#22 Moosilauke (4,802 ft.)

For my first 4,000er without faithful companion Clem I was accompanied by equally excellent hikers: Alex Mutter and Susan Mutter Boquist, son and sister-in-law, respectively, of a bestie at work. We forewent the strain of the Beaver Brook Trail and opted instead for Gorge Brook, which is far more civilized in terms of footing and gradient. It also gave us a chance to begin and end at the lovely Moosilauke Ravine Lodge, Dartmouth’s outpost in the Whites. The Lodge itself is reminiscent of a large AMC hut or perhaps a smaller version of the ADK Heart Lake Loj. Abutting it are a clutch of Dartmouth class-donated bunkhouses, some nicer than others, and a few that are quite luxurious. At the summit we were alone for most of our time there. A refreshing if chilly wind was blowing west to east, so we ducked behind one of the stone shelters and ate our lunch. As soon as we had finished and we’re packing to leave, a helicopter appeared from the north and circled the summit. We waved. After it circled a second time it began descending and eventually landed near or on the Beaver Brook northbound. We never did find out why: whether part of a rescue or some filming project. The young dudes at the Lodge were perfectly nice but clueless as to why it was there. We then admired the namesake moose mounted on the lodge walls and made our way back to North Sandwich, to the vale below Young Mountain and the blazing glory of sunset behind Sandwich Dome. 

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