Epic MLK Weekend in the Adirondacks with Eric Stevenson and Jessica Delo-Novelli
Due to the impending snowstorm we looked at multiple options and decided to hike Street & Nye upon arrival making it a Full Moon summit.
Street & Nye’s trail was in great condition. We made great time to the summits and returned back to the car, although late (midnight), we beat the storm by a few hours.
We slept in and woke to somewhat heavy and blowing snow. About 6-8in would fall in total, nothing like Buffalo! We had breakfast and decided on Catamount, one of the Lake Placid 9ers (LP9ers). Eric heard there is a cool chimney to climb. It was a much harder 3.6 miles than we expected with the snowstorm, but this was an amazing mountain. It featured everything you would want in an ADK mountain; exposed slabs, steep bouldering, a false summit with great views of the summit (ala Haystack or Colden), and a chimney. I felt more comfortable with an ice axe in my hand to give you a perspective on the climb.
We got lucky on Tuesday and followed the plow to the Upper Works trailhead. To our dismay, the trail was not broken and had a fresh 8in. of snow. We geared up for a long day, 18 miles round trip and some serious climbing once we hit Allen. We enjoyed the suspension bridge over the Hudson River, very Indiana Jones like. We made great time (over 2mph) to the base of the mountain despite having break trail and navigate the trailless portion. Then the fun began. Eric took the lead until we hit the slide. He broke trail in 2ft+ up Allen Brook, navigating by feel for the previously established trail. If you were off by a little bit, it meant falling into thigh deep snow.
When we go to higher elevations, the snow was waist deep in some sections. Needless to say, our pace was glacier at best. We had to kick our boots in several times to gain purchase. And I forgot to mention it was 10 degrees at the trailhead and would drop to -2 over the course of the day. The mountain was cold. But we persevered and made the summit. Looking at our data it took us 3.5 hours to climb 2000′ in 1.3 miles, the last 500′ took about an hour. Because of the cold and our slow pace, we took a few pictures, refueled and boogied down the mountain. We kept a good pace back to the trailhead now that the trail was broken. And believe it or not, our fastest mile was our last. Thanks to Jess being our support at the trailhead. It was great to come back to a warm car and pizza.
Allen is a dog. It is a long hike to get to and a formidable mountain to climb. I have done it twice, once in the fall and now in the winter. This is Winter 46er #45 for me. One more to go, Gothics.