A memorable mountain get-away

The beautiful cliffs, snow bowl and summit of Carter Dome

What an event-filled weekend it was for us! A warm and comfy hut, a whole boy scout troop, the best pasta dinner ever, and Carter Dome’s outright summit denial were just some of the weekend’s highlights, as we hiked up to Carter Hut in Pinkham Notch for an overnight in the shadow of two of our favorite peaks – Carter Dome and Wildcat A.
The weather was glorious Saturday morning with clear skies and highs in the upper 50s as we hit the 19 Mile Brook Trail for the nearly 4-mile hike to the hut. But good weather can be deceiving as the warm weather turned the hard pack into a sticky goo. It was like snowshoeing through Elmers Glue!
No complaints though as the weather combined with the wonderful-still iced over brook made this one of the more enjoyable woods hikes we took in a long while. And to those who wonder if there’s still snow in the mountains, here’s your proof:

Those trail signs are normally eye level!
We reached the hut by 2 p.m. and decided to just enjoy the rest of this wonderful Saturday by lazing around the lakes, day tripping up into the Carter Dome snow bowl and relaxing by the fire in the hut. The steep trail up to Carter Dome, though only about a mile, was far too slushy to tackle that afternoon. Our plan was to wake early the next morning and tag the summit before heading out.
It was crazy warm up there at 3,800 feet as we enjoyed late lunch and hot chocolate with a couple hikers who had been there the whole weekend. Our bunkroom was clean and warm with a great view from the porch. And the hut was a little slice of heaven:
 During the winter, the AMC huts are self-service. Pack in your own food, and enjoy without the bother of tourists!

In the evening a pack of Boy Scouts showed up, took over the kitchen a whipped up a glorious meal of pasta, asparagus and salad. We were lucky enough – or sad enough looking with our dehydrated food – to warrant their pity and they offered us generous helpings of the pasta. It was pasta, bacon, cheese and butter. It was the most exquisite carb load! Positively gourmet!
Finally, for a night cap, hikers Ralph and Keith had carried up cookie dough and Pepsi! Heaven! The Boy Scouts ate those chocolate chip cookies like they were breathing air. Sweet, chocolatey air!
After getting a full, warm, quiet 8 hours bunk time, we awoke to something of a surprise. Snow! Sleet! Hail! Welcome to the first day of Spring in the mountains. The temps had dropped well below freezing overnight, turning all that slush from the previous day into pure ice. After about a 1/4 mile of 45 degree angle ice without crampons, we turned back content to relish in a restful hut trip, as opposed to a trip to the hospital. Carter Dome summit would wait for another time.
Many thanks for the scouts for that meal, and kudos to Kevin and Ralph for those cookies. That’s what we call roughing it!
Our full portfolio from the trip is here: http://danandmeenakshi.phanfare.com/4607604#imageID=95651436

This entry was posted in Trail Reports. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s