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Thread: Does this seem reasonable? Middle, North and South Carter on the 21st.

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    Senior Member Sematary's Avatar
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    Does this seem reasonable? Middle, North and South Carter on the 21st.

    I guess it really depends on how the weather/terrain/ice/snow, etc... are but next weekend I intend to do South Carter which will bring me down to 5 48 footers to go. I "could" just do an out and back via Nineteen Mile Brook Trail to Carter Dome Trail to Carter Moriah which is just over 9 miles (still a pretty solid hike). But, if I do the loop and come back down via Imp Trail it's only a little over 11 miles if I add in North Carter or just under 11 if I ignore North Carter. It's been quite awhile since I've been up in that section of the mountains but I know how rugged they are. Does that loop sound reasonable considering that I would place myself in the better than moderately well conditioned/trained condition?

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    Senior Member DayTrip's Avatar
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    I'm in decidedly below moderate conditioning levels and I've done that loop in Winter. Obviously if you had to break trail it's a whole different ball game but if it has seen foot traffic it's not that bad of a hike at all. I remember some scratchy, icy knobs early on approaching Middle Carter (starting via Imp) and a section of pretty good snow drifts approaching South Carter in the col (North of summit) but other than that was pretty smooth. 19MB is usually packed to hell almost all the time so the exit/road walk is pretty straightforward to end the day. I prefer to start up Imp to get the big climb out of the way and have a downhill road walk to end the day. If you are with someone and have a car spot I guess that's a non issue.
    NH 48 4k: 48/48; NH W48k: 46/48; NY 46: 6/46

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    Its a pretty standard loop if you use the Dodge cut off to the south branch of the Imp trail and then down Carter Dome trail to 19 mile brook hard to get lost. Not a lot of folks so North Carter but barring snow between now and then its a reasonable winter hike.

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    Senior Member DougPaul's Avatar
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    Don't forget to visit Mt Hight if the visibility is any good. It has the best views of the entire ridge.

    Doug

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    Senior Member Sematary's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DougPaul View Post
    Don't forget to visit Mt Hight if the visibility is any good. It has the best views of the entire ridge.

    Doug
    Ya, the last time I was up there I went with my wife to the Dome and Hight and I remember the Dome being wooded in and Hight having the views. It's not too far off so maybe not a bad idea.

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    Thanks for the feedback. I'll be sure to check trail conditions/weather before heading up. :-)
    I'll be going with my oldest daughter as well so that definitely makes doing the loop easier

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    Realize adding in Carter Dome and Mt Hight does add on a couple of hours. I think most folks do the loop clockwise so that when they get to junction of the Carter Moriah Trail and the Carter Dome trail that they can decide if they want to add the two other summits.

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    Senior Member BobC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by peakbagger View Post
    Realize adding in Carter Dome and Mt Hight does add on a couple of hours. I think most folks do the loop clockwise so that when they get to junction of the Carter Moriah Trail and the Carter Dome trail that they can decide if they want to add the two other summits.
    One thing to consider with loop hikes in the winter is that you're facing unknown (and potentially difficult) conditions on the way out, unless you have very recent trail conditions info, with no weather changes since the report was posted. At least with an out-and-back hike, you'll see what you're facing on the way up so that you know what you'll have to deal with on the way out...and if the conditions are too tough you can turn back. If you're up on Middle Carter and find on your way out that the trail from that point down to Imp trailhead isn't broken out, that could be several miles of tough hiking. I recently did a fairly "easy" 6-mile loop hike in the Sandwich range, and although we had a pretty easy trip up, on the way down we had to deal with some trail-breaking for about 3 miles. This turned out to be pretty tiring even though it was downhill.

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    One of the other reasons for a clockwise loop, its very rare that Carter Dome trail and 19 mile Brook will ever be unbroken due to the hut. Imp and North Carter trails maybe not as much. I also like the south Imp trail up, hard to beat for steady grade once you hit the old road.

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    Senior Member BobC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by peakbagger View Post
    One of the other reasons for a clockwise loop, its very rare that Carter Dome trail and 19 mile Brook will ever be unbroken due to the hut. Imp and North Carter trails maybe not as much. I also like the south Imp trail up, hard to beat for steady grade once you hit the old road.
    I was almost going to say that too - at least if Imp trail isn't broken out or only partially-broken, they'd discover that early in the day when they have more energy, and they can deal with it better - or turn back if it's too tough.

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