That’s right!! We’re climbing the broad shoulders of The Gentle Giant. A mountain that betrays the very nickname it is so famously known. A mountain born among mountains, climbed by men born among men, who, like us, jump into their pants both feet at the same time (the men, not the mountains).* And thou it is a gentle giant, be forewarned. As broad as its shoulders may be, it is still a giant, and as gentle as it may be, it is still a giant, and any fall from a giant, no matter how broad, no matter how gentle, can hurt. Just ask Jack.
* Be prepared to demonstrate this feat of feets during the hike.
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ABOUT THE HIKE
Our hike begins on the Glencliff Trail, Moosilauke’s southwestern approach, as it skirts a field, crosses a stream, enters the woods, and passes the Hurricane Trail (0.4 miles), all the while, adding only a fair amount of elevation over the first two miles. But, upon reaching mile[masked], be prepared… the mountain bears its teeth. Saying goodbye to its gentle nature, the Glencliff begins to head straight for the sky, straight for the clouds and straight for the biting wind. It’s here that we begin climbing the bean stock; it’s here that the trail steepens, the snow deepens and our muscles weaken.
We’ll follow the Glencliff to its end, to its junction with the Moosilauke Carriage Road (3.1 miles). Having reached the Carriage Road, we’ll take note of time and weather and decide on our next coarse of action. We’ll either head for the South Summit, by way of a small spur trail off to the right (should time and weather permit), or head straight for the summit-summit, via a left-hand turn (should only weather permit). From the junction, it’s about 500 feet to the South Summit & a mile to the summit-summit, a gorgeous winter mile of snow, ice, rock and wind, might I add. So before we head to either, we’ll layer up and gear up before heading up. Why? Because the South Summit is exposed, and the last half-mile to the summit-summit is above the trees, on the rocks, over the ice and in the wind. In other words, we’ll be in the proverbial “grasp of the giant” for no less than an hour, hour and a half.
Now, should the summit be windless, we’ll celebrate like we just discovered the Golden Goose, but should it be blustery, we’ll turn on our heals (having stolen the goose, which means "touched the summit") and run for the trees like the Giant himself is chasing us. Once back among the trees, we’ll catch our breath, don our sleds and head back to our cars by way of butt, boot or sled.
VERY IMPORTANT: As always, we'll be pay close attention to weather, time and trail conditions, and should there be any adverse weather, such as an approaching storm, or should trail conditions or time prove to be uncooperative, it may be necessary for us to avoid the summit, alter our plans, and/or cancel the hike altogether.
ALSO... We start as a group, hike as a group and finish as a group; noooooooo lone wolves need apply!!
Cold Weather/Winter Essentials (required):
• Mid or Heavy-weight Insulating/Wicking Layers (top & bottom)
• Mid or Heavy-weight Synthetic or Wool Shirt & Pant
• Insulating/Fleece Layer
• Down, Softshell or Hardshell Jacket (w/ hood, preferably windproof)
• Waterproof/Windproof Shell & Pant
• Synthetic or Wool Sock Liners (wicking layer)
• Synthetic or Wool Socks
• Sturdy Hiking Boots (waterproof & insulated)
• Hat & Gloves
• Glove Liners
• Extra Insulating Layers (top & bottom)
• Extra pair of Socks, Hat & Gloves
• Water (min. 2L) in wide-mouthed bottles
• Lunch (none freezing kind)
• Snack/Energy Food (extra food)
• Magic Beans
• Headlamp/Flashlight (w/ fresh lithium batteries)
• Emergency Blanket/Bivy (so small & light, there's no reason not to carry one)
• MICROspikes or Hillsounds (no other designs accepted)
the Remaining Essentials:
• Medication/First Aid Supplies*
• Water Filter/Treatment*
• Hand Warmers
• Light-weight Emergency Shelter/Tarp*
• Sleeping Bag & Pad*
• Fire (waterproof matches/lighter/sparky & kindling)*
• Repair Kit/Knife
• Trekking Poles
* To Be Carried Among The Group
Please, let’s not underestimate anything; come prepared for the worst: cold-cold temps., rain, possible snow, early darkness, lots of wind, an overnight stay.
From the south, take I-93 to Plymouth Exit 26. Follow US-3A/NH-25W toward Plymouth/Rumney. At the traffic circle, take first right and continue on NH-25W (Mt Moosilauke Hwy) toward Rumney. Follow Rt 25W for 20 miles passing thru Warren on the way to Glencliff Village; bear right onto High Street (the street sign may be missing, so look for a church instead); turn right prior to the church. Follow High St. for 1.0 mile; trailhead parking is on the right. Time: 3 hr 10 mins from Providence.
Google Maps: https://maps.google.com/maps?saddr=Providence...
WEATHER & TRAIL CONDITIONS
Weekend AccuWeather Forecast: http://www.accuweather.com
7-Day NOAA Weather Forecast: http://forecast.weather.gov/
6-Day Mountain-Forecast.com: http://www.mountain-forecast.com
MWOBS Higher Summits Forecast: http://www.mountwashington.org/weather/
Trail Conditions: http://trailsnh.com/peaks/nh/4000/10-Mt-Moosilauke-4802
AMC Backcountry Weather & Trail Conditions: http://www.outdoors.org
Moosilauke Summit: 4802'
South Summit: 4523'
Trails: Glencliff Trail, Moosilauke Carriage Road, South Summit Spur
Distance from Trailhead to Carriage Road: 3.1 miles
Distance from Carriage Road to Summit: 0.8 miles
Total distance (round trip): 7.8 miles
Elevation gain (approx.): 3300'
Sunrise: 6:24 am
Sunset: 5:36 pm
As a condition of your voluntary participation in this activity you acknowledge and agree to the following: this activity involves inherent risks that can cause property damage, injury, illness, disability, and/or death to participants and/or others; you assume all risk associated with this activity; you are responsible for having the necessary knowledge, skills, abilities, clothing, and equipment to safely participate in this activity; you know and will follow the Hiker Responsibility Code described at www.hikesafe.com; the leader(s) of this activity are volunteers; and you for yourself, your heirs, executors, and administrators release, hold harmless, and indemnify the leader(s) and all members of this group from any and all claims for property damage, injury, illness, disability, and/or death, including those caused by negligence and/or other reasons.