Since we had two cars, Kyle and I decided we would take the Carter-Moriah Trail up to the summit of Moriah and then continue on the Carter-Moriah Trail down to the Stony Brook Trail and down to the second car. The total mileage wasn't that much longer than the out-and-back option on Carter-Moriah and for anyone who hikes knows, loops are way more interesting than out-and-backs.
We timed our hike perfectly with regards to the weather. We had partial blue skies to start with some sun which faded as we reached the summit of Moriah. Still, the cloud deck stayed above us while we summited and we watched as clouds further west rolled in and over other summits. As we descended the other side of Moriah we stopped on the ledges to watch as more clouds swooped in and engulfed the summits of North, Middle and South Carter directly across from us. Once back down in the valley on the Stony Brook Trail we looked up to see that the summit of Moriah was now obscured by clouds and soon after the 30% chance of snow that the weatherman predicted for the day started falling. Just like the day before on Cabot, trail conditions were packed out and even making for quick travel (with the exception of the PUDs going up Carter-Moriah which set my legs on fire and slowed me down).
This was my first time taking the Carter-Moriah Trail from Gorham up Moriah and I have to honest, it will probably be my last. The PUDs did me in and the open ledges on Mt. Surprise weren't enough to win me over. I prefer the Stony Brook Trail and the ledges on the other side of the Carter-Moriah Trail that look over at the Carters. But don't let my opinion dissuade you from taking this route, some people enjoy the aggression involved with the good ol' PUD. [Insert winky face here].