August 17, 2013.
Something new for me today, hiking with my oldest brother and his daughter's boyfriend. The plan is to hike the Moats, all three, with a meetup at Diana's Bath to leave a car and then drive down to the south end of Moat Mt Trail to start there. Another new thing for me, a car spot, usually I am doing roadwalks on traverses like this. The trail map:
And the GPS track:
The plan is to meet them at 7 and the drive up was quite the odd trip thanks to the GPS. The usual road into Meredith and staying on Route 25 all the way to Route 16. No issues there until the "voice" says to turn right onto 41 almost immediately after getting on 16, thought this was quite odd. While on Route 41 I did get a picture of Chocorua in the early morning sun so not a total loss.
Turning right onto Route 31 after passing Silver Lake and another bonus, I got to see where Madison Boulder is located. I for some reason thought it was located much further north but now I know and will stop by on my next trip through this area. Anyways Route 113 ends up dropping me onto Route 16 just south of Conway. Little strange that the GPS chose this way but not a total loss. Making my way to Diana's Bath parking lot and soon the boys showed up and we moved down to the south end of Moat Mt Trail. Boots on trail at 7:40 and after walking twenty feet up the trail the oops for the day, left the GPS sitting on the hood.
A pretty mild walk through the woods as we reach the bridge over Dry Brook in thirty minutes just one mile from the trailhead. Further up and the grade starts to steepen a bit. Popping out onto a ledge to the left of the trail and a short break for the first blueberries of the day. From here are also the first views of the day towards the Ossippees.
A little ways up the trail and the first sign of fall is just around the corner.
From the same area the views are more open to the south with a pano shot.
A close-up of Chocorua and its summit shows a lone hiker a bit before 9:30 in the morning. He/she is the small stick figure to the left of the summit.
Ten minutes later and there is large area of fresh lowbush blueberries going quite a ways into the woods. Spending a good fifteen minutes picking and putting them in an empty water bottle for pancakes tomorrow morning (by the way they were delicious as Lisa and I enjoyed every bite).
Five minutes before reaching the summit and our first look at Whiteface and Passaconaway where Phil and Jen where busy climbing Whiteface. Having already been there we definitely had the better of the views.
Ten minutes shy of three hours and we reach the summit of South Moat, a great spot with views all around. The skies are clear with a haze off in the distance. This whole range must be great in the winter with no haze for pictures. Views into Maine of Pleasant Mt, home of Shawnee Peak Ski Area, across the valley to Cranmore Mt, north to the Wildcats and Carter Dome, and then Washington surrounded by Monroe, Adams and Madison.
A shot to our next destinations for the day, Middle Moat and North Moat.
On the other side Carrigain is flanked with Hancock to its' left and Mt Bond and the Twins on its' right. Looking towards the west are the Tripyramids, Tecumseh, Scaur Peak and the Osceolas.
After a break it is time to head over to Middle Moat. It's a relatively mild walk over with very little elevation change. Getting closer and there are two bumps, one on the east side and one on the west side, and it is hard to discern which is the real Middle Moat of the two. Very similar to South Kinsman's two bumps. Pictures of both bumps from the other and I can at least say without a question I have been on Middle Moat. Looking at my GPS track and the bump on the trail is actually three feet higher than the west bump.
Some people just can't leave their technology alone while hiking.
Lots of glacial activity on this exposed summit.
Heading over to North Moat and another easy walk making it to a small outcropping just south of the Red Ridge Trail junction for a lunch break. It is the bare spot on the right in this photo looking at North Moat from Middle.
Kevin enjoying the view of Washington, Wildcats, Carter Dome, Kearsarge North and Pleasant Mt from his lunch perch.
After a very relaxing lunch break, something I never do by myself, time to hit North Moat. A little more work as first we descend into the col and then climb a little over 400 feet through some great scenery and ledges.
Less than an hour and we are on the summit of North Moat, our final peak. A view of the summit cairn and what we came across.
The views are just as good as South and if only the summer haze was not there they would be soooo much better. Washington and Crawford Notch in the next two pictures.
A clear shot of my first overnight trip over Mt Tremont and Owl's Cliff seen reversed in this picture.
Off in the distance about forty miles away in Maine are Old Speck and Baldplate seen in the center all the way back and to the right of center.
Coming down off of North Moat was sort of an adventure as there were no markings as to where the trail was. With the three of us poking around for a bit we finally found it and started the long 5.4 mile trek down to the car. I don't think I have ever been on a trail with so much exposed ledge. It seemed never ending but did offer views towards the east the whole time.
Passing in and out of the woods and ledges would last for about 2.4 miles before finally entering the woods for good. Reaching the junction with Attitash Trail located three miles from the summit in an hour and twenty minutes. It is here the trail meets up with Lucy Brook and I stop for some fresh cold water and a refreshing rinse in the brook. Along this section we pass a bunch of bananas (OK OK they are Clavaria Mushrooms but look like bananas) growing up out of the rocks on the trail and further down a small waterfall/cascade.
Just pass the junction with Red Ridge Trail and I spy something off in the woods to the right of the trail. Making our way over and right next to a brook the mother of glacial erratic's as the relative size can be seen with Kevin on top.
Ten minutes later and we reach the popular Diana's Bath. Way too many people here for me. I bet during the early spring or late fall this is a great picturesque spot but today it is hard to get the shots without people.
Fifteen minutes later down the parade path and we are back at the north parking lot for Moat Mt Trail. A great day of hiking with Andy and Kevin on three tremendous peaks. I can definitely see myself returning in winter to finish some other trails in this area and a lot less hazy views.
Final numbers: 9.5 miles, 8 hours and 40 minutes.
Redline Miles: 9.5, Total to Date: 391.7