Saturday, December 14, 2013

Cascade & Porter Mtns 11.30.13 The Love Affair Continues

Summit of Cascade Mountain
View of famous Red Barn in Keene on our way to Cascade-Porter trail-head
 Although not officially a winter 46er climb, we could have advanced the date 30 days on this post and easily convinced ourselves and any reader that we did indeed do a winter climb. The snow though not real deep, (maybe 6" to a foot in spots) featured areas of slick ice and hard crunchy snow mixed in with sandy powder, that convinced Nolan and I the micro-spikes and gators were a good move today. Especially on the way down, as we saw many climbers without them struggling through the icy areas and snow with just boots or trail sneakers. We brought pick axes and snow shoes, but found we did not need these, although Nolan gave the shoes a sporting try between Porter and Cascade. The weather though very cold was quite spectacular because we basked in sunshine for most of the hike. By 2:30pm when we got back to the trail-head it started getting pretty cloudy, so starting out at 8:30 we enjoyed the better part of the climb in sunshine and as a result stayed comfortably warm even though it was only around 17 degrees. Starting fairly early also assured we had the peak summits to ourselves for a period of time as we crossed paths with occasional climbers. By the time we were making the descent off of Cascade around 1:00, we crossed paths with maybe 30 or so climbers working their way up Cascade.

A pretty and enjoyable climb of around 7 miles with no real hardships encountered on these just over 4,000 footers.  Except for frozen water lines on our camel backs, which was not a big problem as we had clear water lines up til we made the 2nd summit which was Porter, we had a thoroughly wonderful climb. Cascade & Porter were our 15th & 16th official Adirondack high peaks this year, and Nolan and I both felt this was a great prep for some of our upcoming winter climbs. Like Cascade & Porter, we climbed Big Slide and Lower Wolf Jaws in early spring snowy wintry conditions. We did do our first official high peak; Giant Mountain in February along with  Snowy Mountain and Blue Mountain in January, which are both Adirondack top 100 highest peaks.

Met and chatted with some really cool hard-core 46er's on Porter Mt. We shared a few adventures, exchanged good tidings and went our separate ways.  I have to admit though, that I was taken aback and dismayed by some other hikers that day. From stressed doggies, to tired children and hikers. Some  labored to clambor up the mountain without spikes or proper gear. Others physical fitness were obviously at play. Cascade is probably one of the heaviest travelled peaks, especially in summer and fall. So, we were glad we were blessed with a beautiful late autumn day, albeit a very cold one,
to enjoy this spectacular pair of mountains! These two mountains and climbs also confirmed the special love and relationship Nolan and I are building with this amazing place called the Adirondack High Peaks.
Whiteface Mountain from Cascade
My trekking Poles & Cairn  atop Cascade Mtn

Nolan beats me to the summit of Cascade
Flyin high atop Cascade
View from Cascade

view of Cascade from Porter Mountain