View Full Version : Mount Moosilauke 12-26-09

12-26-2009, 06:46 PM
A few hours before I hit the sack after a great Christmas the thought popped into my head to climb Moosilauke. I had originally planned to climb it last summer, but other plans got in the way. So before heading to bed I rounded up my gear and set my alarm.
The day started at 9:00 in the Glencliff trailhead parking area. I prefer to leave earlier than this for hikes this time of the year but it turned out to provide me with enough daylight. After hiking the first .5 miles I thought about turning around to snag my snowshoes from the car since there was a lot of unpacked powder but the trail quickly improved once it led me into the woods. From then on it was uneventful with unchanging scenery minus the trees getting shorter. Once I made it to South Peak junction I began to feel the winds that had been howling above the trees on the ascent. They weren't really a problem until I approached the exposed summit. At this point I put on my new North Face jacket which I had received the day earlier and pushed through the winds. When say I "pushed through the winds," I mean that it felt like I had resistance cables pulling on me from behind. This turned from making the hiking difficult to making it nearly impossible and I was considering turning around until I saw the bright orange summit sign in the distance. Once I was within 15 feet of the sign, the winds were so strong that they pushed me to the ground, and it was fortunate that I didn't have my foot jammed in between any rocks when this happened. After a couple failed scrambles to tag the summit sign, I got on my hands and knees and crawled over the rocks to get within reach. I didn't get a summit sign photo until I was at a distance from the top since the winds were so high.
The winds certainly made this a hike that I will remember for some time. I've never experienced winds that were strong enough to make standing up so difficult. In retrospect, I should have more seriously considered turning around once the winds increased so drastically and since the visibility was terrible, but I had plenty of time, plenty of gear, and the cairns were spaced close enough for me to find the trail on the descent.

Some pics I snapped on the way up:

Snow Miser
12-27-2009, 10:13 AM
Great TR and photos Joe! Despite the wind you encountered, it looks like the snowy scenery you had was beautiful. Thanks for posting for all of us to see.

KD Talbot
12-28-2009, 05:40 PM
Nice TR and pics! Glencliff is a great approach. I've never been on Moosilauke when it wasn't windy! Very exposed summit and nothing high enough to the west to block any of the wind.


Anna LeBlanc
12-28-2009, 09:00 PM
Thank you for the beautiful pictures Joe.That wind can really be a son-of-a-gun.