Mt Moriah via Stoney Brook and Carter-Moriah Trails - 11/26

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NH Tramper

Apr 10, 2012
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North Conway, NH Avatar: Cannon Mtn.
Date of Hike: November 26, 2013

Trail Conditions: We started with a good day-old dusting at the Stoney Brook trailhead and found 2-3 inches near the summit... about 2" on the ridge. The second crossing, unbridged, was a bit sketchy with some rocks showing ice under their snow coats, and while there was certainly some solid ice between the rocks, there was still plenty of open, moving water, too. We crossed with care a bit upstream of the normal spot and made it without an issue. The third crossing was painless and easy. And the last crossing, on a drainage, not the river, was easy but care had to be taken what with all the sloping ice on it, and the consequences should we slip. There were a couple of new blowdowns on the trail, but nothing we couldn't get around with ease. A few minutes with a saw or axe will clear the trail. There were also a lot of downed branches; but I removed the larger ones on the way up. The Carter-Moriah was clear albeit a bit brushed-in in places. The rocks on the exposed, wind-scoured ledges offered up a pretty loose inch of snow so traction was difficult and we had to take our time. We figured it'd be pretty slow going on the way down but we were able to glissade on the snow/rock and the controlled skidding and sliding actually made for some fast, and fun progress.

Special Equipment Used: We brought trekking poles and some light traction. We used the poles and found them to be an essential tool for the conditions. They were especially helpful on that tricky second crossing noted above. We didn't use the light traction at all. We both wore mountaineering boots and were able to get good footing with our edges so we didn't need spikes. Had it been snow-covered ice we would have, but there was mostly rock underneath so it would have just ruined our spikes if we put them on. That said, my partner of the day and I are pretty sure-footed so others might opt to beat on their gear a bit for the added peace-of-mind it would offer. It's subjective, but bring them. Snowshoes are not yet needed. Gaiters were helpful.

Comments: Hiked this with my friend and co-worker, Noah. Great hike on a rather nice albeit overcast day. We still had great views. Ran into one other hiker on the summit who had ascended from Gorham via the Carter-Moriah Trail. We were the only ones on our route of the day... virgin snow. Good times.

Mike "Tramper" Cherim
North Conway NH