Saturday, November 11, 2023
HomeHikingMountain climbing Mt Moriah in April

Mountain climbing Mt Moriah in April

Hiking Mt Moriah in April

Mt Moriah isn’t the very best White Mountain 4000-footer, but it surely requires 3200′ of elevation acquire to climb which makes it one of many extra strenuous peaks to ascend. There are a variety of various trails you should use to climb it, however I picked the Carter Moriah Path which leaves from Gorham, NH, as a result of I figured it could be the perfect when it comes to path situations. This being April, there may be nonetheless quite a lot of snow on the excessive peaks, water crossings are larger because of snowmelt, and since I used to be climbing on my own, I wished to hike on a path that already been “damaged out” by snowshoers to make it simpler to climb.

The present snowline within the Whites is 2700′ that means that all the things beneath that has melted (though not all the time true if it’s within the woods and never on a path) and all the things above that’s ice or rotten, moist snow. I anticipated to hike the underside half of this hike on soil and bare-boot it with none traction, however I knew I’d in all probability want path crampons or snowshoes above the snowline to succeed in the summit at 4049′. I carried each since you by no means know while you’re going to wish them and the very last thing I wished to do was to climb 2000′ and uncover that snowshoes had been required to succeed in the summit.

Winter has departed on the lower part of the Carter Moriah Trail
Winter has departed on the decrease a part of the Carter Moriah Path

I’d been trying ahead to this hike all month as a result of it was the final peak I wanted to complete my tenth full spherical of White Mountain 4000 footers, which is a pleasant little milestone to have fun. I really like climbing within the Whites, however I’ll admit that I get just a little thrill after I fill in my Grid spreadsheet after every hike and see the totals tick up. Each record hiker I do know feels the identical manner.

I’d picked a chilly morning to climb Moriah as a result of I knew the chilly temperatures would stabilize the snowpack and make it simpler to climb. From previous expertise, I do know that the decrease a part of this path has open ledges which might in all probability be ice lined at larger elevations. “Open ledge” in White Mountain parlance means open rocky areas that aren’t lined with timber or shrubs. Whereas open ledge typically supplies good traction, it may well get slippery when it’s moist or icy.

The lower ledges were wet with some icy spots
The decrease ledges had been moist with some icy spots

The ledges begin at 2300′ on the Carter Moriah Path they usually had been certainly moist. I proceeded cautiously utilizing tough spots and cracks within the floor of the rock to offer me the acquisition I wanted to climb via this space. I used to be sporting 400g Oboz Bridger insulated winter boots which do have gentle sticky soles, though considered one of as of late I’ll change to waterproof mids to experience out mud season and hotter temperatures.

I quickly encountered skinny glaze ice and placed on my Hillsound path crampons for surer footing. The view from the ledges on Moriah is fairly particular they usually’re a great place to sit down and hand around in summer season climate. You may see Pine Mountain, which is a pleasant smaller peak to climb, in addition to Mts Washington, Adams, and Madison, simply throughout the road (Rt 16).

Pine Mountain is a great little peak with great views of Mt Madison.
Pine Mountain is a good little peak with nice views of Mt Madison.

There was intermittent ice and snow between 2300′ and 2700′, but it surely was strong or straightforward to bypass. However certain sufficient, there was a definite monorail layer that began at 2700′ and ran all the best way to the summit. Monorail is so named as a result of the path is roofed with what appears like a stability beam that’s about 1-2 boot widths huge. In the event you step off the monorail, you’ll often posthole as much as your knees or waist within the softer snow on both facet of it. The monorail itself is fashioned when hundred of hikers hike up a path and compress the snow beneath, which varieties a dense ice layer that’s the very last thing to soften out when temperatures rise within the spring.

The monorail started at 2700'
The monorail began at 2700′

When the monorail will get gentle, which occurs when temperatures rise in the course of the day, you typically must put on snowshoes to keep away from sinking into it. I’d began early within the day nonetheless and managed to remain on it sporting my Hillsound path crampons that are lighter weight and simpler to hike in. The climb from 2700′ to the summit was very easy and I bumped into a number of individuals coming down as I used to be going up, together with one fellow named Reed, who acknowledged me and insisted I take a selfie with him. We had a pleasant dialog about backpacks (naturally) and he advised me that he’s engaged on his first spherical of 4000 footers.

The snow was still pretty deep near the summit
The snow was nonetheless fairly deep close to the summit

Being a Friday morning, I actually hadn’t anticipated to see anybody on the height. Nonetheless, the summit was empty after I arrived, so I sat down for some time on the nice and cozy rock and admired the view whereas tucking into an orange and a sandwich. The summit of Moriah is a bald rock with nice views of the Presidential and an adjoining open peak named Shelburne Moriah, which can be fairly pleasant to climb in the event you ever have the time. Seeing as I’ve to climb Moriah once more in Could for the Grid, I feel I’ll pop over to it when path situations enhance and the snow is changed by mud.

Spring is here - so it’s time for my floppy hat again.
Spring is right here – so it’s time for my floppy hat once more.

The downclimb was uneventful till I spotted that the ice had sucked the right-hand path crampon off my foot. That occurs often, however I figured I might get down on one path crampon. Solely a bit later, I spotted the opposite one had been sucked off too and I must depend on my footwork to get down some icy ledges. That labored out however I needed to be very cautious happening.

Shelburne Moriah Mountain is located quite close by.
Shelburne Moriah Mountain is situated fairly shut by.

In the event you take the Carter Moriah Path, there’s a trailhead parking space on the finish of a dead-end road simply exterior of Gorham. I’ve heard that the individuals who reside on the finish of the road have been telling hikers that it’s unlawful to park there, though I didn’t have any issues this time. However if you wish to keep away from getting hassled, there’s a small parking space on the left earlier than you get to the tip of the road, the place hikers have began parking as an alternative. It’s situated on the intersection of a snowmobile path and the street resulting in the trailhead, on the left as you drive in from Gorham however is unsigned.

Beneficial Guidebooks and Maps:

SectionHiker is reader-supported. We independently analysis, take a look at, and charge the perfect merchandise. We solely earn money if you are going to buy a product via our affiliate hyperlinks. Assist us proceed to check and write unsponsored and unbiased gear evaluations, newbie FAQs, and free climbing guides.

Supply hyperlink



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Most Popular

Recent Comments