Sunday, January 30, 2011

Quelle Suprise, Mt. Moriah! [ 9 to go]

After a two month peakbagging layover S.D. and I were pleasantly surprised to find ourselves on the summit of Mt. Moriah. It was our first true winter summit (sure there was snow and blowing ice on Moosalauki but that was November) and the Carter-Moriah trail took us up over the ledges of Mt. Surprise which must have lovely views on a clear day. But I was happy enough that the wind wasn't blowing, it wasn't snowing and the temperature was above 0. Still, I was cold, then hot, then freezing, and all the time feeling the effects of hike-less months. After 3 hours of hiking, and feeling like I was crawling up  the hill, I turned a corner and there below my feet was the sign pointing out the side trail to the summit.

Winter summitting is a bit different. Looking for trail signs below your feet instead of above you. Walking up on the packed path, occasionally falling off the side into the 3 foot deep powder.  Seeing the alpine zone trees bending under all the snow weight, feeling the constant pressure to keep moving or freeze. Freezing your fingers only seconds after taking your gloves off to get the peanut butter sandwiches. And best of all - glisading down, which takes the Jane's Addiction song "Coming Down the Mountain" to a whole new level.

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