This was my second AMC Ski trip of the year, I was pretty much leading this one as I'd skied this trail several times. We had an interesting mix of skills and gear, some AT on this trip, something I'd really had no experience with on Moosilauke. I was interested in how they would work, but since the owner was an experienced Swiss guide I wasn't worried about him keeping up. We met at the trailhead on the Breezy Point road, or actually below it since this year they stopped plowing about 200 yards short leaving a rather interesting parking situation. There was a small bus from one of the local schools, so I assumed a group had headed up in front of us. There was also a few folks who had asked me questions about the ski from my website and some good friends from college, small world.
The day was gorgeous, and as we stopped for a group shot we were all in good spirits. We skinned up pretty quickly; while it's possible to go a good distance withouth skins, on single camber skis it's not really worthwhile, IMO. A group of snowmobiles went by fairly early on, the trail was completely tracked up but it didn't affect the skiing much. Except for the rollarcoaster bumps that looked like they would be interesting on the way down. One member of out group wasn't feeling very well, he'd just flown back from Europe the night before and jet lag was getting the better of him. He turned around, and then we split into a fast group and a slow group at the Snapper junction. After that junction the trail climbs up and out of the dense woods and we started getting the spectacular views. It was clear and warm down here, and after we applied the skin wax, we weren't lugging many pounds of snow on the bottom of each ski.
There's a nice view just below the snowmobile turnaround where we took a brief rest. The views towards the Presidential Range were great, and we could see other skiers across the ridge towards the summit. We were almost up top, so we pushed on. Met more people at the Glencliff junction, the put on more gear as we headed up towards the summit. It was windy, and quite a bit colder up there, but snow was still great and the skiing was excellent. Finally we made it to the summit, Huzzah! Now it was officially winter again, the winds were howling pretty good and we huddled behind the summit foundations for lunch. We ate quickly and packed up for the trip down. I stopped at the top to take some photos of the views, then watched as Julia began the trip down the summit snowfields. Benedickt had already taked one run and skinned back up for another, descending into the trees a ways. We made it down the snowfields without a problem, hooking back into the trail along the ridge.
Back at the junction we met up with a large group of sledders, ready for the 18th annual regatta down the Carriage Road. They looked like they were having fun in a slightly out of control way. We all gathered at the snowmobile turnaround (after Julia narrowly avoided colliding with one that was illegally going up past the sign) and we buckled down our boots for the journey. It was pretty good skiing, although the soft snow from the day had frozen over, making turns a bit more challanging. The folks on lighter gear were having quite a bit of trouble, heavier gear seemed the better match for these conditions. But we all made it down safely and retired to Lincoln for a fine dinner.
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