Ascent of Mount Surprise on 2019-01-26
|Others in Party:||Outdoor Pursuits|
|Date:||Saturday, January 26, 2019|
|Ascent Type:||Successful Summit Attained|
| Motorized Transport to Trailhead:||Car|
| Location:||USA-New Hampshire|
| Elevation:||2194 ft / 668 m|
Ascent Trip ReportEntered 1/27/2019.
This hike was done with Outdoor Pursuits, Winter 2019 with the goal of reaching Mt. Moriah. We left Phillips Academy at 6:15 and drove to the trailhead of the Carter-Moriah Trail in Gorham, NH via I-93 and Route 2. We began hiking at 9:45. The trail was a straight shot up, bringing us over the summit of Mt. Surprise and then following a ridge for about two miles to Mt. Moriah. The spruce alpine region began just after summiting Mt. Surprise, which was in a way a surprise because we failed to identify it as the summit until we checked the maps a half mile later. The trail offered an occasional view, the best being a nearly 180 degree view of the Presidential Range, Androscoggin River, and Gorham. Much of the trail showed evidence of a snow mobile, making its way all the way to the ridge of Moriah, but short about 1.5-2 miles of the summit. The trail was packed and did not require snow shoes. There were a few steep sections where we heavily relied on our microspikes for traction and would not have been able to complete without them. A number of false summits dotted the trail, but the real summit was obvious. A few small groups hiked the mountain that day. We did not emerge from the trees until the very summit, a bare rock offering 360 degree views. The weather was much more mild than we expected. There was almost no wind and views were clear, although it was still very cold and a very mild haze gathered during our climb. A very small amount of snow was falling near the summit. It was barely noticeable. Clouds blanketed the Presidential Range and we could see as far as Old Speck Mountain in Maine. Carter Dome and Mount Hight blocked our view to the west. We summited at 1:45, beginning our descent at 2:15. We retraced our steps dowm the Carter-Moriah Trail, returning to the vehicles at 5:30, just a few minutes after dark. The snow was hard packed and buttsledding was generally poor. We stopped for pizza at the Gorham House of Pizza before driving home. We returned to Phillips Academy at 9:45PM.
|Summary Total Data|
| Route:||Carter-Moriah Trail|
| Trailhead:||Carter-Moriah Trailhead -9999 ft / -3047 m|
| Route Conditions:||Maintained Trail, Snow on Ground|
| Gear Used:||Ski Poles|
| Weather:||Cold, Calm, Clear|
Clear without wind
|Ascent Part of Trip: Surprise and Moriah (0 nights total away from roads)|
Complete Trip Sequence:
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