Lake George

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

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Seymour Mountain - 2/3/13

In planning a hike for this weekend, I really had no decision to make.  I was sure the warm spell during the week had melted all the snow on the Corey Road leading to the summer parking trailhead for the Seward Range.  Having the summer parking accessible for save us 3 miles of road waking (highly desirable).  

Leesa, Rev and I headed out early this morning and got to Corey's at 7:30.  I was right, the road was clear except for 1 inch of fresh powder.  We had no problem driving in with our all- wheel drive car.  We assembled our gear and were  on the trail at 7:50.   

The foot trail from the Corey Road to Blueberry Leanto and Ward Brook Leanto is not very exciting.  It is a 4.8 mile trail that is mostly straight and flat.  At times in the warm weather, it is often wet and muddy.  Fortunately on this day the 3 days of cold weather gave us a mostly frozen trail.

Blueberry Leanto

We made good time on the flat portion of the hike and arrived at Blueberry Leanto in less than 2 hours.  We passed the Ward Brook leanto minutes later and were on the herd path after 2 hours and 15 minutes.

Ward Brook Leanto

The morning was cold, it was zero when we started, but Leesa's concern for the cold disappeared early in the walk.  She was plenty warm, even on the flat and the sunshine was awesome.  Her breath though was freezing on her hair.

The frosty hair didn't bother Leesa

By 9 AM it was beginning to warm up and the frosty hair disappeared.  The sunshine stayed with us all day.  We never saw the snow squalls that were forecast for the afternoon.

Beginning up the Seymour herd path

The Seymour herd path in winter is just as steep as in summer.  No surprise.  What surprised me was the lack of ice.  I was expecting more ice on the trail, but a nice dusting of an inch of snow provided all the traction we needed.  I wore Kahtoola Microspikes and Leesa wore Hillsound Trail Crampons, both with good results.  We had our snowshoes with us, but we never needed them.  

Leesa climbing the herd path

This was Leesa's first visit to Seymour and she was cursing the steepness of the herd path by the time we neared the summit.   It took about 2 hours to make it up.  Leesa was happy that it was sunny and there was no wind.  The upper portion of the mountain was pretty with the fresh snow still in the trees.

Nearing the false summit

One of the steep pitches on the herd path

The  summit of Seymour

We reached the summit right at noon time.  Although the wind was minimal, Leesa only lingered long enough to give Rev a snack and quickly eat her sandwich.  She always gets cold quickly when she stops moving and this summit was no different.  I stayed a little while and snapped some pictures.


The Santanoni Range in the distance 

Rev getting her well earned snack 

Mike on the summit

Seward, Donaldson and Emmons in the distance

As I began to head back I could see Leesa's tracks in the snow, but only back to the false summit.  After that she was butt sliding her way down.  I stayed on my feet and did the Microspike boot shuffle slide.  I was able to catch up to her after a couple minutes.  

Rev beginning the descent

The descent, as usual in winter, was quick.  We made it down the herd path in 50 minutes.  After that, it was the same 4.8 mile walk on the flat back to the car.  We only saw one hiker during the day, and that was while we were descending the herd path.  He was a young man from Keene, NY named Nick.

The total hike on this day took us 7.5 hours.  My summer trip was 6.5 hours.   

Our route shown in blue (click image to enlarge)

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