With two giant storms rolling through the northeast over the past two weeks, I found myself in the unfamiliar position of asking not where would the skiing be good (it was going to be good everywhere), but where should I go skiing? With a season’s worth of disappointing conditions in the rearview, and Spring lurking around the corner, the decision was made to choose quantity over quality and head to Mount Moosilauke for its five-plus mile descent.
It was a day of superlatives on the mountain, and it started before we even left the car. Upon arriving at the trailhead, we witnessed the worst parking I’ve ever seen at Mount Moosilauke, as two cars situated themselves to take up six spaces in the already limited area that constitutes a lot. And, while one of the cars bore the scarlet lettering of a Massachusetts license plate, I’m sad to report the other culprit was from New Hampshire.
During our ascent of the Carriage Road, we ran into numerous parties reporting high winds above treeline and regaling us with stories of turning around just shy of the summit. Having heard this tale many times before I assumed it was hyperbole, only to discover it was truth upon breaking treeline. In fact, it was possibly the strongest wind I’ve ever felt on a mountain, almost taking me off my feet and threatening to blow me off the mountain on the descent. We made the summit, but didn’t linger long, and witnessed many parties turning back (wisely) within sight of the summit sign.
Although high winds and horrific parking are notable, what made the day stand out were the conditions. It was simply the best ski day I’ve ever had on Mount Moosilauke. The snow was deep and soft, with powder stashes scattered along the sides of the trail. We even managed to keep our skis on the entire trip, a rare occurrence on Moosilauke, as the final stretch to the summit often involves some booting.
Our ski day on Moosilauke was pretty special, but overshadowing the day is this whole month. “Miracle March” has given us one of the best ski months in recent memory and helped salvage an otherwise disappointing ski season.
Looking for more information on skiing Mount Moosilauke? Check out my goEast article about it.
Words and photos by Tim Peck