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Mt Jim and Moosilauke’s Subpeaks

Mt Mossilauke and Mt Blue

Mt Moosilauke and Mt Blue

I've just started another peak-bagging list called the Trailwright's 72 which includes all of the White Mountain 4,000 footers as well as many of their subordinate sub-peaks. However, it's a lot stricter, and effectively limits the number of peaks you can bag to one per day, requiring a lot more high elevation hikes to complete. More fun, I say.

In the case of Moosilauke, three of its sub-peaks are also on the Trailwright's list including Mt Jim (4,172 ft) , Mt Blue (4,529 ft), and South Peak (4,523 ft), guaranteeing that I will be spending a lot of time hiking up Moosilauke this winter and that I'll probably hike every trail on the mountain, which is the point of the Trailwright's list.

Last Saturday, my winter hiking partner and I had nice 6 hour – 8 mile hike up Mt Jim and Mt Blue. The weather was surprisingly mild for Moosilauke which is notorious for its wind. Trail conditions were wet and muddy below 3,500 ft, but turned to wet snow and ice when we hiked into the krumholz and above treeline.

Moosilauke Asquam Ridge Trail

Asquam Ridge Trail

The climbing was tough going this early in the winter season since we were carrying heavy packs with about 70% of our regular winter gear. After hiking most of the year with ultralight or close to ultralight loads and trail runners, my body is not used to carrying a heavy winter pack including snowshoes, crampons, an ice axe and extra water. I'm also not sure that trail runners provide enough support for me with these heavier loads, or how far into the winter season I'll be able to use them before switching to a proper winter boot.

Mt Blue - White Mountains

Mt Blue

Climbing Mt Jim was a no brainer because it's right on the Asquam Ridge Trail. But finding the Blue summit was a little more difficult because it requires a bushwhack through some very dense forest. I wandered around a bit on the summit cone trying to follow an unofficial path through a maze of blow downs and krumholz, complicated by the fact that I was postholing and we were running out of daylight. I gave up after a while and followed my tracks back to the path, resolved to be better prepared next time with pre-calculated compass bearings. I'd already bagged Jim and scoped out the lay of the land, which will be helpful on the next hike up here, using a different route, of course!

Hiking up Moosilauke was fun and we already have another hike planned to bag the South Peak. I have a feeling that the Trailwright's list is going to be a blast to pursue this winter and will help me become more intimate with the different aspects and routes up the major peaks of the Whites.

5 comments

  1. That sounds like a hard hike in trail runners! And I'm surprised there was not a good trail going to the blue summit?

  2. There might be a better trail but it was covered in snow this time. This peak is also not on the more popular peak list like the White mountain 4,000 footers and so it is climbed far less often. Regarding trail runners, you'd be surprised at how much easier it is to hike distance in them the rest of the year, hard trails or not. Lighter is faster in the right conditions.

  3. I've never tried them to be honest I have an old pair of my dads hiking boots abs they work fine haha and have you ever hears of the 4000 footers club? I was wondering if you were a member or had bagged all of the peaks yet

  4. I finished the 4000 footers this year. They're actually not all that hard to climb unless you do them in winter. Peakbagging gets much more interesting when you start climbing mountains that don't have trails on them and you are forced to use your navigation skills. Unfortunately a lot of the existing 4000 footers are way over-hiked.

  5. Ya I bet The White mountains are beautiful you are very lucky to live near them I've only been ontop of mt.Washington but all of the mountains surrounding were riddled with skiers and hikers too. Are there many peaks that you have to bushwack on?

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