The Carter Range
Carter Dome 4,832 Feet
South Carter 4,430 Feet
Middle Carter 4,610 Feet
- Location: Coos County
- Date Hiked: 9/24/2018
- Companions: Stud
- Trails: Carter-Moriah Trail/AT, Carter Come Trail, Nineteen Mile Brook Trail
It was 8:45am by the time we were hiking out of Carter Notch Hut and we just laughed about how late it was as we climbed up Carter Dome. What a beast!
We followed the ridgeline up to Mount Hight which has to be one of the most amazing viewpoints in the White Mountains.
We spent some time up here soakin in the views, the sun and eating second breakfast after becoming ravenous from our climb up out of Carter Notch. We headed north and the trail between Mount Hight and South Carter descended an unexpected very steep and fast 700 feet before climbing back up another 500 feet to the summit of South Carter where a cairn was sort of tipped over by a nieghboring uprooted fir There was some nice rock seats so we relaxed here before pushing on to Middle Carter.
As we made our way up the ridge to Middle Carter, it dawned on us that we could just keep going instead of our original plan of turning around at Middle Carter and heading back the way we came and down and out Nineteen Mile Brook Trail, where our car was parked. We got excited about this and counted up the miles and decided that turning our 10.5 mile day into a 14 mile day was totally do-able. But then we remembered how late it was and that there was limited day light and decided that was a bad idea. But then we thought it would be fun and we have headlamps. But then we realized how tired we would be and that we wouldn’t have our car when we hiked out. But then we thought we could just hitchhike back to the car. But then we remembered it would be dark. We processed the crap out of this spontaneous potential plot twist all the way to Middle Carter and when we found ourselves on the sign-less summit we sat down and ate and went over it again and again, getting high off little doses of adrenaline thinking about going forward towards Mount Moriah. Just when we would decide it was a bad idea, we would then talk about doing it anyway. We were sitting on number 47 of the 48 peaks of the NH48 list under blue skies clear. It was hard to not just go for it and hike on to Mount Moriah. But we hadn’t planned for this and it was late. We decided to try and see if we could call for a shuttle in order to make a decision, knowing that trying to hitch down route 16 after dark on a Monday night might be impossible as would be a 5+ mile road walk down route 16 at that point. But we didn’t have enough cell service to get the call through. We talked it through a few more times (haha) and made a careful and very calculated decision to play it safe and stick with the plan which was a great choice because it meant we were off the mountains by 5PM, eating dinner at a reasonable hour and checking into the Top Notch Inn with enough energy left to shower and celebrate the eve before potentially finishing the NH48.