New Hampshire Mountain running on Mt Moosilaukee via the Carriage Path.
The forecast was unfavorable for New Hampshire Mountain running in the high peaks this past Thursday. Its June and mountain showers of snow and freezing rain combined with high winds put a red flag on the day for above treeline adventures. Today I was in training and mountain running in the Whites was planned. I knew it would be prudent to choose and objective which provided a reasonable path. shelter from the winds but I yearned for a summit – the full and exciting experience!!!
Missed the beautiful rainbow over Rumney Rocks – took the photo anyway. Stormy skies with blustery winds on the drive up the Baker River Valley.
The Carriage Path on Mt Moosilaukee is a rt of 10.2 miles with 3100 ft elevation gain. The average time to hike this trail is 6:40. My plan was to take a steady pace up the mountain trail, hoping I could keep the momentum and pace going all the way to the summit.
My only stop was at treeline where I layered up with adding the buff, a fleece, rainshell and gloves. The brief 1/4 mile stretch above treeline was exhilarating and exciting. The minimal clothing and equipment I choose to carry kept me running well within a conservative side. There was no room for a slip, fall or twisted ankle up here in these conditions. This day was a perfect situation in which hypothermia would set in quickly if I needed to stop my movement for any time.
The Carriage Path is a wide path to the South Peak (4 miles) then it narrows to a foot path for (1.2 miles) along the ridge to the Moosilaukee summit (4802 ft). For most of the path I ran on a single track with great footing and a moderate grade, the path does steepen here and there and a few rocky sections require focused attention to the footwork.
The wind whipped summit sign was encased in ice. The path and rocks were warm and wet from previous days sunshine so no type of traction was needed to reach the exposed summit.
My traction for the day was Mammuts MTR 141 running shoe. This lightweight running shoe is a sturdy shoe that provides good overall comfort and confidence on even the toughest of trails. To keep with the lightweight theme the contents in my pack were limited with a MTR 201 Rainspeed Jacket a wool buff, a fleece, gloves, 2 Larabars, 1 pint of water, Delorme inreach and the I phone.
This mountain experience lived up to my expectations. It was a big event, a challenge for my mind and body, an adventure I will repeat and remember.
Art Mooney – AMGA/IFMGA Mountain Guide – Mooney Mountain Guides