16.8 miles, 59,843 steps, 729 stories climbed
1816.1/381.9 miles/left, 4,781,872 steps, 41,395 stories climbed
Wow today was a long and tough day. The day started with a bunch of rain that made me not want to leave the hostel. I needed to get moving though so I packed up and headed out and immediately the first thing I had to do was cross a a deep brook with no bridge.
I really didn’t feel like taking my boots off to cross so I attempted hopping from rock to rock but I ended up with soaked boots to begin the day. The first 2 miles wasn’t bad but the climb up Moosilauke was rough. It wasn’t quite as bad as I expected extend but still pretty tough.
Mt. Moosilauke is a very steep climb but it is supposed to have a beautiful view at the top. Of course, my view was just fog but it was still nice up there. It was so incredibly quite and peaceful. It had stopped raining by the time I got up there and the wind had died down as well so the occasional chirping of a bird of two were the only noises.
Next it was time to climb down which I had been warned about just how treacherous it could be. It seemed pretty bad but nothing too insane, until I realized I was descending the wrong side. I had misread my guidebook and accidentally taken a side trail down from the summit and had taken it pretty far as well. So, I had to turn around, climb back up to the summit and then rejoin the AT and start the real descent.
This was just insanity. If you read my blog about the descent from Dragon’s Tooth, that was nothing compared to this. This was ridiculously steep and rocky. For most of the descent you are right next to a waterfall and your descent is just as steep. The trail was soaked and many times had a stream of its own running on it. I was moving so incredibly slow and carefully and still I fell numerous times.
At points, someone was nice enough to put in some stairs and metal bars to help but for the most part it was just hike and hope you have enough traction.
My knees were in pain, my ankles were screaming out and my feet were begging for mercy but I eventually managed to make it all the way to the bottom.
Now, I knew Mt. Moosilauke was going to be difficult but I did not expect the hike from Moosilauke to the shelter to be so difficult too. The trail was filled with steep ups and downs and many more wet slippery rocks. Not only that but words like mud or puddles can’t begin to describe what the trail was like. I am not sure where the line is between a puddle and a lake but I’m pretty sure many spots on the trail today blurred that line.
I tried to stay on rocks and fallen branches, maybe the occasional rotted footbridge but there were a number of times that didn’t want work and I ended up in the water.
At some points the water was so deep, I was in to my knees and the muck at the bottom did not want to release my feet. There was a great deal of struggling for each step. I don’t think I have been this tired at the end of the day so far on this trip.
I reached the shelter around 7pm meaning it took me 12 hours to hike 16.8…it only took me about 10.5 hours the day I did 33 miles. It was a very slow day but Mt. Moosilauke is now complete so now it’s time to get some rest and see what else the Whites have in store for me.