Cascade & Porter Mountains, located between Lake Placid and Keene, NY are the easiest Adirondack high peaks to climb. They are also probably the most climbed peaks due to their accessibility. This doesn't make them lesser mountains. Cascade has a great open rock summit with fantastic views. Porter is treed, but some views are possible. They are also a nice pair to hike on a winter day.
On this last day of 2012, it was in the mid 20's and the sky was kind of funny. There were pockets of sun, pockets of dark clouds, and where I was, it was socked in with clouds.
Leesa was working today and we were going to let our dog Rev stay home with her to rest. Rev had been breaking trail for 5 straight days and we thought she would appreciate a day to sleep. Quite wrong. Rev didn't like the thought of me going without her and she made herself known by squeezing between me and the door. Along came Rev. That caused a change of plan. I was going to at the Adirondack Mountain Reserve in St. Huberts and ski the lake road to the Weld trail, then climb Sawteeth. It would be a good option since dogs aren't allowed on AMR property. Since Rev "needed" to come along, Cascade and Porter became the new plan.
|The Cascade/Porter trail junction at 2.1 miles from Route 73|
I've been up Cascade and Porter many times, but never during the official winter season, so these 2 could increase my winter count. I arrived at the trailhead at 9:30. There were 5 cars ahead of me.
I put Rev's red coat on her, clinked on her leash, and she was ready to pull me up the mountain. We passed 4 of the 5 groups on the way up. The 5th group, a couple from the Syracuse area, were just coming off the Cascade summit cone when we reached it.
As Rev and I began to to climb the rocky summit cone, it was if we were stepping into a cloud, a snowy, windy cloud. You could no longer see anything. Even snowshoe tracks from minutes before were gone, windswept. The summit had no familiarity. I had to walk carefully to make sure I knew where I was. Rev was surprisingly willing to go up to the summit, but we didn't stay long. At the top, we did an about face and quickly retreated to the cover of the trees.
|Rev forging ahead to Porter Mountain|
In a minute, we were back to the trail split for Cascade/Porter. I noted that while the Cascade trail had been stampeded, the Porter trail had only been broken in by several persons. I thought the walk to Porter was extremely beautiful, and in fact a nicer walk than in the summer.
One of the couples I saw along the way left there packs at the Cascade/Porter trail junction during there trek to Porter. When they got back to there packs, and went to have a snack, they found out that a rodent had eaten into some of their trail food!
The Porter Mountain summit is treed and nicely sheltered from the wind. It is a nice summit to enjoy the current winter wonderland. Once back to the trail split, Rev and I bombed down the mountain. (She pulls up the mountain and down)! We were back at the car in less than an hour.
Hike Distance: 5.7 miles
My Hike Time: 2 hours, 45 minutes
Total Vertical Gain: ~2265'
|My route for the day shown in blue (click to enlarge)|