12:15 pm - [Hike] Moat Ridge
When is a small mountain like a big mountain? Take a 3200' peak, a 2900' peak, start the trailhead at a mere 800', add in a ridge walk with ample bumpy PUD (pointless up & down), and voila you have more vertical than a lot of 4000 footers. This is what I have to do these days to get new challenges.
The Moats sit on the east edge of the Whites with fine views of the Pemigewasset Wilderness to the west, the Presidentials to the north, the Mahoosucs to the east, and a few lakes to the south. All 3 primary peaks on the ridge walk were clear of trees with unobstructed 360 degree views. On a day with only 3 (we counted them) clouds in the sky, it's hard to imagine a better way to check off this trail.
The problem with hiking at this time of year is usually the melting snow creating either snowy monorails or a muddy mess. We've had a dry spring, so the trail looked more fall-like with brown leaves and cracked ground. In the worst case mud season and blackfly season overlap; this year we got a break between the two and it's incredible.
Photographic note: I built two Android "photosphere" panoramas from the peaks. The pannable results are more immersive than the usual 2-d panorama, communicating a much better sense of place. I still need more practice to avoid holes and also make sure that moving objects like people don't turn into headless monsters. But the biggest problem is in sharing the images: I prefer to post my photos to Flickr, which doesn't support photospheres (yet). I wonder which will happen first - (1) everyone I know signing up for G+ or (2) Flickr supporting photosphere. I'm not holding my breath for either.
That's #34 and #35 of the 52 with a view list. Congratulations also to yuper and Sasha for conquering Adams on the same day, and thanks for the car spot to the north trailhead.