View of the Northern Presidentials from Carter Dome
Carter Dome 4832? and Mount Hight 4675'
19 Mile Brook Trail Carter Dome Trail Carter-Moriah Trail
10.8 Miles 3500' Elevation gain
Kevin, Jude, Emma and Blue
With an absolutely beautiful autumn weekend in the mountains in the forecast we knew there would be several options to join friends on various hikes. In the end we decided that although we wished we could join them all it was perhaps better if we went on our own agenda. Much to our dismay we could not spend the night as we had a family obligation on Sunday, and would be constrained with time limits on Saturday in order to get home before dark. I do not like driving the mountain roads at night. A recent road incident our friends Michael and Donna had is testament to why. So, with all that in mind we set off on our own to visit a different kind of old friend, and to make the most of the single day of the long weekend we had to enjoy the autumn mountains.
19 Mile Brook
The old friend I speak of is Mount Hight. Mount Hight is one of those peaks that bears the indignity of being well over four thousand feet, yet not making the AMC's Four Thousand Footer list. Now, I have nothing against the list. It is a fine list and certainly a worthy goal and an excellent achievement upon completion. Yet, there are many mountains such as Mount Hight that deserve recognition for their outstanding views, wonderful trails, and overall excellence. I guess this is why people created more lists. At any rate, lists aside, we love to visit this peak. It is certainly one of the best views in the White Mountains, surpassing, in my opinion, any views that can be had from its higher neighbors along the Carter Range. Views of the Northern Presidentials to the west and across the Dry River Wilderness to the east are breathtaking.
Foliage Along 19 Mile Brook Trail
As we hiked in along the 19 Mile Brook Trail the morning sun shone in at us and backlit the beautiful foliage that is finally taking over the mountains. It seems late this year, but where it can be found, I still believe it to be quite impressive. There was good water flow in the brook along the way as there had been quite a bit of rain over the previous week. Along the way there were many reminders of Hurricane Irene that passed through in late August. Lots of storm and run-off debris in the brooks, a few wash-outs along the trail and a misplaced bridge left many clues. We came across Cooper Hill trying to make things right again on the Carter Dome Trail. Our thanks to him and all trail adopters for their many hours of volunteer work.
Our trail-mate Blue had not been on these trails before and he was thrilled to be out and about in the mountains with us. His mom Linda (Climbing Shoes) will be off the trails (and rocks) for some time as she tries to heal a fractured sacrum. Please send her the thoughts, prayers and good vibes you would for any member of the hiking and climbing community, that she may be back on the trails and ropes before much more time has passed. She and Blue need each other. In our usual way, we hiked first up to Carter Dome before making our way back along the ridge to Mount Hight. In this way old legs get to avoid the steep, rocky, sometimes wet climb up to Mount Hight from the Carter Dome Trail.
We made our way up to Carter Dome thus "bagging" a peak for Blue. There was a group of young folks from Quebec at the summit marker and as I did my usual "tag" I couldn't help but mention I was from the Boston area and had recently touched the Stanley Cup. Naturally, they were not impressed. The Bruins are about 20 behind in the Stanley Cup win column to Les Habitants, but this past year it came to Boston! It's been too long, and I hope it can stick around for awhile! After some lunch and after meeting some more folks and some more dogs, we sauntered over along the lovely ridge-line trail to Mount Hight.
Rounded Balance Beam
The plan was to spend some time on Mount Hight and to take in the views and get as much "Mountain Time" out of our one day visit as we possibly could. After "Second Lunch" we found we had the bald, rocky summit to ourselves. Some Gray Jays were our only company, but they must have been full from a day of begging, and they didn't like the dogs much, so they didn't stick around. We alternately sat, stood back up, changed viewing direction, and sat again, trying to take in the views in all directions and committing them to memory. When what seemed like minutes turned out to be hours we grudgingly picked up our packs and began the steep descent from the wonderful heights.
View From Mount Hight w/ Yellow Glider
The trek back down though the colorful woods was lit by a sun that had lowered and now came in from a different angle. Beautiful colors lit up above us as we trudged along. The hike back out was as wonderful as the hike in had been hours before. The sound of the brook was calming, the color above us was soothing, and once again the mountains had worked their magic on our souls.
Canopy on Our Hike Out
Full set of pics HERE: