Lake George

Lake George
Lake George - from Tongue Mtn Range - 11/11/2011

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Whiteface & Esther Mountains - Wilmington, NY - 1/15/13

I was thinking of hiking Mount Marshall or Mount Colden today, but I had the chance to hike with fellow hiker Taras (Trail Boss) today on Whiteface and Esther.  We both needed these peaks for our winter 46, so we joined forces for the day (along with my dog Rev). 
It turned out be be quite a nice day.  It was 28 degrees Fahrenheit at the start and the finish.  Trail Boss said the temp on the summit of Whiteface was 15 degrees.  There was almost no wind.
The warm weather from the previous week was gone and the snow is now quite frozen and crunchy.  I wore my snowshoes and had no problem.  They were loud, but they worked fine.  
At the start, it was still partially overcast.  We started from the Atmospheric Sciences Research Center (ASRC) at a brisk pace and traveled the .9 miles to Marble Mountain in 30 minutes.  After an hour and 15 minutes we were at the trail junction for Esther.  We chose Esther first, hoping that the summit of Whiteface would clear by the time we got there.  30 minutes down the Esther herd path and we were on the summit. 

Mike and Rev on the summit of Esther

Whiteface was still in the clouds.  We stopped briefly on Esther for a snack before continuing on. 

We reached the Whiteface Memorial Highway and had a good vantage point to see snowmaking operations down below at Whiteface Mountain Ski Area.  The snow guns were blasting.  Once at the auto road, we chose to walk the road to the summit. 

Whiteface Mountain Ski Area down below

The snow guns were going in full force

Rev's getting a snow beard!
Taras enjoying the view of Lake Placid
Lake Placid
Once on the summit, we took our pictures at the summit sign and continued snapping pictures from every angle.  Blue sky could be seen to the north, while it was still somewhat cloudy to the south.  We enjoyed the fact that there was almost no wind on the summit! 
Taras on the summit of Whiteface

Mike & Rev on the summit
Looking north from Whiteface
We only saw 2 hikers during the day.  They reached the summit of Whiteface shortly after we did, and we all had a nice chat.

The summit structures amidst an interesting sky
We had reached the summit of Whiteface in 3 hours from the car, and we stayed on the summit for probably 20 minutes.  We had some more snacks and then descended along the ridge trail back to the auto road and then retraced the trail back to Marble Mountain and down. 
Taras set a fast pace down (perhaps trying to show Rev who was boss).  It didn't work.  Rev came out on top.  It was fun to trot down the trail, although I broke a snowshoe strap, and a second one is hanging by a thread.



At 5 hours and 15 minutes from our start we were back at the car.  The sunshine continued to increase as the day went on, and we both had an enjoyable day.  Thanks Taras for letting me join you on this hike.  I enjoyed your company.
Hike Stats:
Hike Distance:  ~ 10 miles
Hike Time:  5 hours, 15 minutes, including stopping time
Total Vertical Gain:  ~ 3590'

My 4/20/12 early spring trip report from this route can be seen here.
Our route shown in blue

A close up view of our route 

No comments:

Post a Comment