11-19-2005, 03:55 PM
Went out today with my winter partner, Eric, for a little shakedown before the fast approaching winter season. I tried to talk him into Santanoni and Panther but the best I could get out of him was a trip up Esther. PinPin wrote a report in trail conditions on VFTT which said he didn't use snowshoes or crampons so that meant we could go light. Thanks also to him for removing blowdown yesterday. There are a few trees still down in the trail but easily hurdled. We went up via the old Marble mountain lift line since Eric hadn't been that way before. There was a covering of snow on the ground and patchy ice but easily avoided. There is still water running down the trail and mud in spots sometimes hidden by ice and/or snow. The snow got a little deeper as we climbed and was four or more inches near the top. All of the trees were covered and it was snowing lightly so it felt like winter. Once on Marble Mt. we could hear the snow guns on Whiteface which remained covered in a cloud for the time we were out there. Some tracks showed someone had come up from the resevoir and headed up. The tracks split at the Esther junction and we would later catch the maker of one set near the summit of Esther. We saw two other solo hikers on the way down. Uncovered the plaque on top since there wasn't much else to look at. At times you could see the ski slopes on Whiteface but not the top. It was chilly. Wore a jacket from the begining of the herd path for the rest of the day. Saw several cars at other trailheads and it seemed like many at the Ausable Club public lot. We were out for about 4 hours with about a half hour of that spent at the summit. Clouds seemed to lift a bit as we went down and even more so as we drove home. No one thought I meant Emmons did ya? That's Hard E!