This post is a little late for a conditions trip report, but I decided to document the trip anyways. After the dumping of snow on 3/13 from Blizzard Stella, we were anxious to climb a high peak and see what goodness we could find. The problem was that with 3 feet of new snow on the ground, most trails were not broken out yet.
We settled on Giant Mountain since it was the closest to us and also likely to have already have some foot traffic. We didn't arrive at the trailhead until noon, but that gave others more time to break trail ahead of us and we knew the hike was only 3 miles each way.
We passed a family near the start and it looked like they were not intending to go all the way to the summit. The trail was indeed broken out, and most folks had worn snowshoes, so the trail was smoothly packed.
While the forecast predicted cloudy skies, we were blessed with blue skies all day. If was warming up to around 40 degrees, so all the better. I had my sunglasses on all afternoon.
When we reached the Giant Washbowl, I was a little disappointed to see that someone had built a makeshift shelter a mere few feet from the trail.
|Someone's attempt at a shelter at Giant Washbowl.|
|Look at that sky!|
|An early look back, about a mile into the hike. The dix range in on the left in the background. The great range is on the right.|
As we reached the split in the trail at the bump, we ran into some familiar hiking faces. We chatted for a minute and Rev slid down a rock face at the upper end of the bump and we continued on.
|Always a bump...|
|Junction with the Roaring Brook Falls Trail|
Just above the Roaring Brook Trail Junction, we ran into 8 hikers coming down barebooting with no snowshoes. They chewed up the trail quite a bit. We had to watch our step until we got near treeline.
|The alpine zone.|
|The Giant/Rocky Peak Ridge trail junction.|
|The summit panorama.|
|Leesa and Rev on the summit.|
At the top, I went down into the little sheltered space below the summit and Rev jumped down to join me and landed in a big snow drift. She wiggled her was out and joined me for a snack.
We chose not to swing over to Rocky Peak Ridge. It was mid afternoon and that trail was only slightly broken out. On our way down, Leesa took full advantage of some butt sliding opportunities, while I chose to do some snowshoe surfing.
After our hike, we went to the annual ADK High Peaks Forum Gathering in Upper Jay for a great evening of comaraderie and food!
|Leesa... still butt sliding even near the bottom.|
Hike Distance: 5.9 miles
Hike Time: 4 hours, 30 minutes
Total Vertical Gain: ~ 3000'