View Full Version : Moosilauke 9/9/09

KD Talbot
09-21-2009, 07:29 PM
Sorry for the late post. Had a computer fail. Got a new computer. Got the old one fixed. Hit glitch after glitch with the new one and various Adobe products I rely on. I'm now up and running.

Spruce Grouse Dendragapus canadensis

Mount Moosilauke 4802'/Mount Jim 4172'

Asquam Ridge Trail/Beaver Brook Trail/Gorge Brook Trail

9.7 Miles 2600' Elevation gain

Kevin, Judy and Emma

Sorry for the late post. Had a computer glitch that's squared away bigtime now. (Those who have seen my new one know what I mean.) Sad that we missed out on the big finish for Trish and Alex we decided to do a remake of the planned trip. We wish we could have joined Rocket and Company when they made this climb. Sorry to have missed some old friends and the opportunity to meet some new ones, but we were blessed with another fine day strollin' in the White Hills.

We decided to camp near Moosilauke and had a good recommendation to camp at the WMNF CG, Wildwood at the foot of Moosilauke. This proved to be a nice spot to camp and was especially quiet mid-week. We set up camp and drove over to Ravine Lodge to start our hike. We started out on the Gorge Brook Trail, crossed the Baker River on the footbridge and turned right onto the Asquam Ridge Trail, setting out on new territory again. This trail turned out to be a beauty, with good footing and no part of it even resembling steep. The day was seasonably warm and the September woods were beautiful. Aster and Goldenrod lined the trail.

Approaching the Summit

When trails start out this nice there is always the dark thought at the back of the mind telling you that, "Soon we will pay for the lack of elevation gain." On this trail it never happens. You never come to the steep part. It is a moderate hike throughout the entire course, even after it empties you onto the notoriously steep Beaver Brook Trail it remains moderate as the junction is well above the steep sections. We crossed the summit of Mount Jim on the ridge trail, but didn't attempt the bushwhack summits of Waternomee and Mount Blue. That will be another trip.

Shortly before breaking above treeline Emma and I stepped right into the middle of a half dozen Grouse. Honestly, the name Foolhen really applies to these birds. Had they not flown up I might never have noticed them despite them being in the middle of the trail. When Emma realized what she had stumbled upon she dashed the last two feet into their midst and sent them scattering like pigeons in a city park. The damn fool things all landed within ten feet of where they had exploded from and allowed me several shots. Lucky for them I was shooting a Nikon, not a Smith and Wesson.

Emma on the Moose

Soon after that we came to the junction with the Benton Trail and before we knew it we were above tree line surrounded by beautiful golden sedge and white, fluffy clouds. To our south the sky was darkening and threatened rain, but it never materialized and gave me some dramatic skies to photograph.
There were about a dozen folks on the summit which dwindled down to four thru-hikers and us. We spent some time talking to these guys and telling them what lay ahead which they seemed thankful to hear about, or maybe they were just too tired to tell an old man to shut up. The next morning we ran into them again in Lincoln and one guy told me that descending Beaver Brook was the most difficult part of his trip since leaving Georgia in March.

View East

We parted ways with them at the summit as we descended Gorge Brook Trail by ourselves. It turned out to be Freshman Orientation day at Ravine Lodge, and on the descent we occasionally came to areas where we could both see and hear the Lodge below. After finishing the hike we headed into Lincoln for supper which we returned to the CG to eat. We turned in early and spent a nice night in the camper, only the second time this year we have used it. We seem to be trending back to tenting more, which is OK, but it's nice to have the comfort of the camper to crash in after a day on the trail.

Pics here:



Snow Miser
09-21-2009, 07:59 PM
Great photos and TR. I love the photos of the Spruce Grouse and the sunset. Thanks for sharing.

09-21-2009, 10:30 PM
Nice (if not a bit late ;))! I was convincing myself after last weekend that even though I love the hiking so much I really don't need to do the drive north yet another time (in addition to the couple that are already planned) to do Moosilauke this year. I am now waffling again. I really want to get up there! On the other hand I'm still working on getting over the fright from the all too close encounter with the Spruce Grouse pic in your post. Foolhen indeed. You can't imagine just how foolish until you've had one fly into the side of your head! :eek: But that's a story for another day... Great TR and pics as always (with the exception of the little feathered terror).

09-22-2009, 06:50 AM
Great trip report and pics. Looks like you had a nice hiking day.