Went up Glencliff Trail with friends to nab my 11th NH48 winter season. Hiking these mountains in the winter is a different experience from hikes during the other three seasons.
In some ways, they are easier……no rock hopping, frozen over water crossings and if you like the cold weather, less sweating. The hard part about hiking in winter is a much heavier pack…..multiple layers, snowshoes, spikes, thermal covers for your water…..all those added items add up.
At 8AM after driving an hour and a half over hill and dale, we arrived at the Glencliff trailhead parking. First you have to hike up a road through a field to get to the actual trailhead…..don’t worry, you aren’t lost! Then, up you go!
The first mile goes up moderately. We wore our spikes and they held up well on both the packed granular snow and icy patches. It was a warm day for February however, and within the first hour, we were shedding layers.
The second mile begins to rise steeply and due to the steepness and warming, sticky snow, we stopped again to switch out our spikes for snowshoes. The second mile up to the intersection of the Glencliff and Carriage Roads was slow going to be sure but we finally made it to the intersection and had a nice lunch in the warm sunshine, happily knowing there was only .8mi to the summit.
The last .8 of this hike was packed powder across the ridge with an icy summit. All conditions were navigated easily in our snowshoes and seeing the cairns leading us to the top was a beautiful sight!!!About 200 yards from the summit, the winds kicked up, the temperatures began to drop and it was time to really layer up.
This is my 11th winter 48 and as I do hope to complete them all, I also know my limitations. I am taking advantage of a warm winter day to be up here. I know it isn’t always like this and I feel blessed to have been able to jump through this weather window.
Next we headed over to South Peak. The South peak of Mount Moosilauke is an absolute joy to hike up, at only .3 mi round trip from the intersection of the Glencliff and Carriage trails. We snowshoed up to this peak under clear skies. Hiking back down gives one an especially good view!
Hiking down was a completely new adventure. The snow was quickly turning to slush and neither snowshoes or spikes wanted to hold us up! It was slow going with lots of slipping and sliding…..but hey, this is how we roll…..or slide!
Ciao for now……Karen