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  1. #1
    Registered User HighLiner's Avatar
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    Default How Difficulty is Mt. Mooseilauke in Comparison to the rest of the Whites?

    I just completed a section hike that ended by climbing Mt. Moosilauke from South to North. As expected, the climb was hard, the toughest I have done. For those who have completed the Whites how does this climb/descent compare to what's ahead? Thanks.

  2. #2

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    Mt. Mooseilauke is typical of the ascents/descents in the Whites.

    So you have Kinsman, Liberty, Lafayette, South Twin, Webster, Wildcat, Great Gulf, Carter Notch, Moriah ahead of you. I think they are all in the same general neighborhood.

    I think you stopped this section at a good spot. Now you know what to expect for the rest of New Hampshire.

  3. #3

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    Slightly Out of Order

    Kinsman, Liberty, Lafayette, South Twin, Webster, Great Gulf, Wildcat, Carter Notch, Moriah

    The climb out of the col on the south side of Garfield always feels tough to me too.

  4. #4
    PCT, Sheltowee, Pinhoti, LT , BMT, AT, SHT, CDT 560 miles 10-K's Avatar
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    The Whites are just a place where you have to accept that every day is going to be hard and that, this too shall pass.

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    Franconia notch nobo thruu the twins is probably the single most difficult stretch.
    it's also the most spectacular.

  6. #6
    Registered User swjohnsey's Avatar
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    The Moosilauke decent was one of the hardest for me.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by swjohnsey View Post
    The Moosilauke decent was one of the hardest for me.
    Yes, the Glencliff Trail (S-N) is a cake walk relative to the Beaver Brook Trail (N-S). Beaver Brook is among the toughest trails in the Whites, and I would much rather ascend it than descend it, particular if it is at all wet. If the OP did the Glencliff Trail and descended the same way, then that is about average terrain for the Whites.
    Last edited by jeffmeh; 09-17-2012 at 12:13.

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    in my mind the whites do not start in glencliff. they start ON TOP of moosilauke, if walking northbound. from the top of moosilauke down to kinsman notch is the first stretch that feels like the whites. the hike on the glencliff side of the mountain is very easy by comparison.

  9. #9
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    NOBO, descent of Moosilaukee was tough, glad to have all those wood steps and that rebar! still, it was fun once it was over. the other section i thought was very challenging, scary even was the ascent of S. Kinsman. . .wow, the trail gets steeper and more narrow then POP, you're up & over the top, great views! i had great weather (july) when i did the NH section, it was a blast!

    .com

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by swjohnsey View Post
    The Moosilauke descent was one of the hardest for me.
    Quote Originally Posted by tdoczi View Post
    in my mind the whites do not start in glencliff. they start ON TOP of moosilauke, if walking northbound. from the top of moosilauke down to kinsman notch is the first stretch that feels like the whites. the hike on the glencliff side of the mountain is very easy by comparison.
    Quote Originally Posted by rustmd View Post
    NOBO, descent of Moosilaukee was tough, glad to have all those wood steps and that rebar! still, it was fun once it was over...
    Agree with all of this. As a section hiker, I did Moosilauke SOBO and was glad I did. I also thought how treacherous a NOBO descent would be in wet conditions.

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by HighLiner View Post
    I just completed a section hike that ended by climbing Mt. Moosilauke from South to North. As expected, the climb was hard, the toughest I have done. For those who have completed the Whites how does this climb/descent compare to what's ahead? Thanks.
    I realize you only asked about the Whites but be advised that many of the ups & downs in Maine are equally (or more) difficult than the Whites - at least through the NOBO descent from Avery Peak into Safford Notch.

  12. #12
    Registered User HighLiner's Avatar
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    All the comments have been good. I figured I will deal with Maine when I get to it....as you know section hiking is a journey over several years. I'm getting close! Thanks.

  13. #13
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    As a section hiker (Damascus to Franconia Notch - short of 100 miles in VT skipped last year due to the Green Mountains being closed / Hurricane Irene), to me the Whites began at Moosilauke. Game changer for sure.

    In 10 days back to complete VT and pick up at Franconia Notch. Really looking forward to the Fall and being back on the AT.

    The maps and mileage cannot accurately illustrate NH or Maine.

    The AT is tough.............NH North of Moosilauke and Maine define Tough +

  14. #14
    Registered User swjohnsey's Avatar
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    IMHO the first couple of days in the 100 mile wilderness are worse than the Whites.

  15. #15
    Registered User Papa D's Avatar
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    Moosilauke is a legit hike - - the main body of the whites are pretty similar in terms of ascent difficulty - Franconia and the Presidents are a little more sustained but the vertical gain is about the same. I think that I remember climbing Webster Cliffs was pretty straight up - not sure that was mentioned in earlier posts

  16. #16

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    I get confused with which way I do different trails when they coexist with the AT...so it's hard to judge what mountains compare to what. The whites are the whites. You get used to it

    dropping from Wildcats to Carter hut is tough, going up South twin is steep but rock stairs, the downs off some of the Presi's are tough rock hopping.

    as part of my weekend loop, today i did Zeacliff Trail.. 1.4mi 1500ft in 1.3mi down.. then just to mess with you .1mi similar steepness UP to the Ethan Allen trail. harder than Moosilauke by far.

    7 more 4k's left to do in NH

  17. #17
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    Moosilauke up from Glencliff is the first climb in the Whites NOBO and gains a respectable amount of elevation, but it is easily graded and the footing is pretty good. Actually most of the AT through the Whites is somewhat moderate for the region. If you want a good tough climb, try Huntington Ravine, Six Husbands, upper Great Gulf, or Sphinx trails. Huntington is the closest thing you can do to technical rock climbing and still be on an actual trail! When you get to the Whites, you just have to slow down, watch your foot placement carefully, and STOP to enjoy the many incredible views. This should be the best part of the hike for you, but only if you take it easy and be extra cautious.

  18. #18
    Registered User MamaBear's Avatar
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    Agreed, Glencliff is about average for the Whites, Beaver Brook is harder both ascending or descending but a good example of the steepness and roughness found elsewhere in the Whites. There certainly is some tougher stuff, no one mentioned ascending Wildcat Ridge Trail from Rt. 16, Pinkham Notch.

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by MamaBear View Post
    There certainly is some tougher stuff, no one mentioned ascending Wildcat Ridge Trail from Rt. 16, Pinkham Notch.
    has a few spots for sure. i actually find it easier when you can grab on with your hands rather than a gradual sloggy calf burner.

  20. #20
    2012 double thru-hike, 4368.4 miles in 10 mo.
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    http://www.everytrail.com/view_trip.php?trip_id=1676412

    As with every piece of the AT, I hiked Moosilauke both ways the same day, Glenclff to Kinsman Notch and then back. I loved it, particularly Beaver Brook Trail, because I'm a waterfall lover, and the trail gets 'up close and personal' with cascade after cascade. Still, that climb is one of the tougher ones in the Whites, partly simply because of how much elevation change there is with sustained rock scrambling.

    The one feature common in the Whites that this particular stretch does not have is what I call 'dead zone' trail, where there is a solid slab of steep bedrock (slippery sometimes even when dry) where the only way to get up or down is to cling to the vegetation at the edges and trample the roots there, thus gradually killing back that vegetation you're depending on and widening the 'dead zone' of unclimbable steep bedrock slab with no ladders or metal holds emplaced to end this ongoing destruction. This is by far the most annoying type of trail I encountered in the Whites, and to me toughness equates to my mental state as much as physical - so if I'm annoyed, I think it's tough.

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