Sunday, August 2, 2015

Carter Dome - Solo Hike

Shaka from the summit!


Carter Dome
Elevation: 4,832ft
Mt. Hight - Elevation: 4,675ft
Duration: 7 hours (includes stops along the trail and at both summits)
Trails: Nineteen Mile Brook, Carter Dome, Zeta Pass, Carter-Moriah Trail/Appalachian Trail
Elevation Gain:  3,350 ft
Distance: 10.2 miles roundtrip
My 4000+ Peak #33
Listed 4000+: #9
Difficulty: Easy to Moderately Strenuous

What a beautiful day to bag #33! I got to the parking lot at the Nineteen Mile Brook trailhead and it was just about filled. I had been along this trail when I hiked into the Carter Notch hut back in 2013. There was snow and the trail was easy to hike. Today it was a bit cool as I started off from the parking lot. But as I got onto the Carter Dome trail, it was warming up. At the Zeta pass it started cooling off all the way to the Carter Dome summit. 

I had originally planned to hike up to Mt. Hight first. But when talking to two couples with their 4 kids on their way down from the Carter Notch hut, they told me that they had descended the trail from the Mt. Hight summit and it was rocky and super steep. If you know me, you know that I don't have any problems with steep, rocky trails. But if you know me really well, you know that I like to make things easy on myself! ;) 

So instead of hiking the steep Carter-Moariah trail to the bare summit of Hight, I continued on the gradual Carter Dome trail to the Carter Dome summit. On the way I stopped at the Black Angel trail junction and spoke to "Camo". He was counting hikers that were on the Black Angel trail. I spent 40 minutes at the Carter Dome summit, taking photos, eating lunch and talking with some other day hikers as well as 4 AT Thru Hikers. Afterwards, I headed to the Mt. Hight summit taking the Carter-Moriah trail....this was such an easy hike in this direction! I spent 20 minutes at the Mt. Hight summit taking photos and quickly taking in water and a snack. I really found it hard to leave with the views and the cool breezes on this summit. On my way down the steep trail from the summit, I was just so snap-happy I hadn't come up this trail. If I had to ascend Hight via this steep trail, I'd say this hike was "very strenuous". On my way down I passed 10 folks making their way up. 

Once back on the Carter Dome and Nineteen Mile Brook trails, I ran when I could. Near the trailhead the temps were annoying...warmer and definitely more humid. But the humidity was bearable and didn't affect my asthma. I met more folks and dogs on the trails as well.....that made 60 people and 4 dogs for the day! Enjoyed this hike and can't wait to get back for South Carter, The Wildcats as well as a night's stay at the Carter Notch Hut!

Enjoy some photos I took along the way....

 Along the Nineteen Mile Brook Trail



Along the Carter Dome trail



"Camo" keeping count of hikers along the Black Angel trail




Just before the summit there is a little path that leads

to an outlook. Don't forget to check it out!


Here are the 4 AT Thru Hikers
Left photo: "Forward" with his Super Mario backpack!
Middle photo: A married couple from Vermont and "Georgia" check out the map
Right photo: Off they go!

Carter Dome Summit

Carter Dome Summit

Mt. Washington from the Mt. Hight summit

Carter Dome from the Mt. Hight summit

Not certain but I think that's South Carter behind me

Hiker ahead of me on the steep Carter-Moriah trail from the
Mt. Hight summit. Some sections, although vertical, are still a scramble.