Lake George

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

Monday, February 18, 2013

Santanoni Peak - 2/17/13

Sunday was a makeup hike from the previous Sunday when I only grabbed 2 of the 3 Santanoni Range (Couchsachraga and Panther) due to the search for my dog.  Leesa, Rev and I got on the trail at 8:30.  No need for an early start since we were only doing the one peak.

It was sunny, but cold, with temps in the single digits.  It was also windy, but the hike to Santanoni is mostly a sheltered hike in the trees.

We thought about trying to ascend via the Santanoni Express herd path, but the normal entrance had not been broken out, and the tracks just to the north were uncertain as to where they went.  We chose to hike to Bradley Pond and ascend via the Panther Brook herd path.

It much had changed since the previous Sunday when we had taken this trail, other than the fact that the trail is now much more packed down.  The base is now very firm and it was an easy walk to Times Square where we saw our first hikers of the day.  These 3 people were part of a group of 11.  They were hiking all 3 of the Santanoni Range, and they were headed for Couchsachraga at the moment. 

Algonquin and Iroquois in the distance

We continued on towards Santanoni.  Midway, we passed a pair of women on their way down.  They had also climbed just Santanoni on this day.  They did not attempt the Santanoni Express trail for the descent.

The MacIntyre Range and Mount Colden

Near the summit of Santanoni

Looking back at Panther Mountain as Leesa climbs behind me

The MacIntyres, Colden and Marcy

We finished the walk on the ridge and reached the summit at perhaps 12:30 or so.  It was windy, but not as bad as I thought it was going to be.

Leesa on the summit of Santanoni

Mike on the summit

After leaving the summit, we intended to descend via the Express (New/Old) trail.  While the snow had erased the snowshoe track to the herd path entrance, we found it and began our way down.  We went about a quarter mile the the track became windblown again.  I spent a couple minutes stepping around trying to find the firm base below the windblown snow.

I wasn't finding it as fast as I had hoped and Leesa was getting cold.  I didn't want to bushwhack down the mountain with Leesa and Rev and have to dig them out of spruce traps.  I decided we would climb back up to the ridge and go out the way we came.

I find it proved to be the right decision, under the circumstances and we had no problem after that point.  We made it back to the car about 4:30 PM.

The winter Santanoni Range is now complete for me and I have 27 winter peaks done.

Hike Stats:
Hike Distance: ~ 14 miles
Hike Time:  8 hours
Total Vertical Gain: ~3600'

No comments:

Post a Comment