A January Finish On Carter Dome, 1/30/2012


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Well-known member
Jul 18, 2005
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Nashua, NH
January 30, 2012: Carters and Carter Dome

Trails: Imp Trail, N. Carter Trail, Carter-Moriah Trail, Carter Dome Trail, Nineteen Mile Brook Trail

Summits: Middle Carter, South Carter, Carter Dome

Hikers: Trail Trotter (Sue) and me

Sue is on vacation again, that means we’re hiking. This is the final couple vacation days planned for January hikes. After the early-morning drive to Pinkham Notch we took care of helping another hiker out with a car spot before getting started on our day. Procook131 (aka John David Palmer) was hiking from PNVC over The Wildcats to Carter Dome and The Carters and needed to spot his car at the north end of his hike. Many times people have provided us similar help and we are happy to pass it along.

The hike would finish our Grid Month of January. Our plan was to hike the loop clockwise which would have the finishing peak Carter Dome. We started at Nineteen Mile Brook trailhead and headed to Camp Dodge. At the entrance road we put on our snowshoes and stayed with them through the hike.

The area trails saw a lot of recent traffic and there was a very nice snowshoe track established. There was a light dusting of fresh snow on the trail. We made our way through the Camp Dodge shortcut, hit the Imp Trail, and headed for the ridge. Imp and N. Carter are both in great shape. Along the climb we passed underneath two blowdowns over the trail. Both have been there for a while. The forecast predicted a chance of snow showers and we were hit a couple times on our climb. As we approached Carter-Moriah the wind started to become significant.

We reached the Carter-Moriah trail and both decided it was time for another layer and warmer mittens. The conditions were pretty cold, windy, and blowing snow. Soon we were headed south for the short walk to Middle Carter. Roughly 100 yards north of the summit of Middle Carter, we ran into Tom hiking the same loop CCW. After a brief visit we were back on our way. The small summit cairn on Middle Carter that now exists where there was once a summit sign was under snow but a little digging exposed the top few rocks. We got our pictures and continued to South Carter.

The few exposed places in the vicinity of Middle Carter provided limited views but lots of wind and we generally just kept moving to stay sheltered and warm. Before long we were making our way to the summit of South Carter. Again, we stopped briefly for some pictures. A quick time check showed we were right on plan for the hike. It looked like we would have no trouble finishing in daylight.

From South Carter to Zeta Pass was the only area where the trail became rough from postholes caused by bare booters, and even there it wasn’t too bad. We cleared Zeta pass and headed for Carter Dome. Roughly half way to Carter Dome we met Procook131 on his hike. The guy can fly! He climbed over The Wildcats to Carter Notch, over Carter Dome and Hight, and was now cruising north to The Carters. We stopped for a brief visit, wished each other good hiking, and we were on our way. The remaining hike to Carter Dome went without any surprises. As we cleared the upper junction with Carter-Moriah Trail we started to enjoy some nice views. The clouds had cleared out but it was still windy.

Finally, we were on final approach. This summit finished our January list for The Grid. A couple years ago Sue and I decided to hike The Grid together, and finish it together. We merged our lists and started the long walk. There are still plenty of miles left before we’re finished, but with Carter Dome the finish has started.

After the usual summit pictures we made the u-turn and started our exit hike. Carter Dome Trail and Nineteen Mile Brook Trail are both high traffic areas and we had terrific trail conditions all of the way to the trailhead and our waiting truck. Just as we were finishing up at the trailhead, Tim came from the direction of Camp Dodge having hiked the loop CCW.

Thanks Sue. You have a spare vacation day and I have a day off. We both have plenty on our to-do lists. Get some rest, February doesn’t get any easier.

I’ve posted some pictures from the day.

BIGEarl's Pictures

Straight to the slideshow

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Nice job Earl and Sue finishing up January..

nothing better than getting that last spreadsheet checkmark on a winter month.

well except for being out on the trails of course..sure have been some good days this month
Nice job Earl and Sue finishing up January..

nothing better than getting that last spreadsheet checkmark on a winter month.

well except for being out on the trails of course..sure have been some good days this month
Thanks Silverfox,

Yeah, it feels good.

Good News: We got through January as planned

Bad News: February is just as tough as January was, perhaps a little tougher. :eek:

Here we go again!

First off, thanks again for the help with the spot. Made my day a whole lot easier knowing I would not have to get out and hitch hike back to Pinkham! Absolute pleasure meeting you both and so nice to be meeting some people from VFTT a lot lately.

Secondly, I do not fly. That would be cheating ;) I just walk.....swiftly.

Congrats on your January finish and hope to see you two out in February!!!

My pics from the day if anyone's interested