June 95- Carter-Moriah Range, NH. Molly Jacobs, Jenn Koermer and myself, started on Friday afternoon from the Rattle River trail (three miles from my house) on US2 and hiked south. After a rough climb up to the ridge between Shelburne Moriah and Moriah, we set up camp on a lovely pine knoll in the middle of a swamp. Constant breezes kept the bugs to a minimum. Rice-a-roni and pistachio pudding and three people crammed in a two-person tent.
Saturday we continued south along the trail to Mt. Moriah with an excellant view from it's rocky knob of a summit. Descending along the ridgeline, we had tremendous views down into Pinkham Notch, across into the eastern ravines on the Presidentials and eastward into the Wild River area. The feeling of three-dimensionality was alive and well. After a brief lunch stop at Imp Shelter, we ascended North Carter, an extremely steep, hot ascent with marginal views at the summit. The trail continued more or less level for a mile or two over Middle and South Carter mountains through scrubby growth and large rocks, not quite high enough to be alpine, but too high to provide decent shade. Unused to backpacking (it had been several years for me), we finally dropped into Zeta Pass between the Carter's and Carter Dome and spent the night among the pines. In the morning we hiked out to the trail head on Rt 16 and returned to my house for supper and showers.
Directions: This trailhead with parking for about a dozen vehicles is located on Rt 2 in Shelburne, NH. Eastbound from Gorham, NH, drive about 4 miles. Westbound from Bethel, ME, it is about 5 miles from the state line (also well marked). The trailhead is a well-marked area on the south side of the road about 100 yards east of the Wildberry Bed and Breakfast and the intersection with the North Road.
Info: For local trail information, contact the USFS Androscoggin Ranger Station(603)466-2713 or AMC Pinkham Notch Camp (603)466-2727.
The Wilderness Journal