who have helped us on our quest. Especially MadRiver, who accompanied us on our three toughest hikes (Willey, Isolation, and Owl's Head). You've been a great friend to us, MR.

Thanks also to Susan, for hosting the after-party along with MadRiver, for being such a cool person in general, and for playing all those name games with Alex while hiking up Valley Way.

Thanks to DiamondRidge and Gwynna, for being good friends and for bringing MooseMaiden and her little sister over to hang out with Alex and Sage.

Thanks to BobnGeri, who have been sources of support and good conversation for months.

Thanks to happyhiker, who's hiked with us a number of times and is always great company.

Thanks to LRiz, who's been a source of inspiration to Alex.

Thanks to DaveBear for joining us on Owl's Head.

A giant thanks to Sage, who has been supportive of Alex's adventures and who has been very understanding of Mama's time away. I owe her some camping trips, pronto.

And of course, another giant thanks to Hugh, who has taken care of Sage while Alex and I have been away. He's graciously entrusted our daughter to me during this entire process, always supporting Alex's endeavors and our outings, and leaving it completely up to me to take care of every detail. Thanks for understanding our need to do this, Hugh.

So I guess this is the end of this blog -- unless I change it to a general hiking blog for Alex, since I have a feeling this is not the end of her adventures in the mountains...

09-01-2009, 01:36 AM
What an inspiring story! I just joined this forum recently and have only caught the last two of your summits and TR but I can not describe how wonderful I think it is that you two have done this together. I hope when I have children that I am able to share such a wonderful bonding experience with them. I also thought of you two from the Franconia Ridge, as I had read of your planned hike being moved to the 30th, Although I don't think my camera was good enough to get a picture of everybody celebrating at the top. You both have so much to be proud of...but then the question beckons...What's Next???




09-01-2009, 06:50 AM
Awesome Congradulations to both of you. You both should feel extremely proud of what you both have accomplished. I really wish I could have been there to see you guys summit. It has been a real pleasure reading all your reports and following your adventures for the past 14 months. Thanks you so much for posting all of them.

09-01-2009, 07:20 AM
Congratulations on your finish, not only for the hikes but also for getting your daughter to love hiking with you!

I was thinking of your finish as I peered over to Moosilaukee from South Kinsman on Friday (morning)...it was looking special.

Bretton Woods Brat
09-01-2009, 07:21 AM
Yeah! Good job and so many to share it with!

09-01-2009, 09:05 AM
Thank you so much, everyone!

I need to edit something, but cannot get into my original post to do so.

It was MadTownie who brought his lovely daughter, and it was he (and not Paradox) who helped form the pole-bridge.

09-01-2009, 09:22 AM
A huge congratulations to Alex and Trish. Thank you for inviting us to be there - all four of us had a great time, and especially my kids.

http://inlinethumb28.webshots.com/10139/2209172390097994563S500x500Q85.jpg (http://outdoors.webshots.com/photo/2209172390097994563hksTdn) http://inlinethumb26.webshots.com/5593/2836117480097994563S500x500Q85.jpg (http://outdoors.webshots.com/photo/2836117480097994563AJYCas)
The ascending party, The A-team: Alex and Amanda

http://inlinethumb59.webshots.com/24378/2256343010097994563S500x500Q85.jpg (http://outdoors.webshots.com/photo/2256343010097994563bkMwWb) http://inlinethumb28.webshots.com/13147/2716288180097994563S500x500Q85.jpg (http://outdoors.webshots.com/photo/2716288180097994563fYUgGn)
Girl cairn, Boy cairn

http://inlinethumb48.webshots.com/28271/2649138960097994563S500x500Q85.jpg (http://outdoors.webshots.com/photo/2649138960097994563ZHbFwt) http://inlinethumb55.webshots.com/23158/2110621980097994563S500x500Q85.jpg (http://outdoors.webshots.com/photo/2110621980097994563NUPQNS)
Enjoying the views, A summit shot

http://inlinethumb11.webshots.com/43146/2688873710097994563S500x500Q85.jpg (http://outdoors.webshots.com/photo/2688873710097994563PTcyBz) http://inlinethumb47.webshots.com/11118/2216970420097994563S500x500Q85.jpg (http://outdoors.webshots.com/photo/2216970420097994563FmLLNO)
The family and me (Thanks Dave!), Amanda, Sage, Matthew, and Alex

All my photos (http://outdoors.webshots.com/album/574403750jdnqee)


09-01-2009, 09:26 AM
Tim, thanks for posting your beautiful pictures.

Girl cairn, boy cairn...hee hee :)

Let's get the kids together again soon!

09-01-2009, 09:54 AM
It really looks like you all had terrific weather. You did get alot of great pictures Tim. I love the one with the kids on the bridge. Congradulations again Trish because without you,Alex could never have done this. Great job.

09-01-2009, 11:57 AM
Congratulations, Girls! What a journey it has been!

Snow Miser
09-01-2009, 12:42 PM
Congratulations to you both on completing the 48th and final summit. You must feel really great. What an accomplishment. Thanks for sharing all of your reports. They have been very nice to read. And as John asked above, we have to wonder what's next for such two courageous hikers?:)

09-05-2009, 01:17 AM
I'm happy for the both of you, a great accomplishment. Savor it.

09-05-2009, 08:45 AM
Thanks, everyone, for your very kind words of support! We very much appreciate them. :)

09-13-2009, 01:17 PM
I apologize for how late this is, but I'm just getting caught up on trip reports for the last two weeks. Here are some more pictures of that great day on Mt Moosilauke! :)

Trip report here (http://www.barkeater.ws/nh48/images/MtMoosilauke/20090830/MtMoosilaukeFrames.htm)


09-13-2009, 02:42 PM
I apologize for how late this is, but I'm just getting caught up on trip reports for the last two weeks. Here are some more pictures of that great day on Mt Moosilauke! :)

More great pictures of a great event. My favorites are still the ones of Sage napping in the backpack.

09-13-2009, 03:35 PM
Tim and Val, thank you for posting such lovely pictures. Your TR is great. Were Amnda and Alex really discusing the pros and cons of cotton? I was way behind and didn't hear their conversation. That's too funny! :D

Thanks again, Tim, for carrying Sage! HUGE help!!!

09-13-2009, 05:27 PM
I couldn't have made that up if I tried! It was so funny! I'm glad that neither of them came out with the phrase "Cotton Kills" because they might have frightened the other. :D But they definitely both knew that they SHOULD NOT BE IN COTTON!!!

09-13-2009, 11:00 PM
I couldn't have made that up if I tried! It was so funny! I'm glad that neither of them came out with the phrase "Cotton Kills" because they might have frightened the other. :D But they definitely both knew that they SHOULD NOT BE IN COTTON!!!

:D That's fantastic. Where's the laughing smilie? :D