Mt. Moriah (4049 feet)

Sunday, August 13, 1995

This is the first 4000 footer I've climbed in New Hampshire in over 20 years! Hopefully it won't be so long before I do another!

Today I took the Carter-Moriah trail out of Gorham. This trail actually goes down the entire Carter range, but I didn't follow it that far today. Don't be deceived by the low elevation of this mountain. The trail head, just outside of Gorham, was at an altitude of 800 feet making this a 3200 foot climb. It was 4.5 miles from the trail head to the summit. I was a bit worried about my ability to handle such a long hike. I'm not yet in as good condition as I need to be. However, the climb went well. I was comfortable and did the whole thing in about six hours (including some longish rests).

The trail ascended steadily through deciduous forests for the first two miles or so. Then it broke out onto some open ledges that offered a view of the Presidential Range. The weather was quite good today so the view was excellent. However, there were many clouds playing about the summits of the high mountains. I was interested to see that I could occasionally catch flashes of sunlight reflecting off car windows on the Mt. Washington Auto Road. I could not make out the cars themselves at all.

The trail continued to cross semi-open ledges for about 0.5 miles offering increasingly better views of the area. Considering the low elevation (I was only at 2500 feet or so), I was most impressed. Since the trail followed a ridge to the summit, I hoped that perhaps there would be open ledges all the way up. Not so. Soon the trail re-entered the woods and stayed full forested right up to just below the summit. Oh well.

At the summit there was a large rock that stuck up above the trees. Mt. Moriah has panoramic views, but only just barely. When I arrived at about 11:00 am, the summit was still enshrouded with clouds. There was a stiff wind blowing and it was rather cold. I was glad that I had wised up enough to bring a proper windbreaker this time (see my previous Mt. Mansfield trip).

I ate my lunch at the summit and waited around a bit. Slowly the clounds lifted and I finally did get some good views of the surrounding country.

On the way down I lounged around a bit on the open ledges. The blueberries were in season and made good eating. I was glad I brought my sun block.

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© Copyright 1996 by Peter C. Chapin.
Last Revised: March 26, 1996