Every once in a while, fellow hikers and runners ask about my favorite peaks and routes in the White Mountains. Many are surprised to hear that I am particularly attached to the Carter-Moriah Range and its accompanying trails. Dwarfed by the imposing Presidential Ridge to its west, the mountains are certainly not the tallest on the New Hampshire 4,000 footer list – nor are they known for the sweeping views to be had on other summits within the White Mountain National Forest. That said, there is something enchanting about the range that never fails to captivate me… it seems to emanate a wild, rugged, feeling of sorts. Thus, I jumped at the opportunity when my friend Sue invited me to accompany her on an end-to-end traverse of the ridge. After several emails and texts with numerous folks, we managed to assemble a crew of hikers to join us.
Sunday March 17 dawned beautiful yet extremely cold, with wind chill values predicted at 30 to 40 below on the higher summits. Other than some choppy sections on Wildcat Ridge (which I hear were not half as terrible as they had been the day prior, thanks to the efforts of my good friends Bob and Geri), overall we were rewarded with excellent conditions underfoot. Of course, a winter mountain adventure wouldn’t be complete without a (very embarrassing) snowshoe malfunction, copious amount of chocolate (85% of which I most likely consumed), and a festive, blinking shamrock (which quickly lost its blinking powers thanks to the cold)… and it was an absolutely marvelous day to be out in the company of some truly incredible people.
Not to mention, the lighting atop the summits was just surreal. I am always grateful to have any opportunity to practice my iPhone photography, even when my “touch screen compatible” gloves inexplicably fail me…
A huge congratulations to Sue for completing the Trailwrights 72 list after 6 weeks of nonstop hiking, and to Al, Anthony, Jeff, Rob and Viktoria for joining me on one of my most memorable winter adventures to date.