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Trip 17 South Carter 4430’, Middle Carter 4610’and Carter Dome 4832’

14.4 Miles 4750’ Elevation gain

Kevin, Jeannie and Emma
Dan, Joey, Jenny, Joan and Steve

As if the Bonds weren’t bad enough, we embark on another killer hike, this time Jeannie dosen’t want to miss out and Emma is raring to go, too. We start in on the Nineteen Mile Brook Trail and soon realize it’s going to be a hot, buggy day. Coming to the trailhead for the Carter Dome Trail we begin a steeper ascent than we had been doing, and in another hour or so we find ourselves at Zeta Pass. I am sucking wind. Am I doing this too soon after doing the Bonds? Too bad! so is everyone else (except Jeannie and Emma). We press on climbing first to South Carter where we have a hot buggy lunch on the crowded viewless summit. We soon move on from there towards Middle Carter finding the trail between summits difficult with rock scrambling in some places. At Middle Carter which is also virtually viewless I continued on the trail a ways to where there is a good view of the Presidentials to the southwest. After some quick pictures we were off again to make our way back to South Carter which we summited again on our way back to Zeta Pass and then onward and upward to Carter Dome, deciding to by-pass Mount Hight, which turns out to be a very good decision, but I won’t realize why until years later when I return. The climb up to Mount Hight from Zeta Pass is very steep and difficult. (Someone wanting to go there, in my opinion would be better climbing up to Carter Dome and going back to Mount Hight, which is what we did on our second trip, but that’s another story I’ll tell later, see our return trip on 9/16/02). So, back to this trip, Jeannie and I decide we don’t want to make the trip to Mount Hight and forge on to Carter Dome. Waiting for the others here, we soon all start down off of Carter Dome down the Carter-Moriah Trail to the Carter Notch AMC Hut. So far Emma has faired a lot better than I have, even running back and forth between groups, doing her herding thing. I am constantly calling her to stay with me, but it is futile, and after this hike I realize she isn’t going anywhere we aren’t going. Climbing down off of Carter Dome offers some fantastic views of Carter Notch and the boulder fields above Carter Notch Hut. Emma takes a nice long cool-off in the ponds near the hut, wish I could, too. Totally exhausted, I sit down in the hut for some food and drink. Soon we are on our way again and find that like many places in the mountains, you have to climb up to go down. Climbing up out of the col between Carter Dome and the Wildcats to their west, we can finally start the gradual descent out, again on the Nineteen Mile Brook Trail. Although it is an easy four miles out from the hut, being already exhausted from climbing all day, it felt like another ten miles. One long, hot day. K(29) J(20) E(4)

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Carters 1/19/08
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