Lake George

Lake George
Lake George - from Tongue Mtn Range - 11/11/2011

Friday, December 30, 2011

Gore Mountain and Height of Land Mountain - 12/30/11

Today was a ski day.  I had been planning all week to ski at Gore Mountain today.  I knew that perhaps it would be busy, being part of the vacation week, but I wanted to get on the slopes.  I was at there, booted up, when the lifts started.

I was able to get in 3 runs before the lift lines started to grow.  Visibility was poor and flurries were coming down.  The snow guns were going on quite a few trails.  The snow was a little sticky in spots and icy patches weren't hard to find.  Still it was great to be out.  The temperature was right around freezing and there was no wind.

I ran into a buddy from work and we skied together until noon.  I didn't take any pictures due to the poor visibility, but I managed to ski 13,000 vertical feet by noon.

Today's ski runs

After lunch, I decided to let the crowds have the mountain and I went for a bushwhack hike up nearby Height of Land Mountain (see GPS track below) 

This trail head is a mere 10 minutes from Gore 
I parked at the Second Pond trail head in the Siamese Ponds Wilderness and followed the trail for a mile, at which point I veered left to bushwhack up the mountain.  This mountain has 2 summits on the ridge, so I walked the ridge to see both.

1st summit

Limited views

Thick spruce trees at the summit

As I neared the first summit, I began to see moose tracks and scrapings.  Just before the summit, I found many moose beds from the day before.  The actual summit was so thick with spruce growth, I could hardly get there.

Moose scrapings to 8-9 feet off the ground

Twin scraping

As I approached the 2nd summit, I came across a fresh moose bed.  Apparently I had scared him out. His hoof tracks were as big as my hand.

I kicked this moose out of a bed

Size of the moose track compared to my glove

2nd summit...and a moose nearby!
It was now 3 PM, and my cell phone was just on the verge of dying.  I was on the 2nd summit taking a last look at my phone when I heard the moose!  He had to be 100 feet away, but I couldn't see him.  I could feel the ground shake as he ran off and I could hear his antlers hitting on tree branches.  He must have been standing nearby in the thick growth, and when I stopped walking he took off.  Unfortunately I had no time to follow him since I had to bushwhack back to the trail to get out off the woods by dark.

New ski trail markers on the whole trail
I was back at the car at 4:05 wishing I was still on the track of the moose.  I really wanted to get a look at him and get a photo.  Maybe next time.

Hike Stats:

Hike Dist.:  4.4 miles
Hike Time:  3 hours 15 Minutes
Total Vertical Gain:  690' 

Quite a day all in all.  Nice combo of skiing and hiking.  Now home to plan for the weekend!


  1. Yes, it was an unexpected thrill. I have to go back there and camera hunt for a moose once we get a little snow.