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Thread: Wildcats-Carters-Moriah Traverse 4/27/2017

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    Senior Member alexmtn's Avatar
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    Nov 2010
    Lexington, MA

    Wildcats-Carters-Moriah Traverse 4/27/2017

    Wildcats-Carters-Moriah Traverse 4/27/2017

    Peaks: Wildcat D, Wildcat A, Carter Dome, South Carter, Middle Carter, Moriah

    Route: Polecat, Wildcat Ridge, Carter-Moriah, and Stony Brook Trails

    At elevation (snow line was ~2500'), 2-5' tall monorails were the order of the day -- some standing alone, but most still almost undiscernible from the surrounding snow except via punch-throughs. In some spots, particularly Moriah's ledges, the route featured alternating deep snow and bare rock. And on a various steep spots that had almost but not completely thawed, there was some ice to deal with.

    Snowshoes were key. One of two solo hikers we passed was on MicroSpikes. As the warm day progressed, we wondered how he fared. Even with our snowshoes, it became harder and harder to avoid post holing. The post holing issue became even more serious for the first part of our Stony Brook descent. There were sizable brooks underneath us almost everywhere, and we worked hard to land over rocks and ground as we stepped. Below the snow line, we switched to MicroSpikes, which proved helpful in negotiating the wet rocky/leafy terrain and water crossings in the dwindling light.

    Descending the North Carter steeps (still predominantly snow), our Evo's got us down, but we thought in hindsight that it might have been faster had we switched to our crampons for that stretch. Enough to break even with the changeover/change-back time? We debated that one.

    Also needed: sufficient layers to keep warm even while soaked. Rain overnight had loaded up the spruce at altitude, and our initial layers were quickly saturated. Thankfully for our endurance, temps were in the 40s and 50s, and our wet layers were still able to keep us warm throughout the long day; absent that, we would have had to deploy dry (at least for a short time) layers and bail.

    No views through the clouds we were in most of the time, but there was plenty of athletic fun to be had in the course of this day-long tangle with the spring conditions.
    Last edited by alexmtn; 04-29-2017 at 11:42 AM.

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