Saturday, August 21, 2010

Day 2 of Hiking: Carter-Moriah Range

On Friday, my aunt, uncle, and two younger cousins (ages 9 and 13) joined us for hiking. We hiked up Mt. Hight (4675 ft) and Carter Dome (4832 ft) in the Carter-Moriah Range. The parking lot was at around 1500 feet in altitude, so it was a pretty steep climb, but Nineteen-Mile Brook parallels the trail for 1.9 miles. The final climb up Mt Hight gains 800 feet in half a mile, but the views from the top? Fucking incredible.

Carter Dome, though 150 feet higher, is not bald on top like Hight. They took the fire tower down a few years ago, so you can't see a think from the top. The 1.2-mile trail down to the Carter Notch Hut drops 1500 feet (standard medium-difficult trail is 1000 feet per mile). At one point, there's a side trial to a rock outcropping called the Pulpit. From that point, it's 500 feet down to the Hut, and only about the same forward. Incredible views.

There's two small tarns (alpine lakes created by glaciers) near the hut. Water is ridiculously cold. There were people swimming. Crazy bastards. The hut was very convenient for filling up my Camelback (portable water bladder and flexi-straw, for easy drinking). I drank 50 fluid ounces (3.3 pounds) of water in the first 6 miles. That's a lot of water.

Trip back down wasn't terribly exciting. Total for the day was 10.0 miles. Absolute elevation gain was 3330 ft. Total vertical was ((4700-1500)+(4700-4600)+(4800-4600)+(4800-3300)+(3300-1500))=6800 ft.

I made a nice-looking map on Google Maps. All distances agree with the trail map, and important points are marked. We did the loop clockwise.

View Mt. Hight and Carter Dome in a larger map

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