Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Cascade and Porter 3/26/13

Preface: I am writing this almost a year after this trip so details are a bit foggy

On Monday, March 25th, 2013 I drove up to the Adirondacks for my first trip back to the High Peaks since my initial trip 6 years earlier. Monday was spent driving around Keene Valley and Lake Placid and just enjoying myself and the views. I spent the night at the Keene Valley Hostel in preparation for my first hike up a High Peak in 6 years the next day.

The next morning I woke up and didn't end up hitting the trail until about 10am. It was a late start but I wasn't too worried about it. It was an absolutely gorgeous day. Blue skies with some clouds.

Hitting the trail
The trail was packed down and I could have easily gotten away with spikes if I had them. Since I did not own spikes at the time, I wore my snowshoes the whole way for traction.
Nice packed down trail
Almost there!
On the way up I passed an older gentleman that commented on my late start. Once I hit the open rock of the summit I took off my snowshoes and attached them to my pack for the final short scramble.
Bare summit
There was one spot I had a little bit of difficulty with I think due to my large, overpacked, pack. I had packed everything and the kitchen sink due to this being my first "winter" hike (it was technically spring by this point) and the fact that I was hiking solo. A mother, daughter and their dog caught up behind me and helped me up the one spot. Once at the summit, I spent about an hour just hanging out and enjoying the views. The winds weren't too bad and the temperature was probably in the 40s and it was partly sunny. The clouds were moving and I was able to see some great views in between the clouds. A little bit of snow fell too.
Me on the summit
Nice views in between the clouds
The Captain on the summit of Cascade
After enjoying some of the Captain and some summer sausage, I left the summit at about 1pm and started over to Porter. I started out without putting my snowshoes back on but the trail over to Porter wasn't as packed down so I did end up stopping to reapply my snowshoes.
Snowy trail to Porter
After about 30 minutes I reached the summit of Porter. By this point, many of the clouds were gone and it was an absolutely beautiful sunny day. I had the summit to myself and again spent about in hour just soaking it all in. I took many pictures, sent a few text messages and called my dad who didn't answer. Who knew there was 3G signal on top of a High Peak! I enjoyed a bit more Captain will basking in the sunshine and I did not want to come back down, it was too gorgeous.
Looking back at Cascade with Whiteface in the distance
Me on the summit of Porter
Me and the Captain on Porter
Views of the Great Range
Views of the Great Range
Finally, after an hour, I decided it was time to head back. I packed back up, put my snowshoes back on and started the hike back down. After 30 minutes I was back to the junction with the trail up Cascade and after another hour I was back down to the trailhead. I flew down that mountain!
Sunny blue skies peeking out
Mount Marcy
On the way down I kept hearing a helicopter in the distance and saw one through the tree carrying a basket beneath it. I checked if there were any rescues when I got home but I never found any so I figured they were just out training.
Back at the trailhead
My hike was absolutely amazing and it reaffirmed my love for the High Peaks. I am now determined to hike them all.
End of a great hike
The next few days I spent some more time in the snow. Wednesday, March 27 I hiked the West River trail to Beaver Meadow Falls and walked back up Lake Road. Thursday, March 28 I decided to go snowboarding at Whiteface which was so much fun. The conditions were great, very springlike. This was my first solo trip and I had so much fun. I will definitely be going back to the High Peaks for more trips in the future and probably more solo trips elsewhere too.

The rest of my pictures

Video on the summit of Porter

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