2006-12-22 12:36:50.000 – Neil Lareau, Observer
“WNFS 305 this is 7-3 to 2-0, there’s a Moose at the front door!”
That is the actual radio call I received around 11:00AM from state Park Manager Mike Pelchat who was driving up the final pitch to the summit.
A few minutes later, and by remarkable happen stance, the moose scurried to the west side of the building just in time for the West View cam to snap a perfectly framed picture of the massive ungulate. I suspect a few very lucky web viewers caught a glimpse of this once in a million shot. The moose then completed its circuit by running back over to the cog tracks on the east side of the building, then along the tracks down toward the great gulf, before it decided it liked the looks of ball crag a bit better. There the moose was greeted by a hiker ascending the Nelson Crag trail. I can only assume they were both dumb struck for a period. The image of the hulky burnt umber body of this massive beast set against the crisp white of rime was compelling. So too I suspect a moose is baffled by the bright yellows and reds of fancy gore-tex. Then again Moose are probably color blind… still I’m sure it didn’t know what to make of an ice axe and crampon clad biped.
You may be asking yourself what on earth a moose would be doing on top of Mount Washington in December. Frankly I’m not sure there is a good answer, but then it is also not without precedent. About a year and a week ago I found fresh Moose droppings above 6000ft on the Tuckerman Ravine Trail while out for a hike. We also have a few post cards kicking around for years ago when a bull moose was photographed traversing the Bigelow Lawn. Most amazingly, once a moose was actually on the observation deck of this very building, though sadly that story does not have a happy ending.
Yet in light of Jon’s comment from yesterday it is tempting to think that this moose was scoping the landing zone for its winter brethren, the reindeer.
We’ll try to get up some video soon! For now check out the web cam shot at Moose!
Neil Lareau, Observer