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Minus 12/12 hours: The Sewards in two Days with Donna, Fiddlehead and Heather

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  • Minus 12/12 hours: The Sewards in two Days with Donna, Fiddlehead and Heather

    Originally we (accompanying Donna as she comes close to finishing her W 111!!) were going to camp one night to do all 4 Sewards, but with temps forecast for minus 10-20 we decided that would be unwise. It was already unwise to hike on Friday as our starting temp was minus 14 and the ending temp was about minus 11. We were the only car in the Corey’s lot and the only group all day in the entire Seward Range. We were on the trail by 6:30am. It was cold enough that it was one of the few times I had trouble regulating my temperature and overheated a bit but then was chilled. Not to mention my stomach issues – not great timing as it’s no fun in weather that cold to have to use the outdoors and your outhouse. I went through 4 mitten liners/mittens to get things right. The most challenging part was staying warm enough for the 12 hours it took us. I forgot how tough this hike is. Not so bad up to the ridge (although I felt unwell for the first 4 hours with stomach issues and nausea) but then breaking the trail up to Seward was tough. You go down, down down and then up even more than you went down. That last section is just brutal to get up Seward. Honestly, it’s just not my favorite mountain in the ADK. Because it was extremely cold, we took a few quick photos and headed back down. At least the climb back up wasn’t as bad as the hike up Seward. Breaking trail up was a lot of work but now it’s easy for anyone who wants to hike the Sewards.
    Donaldson was easy enough and then the longer than it seems hike to Emmons and back. Someone had gone to the right and not made the summit of Emmons – we followed that track and walked around for a bit before backtracking and finding the real trail to the LEFT. The hike back seemed like a death march - we got back to the car almost exactly 12 hours later. Challenging in every way – tons of blowdown that requires belly down in deep snow, the extreme cold all day, deep deep snow (always falling off and getting between your back and backpack) no breaks, trailbreaking and a bit of trailfinding. Thanks to Heather and Fiddlehead for tremendous trail breaking efforts and amazing energy. They both had to miss day 2. Donna and I questioned our sanity as we were wiped out last night…
    We got up at 5am and decided we’d start Seymour and see how we felt. Alas, Donna felt as sick stomach wise as I had the previous day. Starting temp was minus 12 but unlike yesterday, it warmed up to minus 3 or so which felt a lot better than minus 12 or lower. Later, halfway up Seymour, it was 10-15 degrees and we felt giddy – it was almost tropical compared to yesterday. We walked slowly to Blueberry and Ward Brook – 3 hours later, we were at the base of Seymour. No one has been up the herdpath to Seward from this side. We met a group of guys in the parking lot who were planning to come up this way but once we told them we had broken our Seward yesterday, they headed up Caulkins instead which I’m sure was not as bad as yesterday.
    Luckily Hear the Footsteps (great to meet you!) and his buddies were heading up so we let them zoom ahead. Congrats on finishing round 10 (was it Truck something? A forum lurker)– who-hoooo!). We joined with Adam (great to hike with you) and headed up Seymour slow/steady. Man, that mountain is STEEP – 2000+ in about 1.7 miles (anyone know the exact mileage?) On tired legs, we did not set the speed record – the ascent took us 2 hours and a bit while the descent (wow – then you REALLY notice how much you went up!) only took an hour and 25 minutes. It’s so steep that we downclimbed almost the whole top part. Nice sticky snow though so perfect with snowshoes both days – no other traction needed.
    We made it back faster than in the morning getting back to the car in just under 10 hours. We weren’t even sure we’d make it as Donna was unwell and I was pretty wiped out. For some reason, I had a surge of energy going up Seymour so picked up speed near the top. 4th time was the charm- it’s been raining/sleeting or hot/muddy every other time. This time it was beautiful and the “warmer” temps had us feeling comfortable rather than on the edge all day. Including breaks, we made it back in 9:45 hours – not bad after doing S-D-E yesterday.
    46R (#7146) ADK, 46W
    48 (NH 4000) + winter
    NE 115 (#706)
    NE Winter 115 (#82)

  • #2
    Hi again,

    Nice meeting you all on the trail and great job with the Sewards and the whole range.

    I was with Claudia and Denise (Trek4DM). Denise is working on a Grid and needed Seymour for her Grid and to also complete a 10th round. I think Claudia and I have done three of Denise's finishes there.

    I have distance to Seymour from the road at about 1-1/2 miles. At the steepest and still an average it climbs at 2000 ft./mile for a little over a 1/3 mile.

    I had just read up on Seymour in "The Adirondack high peaks and the Forty-sixers" (1970) that Colvin climbed Seymour by a mistake in navigation intending to climb Seward and then managed to climb Seward traversing the Ouluska.

    You may have noticed some tracks off trail. Claudia and I stepped off to climb and descend the Seymour Slide. It was very nice with not too deep snow. Worth doing in the winter or in August when the rock is very dry.

    A link to the brief slide climbing report
    http://www.adkhighpeaks.com/forums/f...slide-12-30-17

    Don
    Last edited by Hear the Footsteps; 12-31-2017, 12:26 PM.

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    • #3
      Hey Don- that's funny - we had that same glare yesterday! I thought you were going to that look out but it was hard to remember where that was with all the snow! Man, no wonder my legs hurt - that is quite a climb. I noticed it on the way down because I ended up downclimbing virtually all the steep parts. Blowdown made that even more fun! for some reason I can't post most of my photos as it says the files are too large- I have a great one of the "sun" glow right behind the Seymour sign
      46R (#7146) ADK, 46W
      48 (NH 4000) + winter
      NE 115 (#706)
      NE Winter 115 (#82)

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Aspiring HP Queen View Post
        Hey Don- that's funny - we had that same glare yesterday! I thought you were going to that look out but it was hard to remember where that was with all the snow! Man, no wonder my legs hurt - that is quite a climb. I noticed it on the way down because I ended up downclimbing virtually all the steep parts. Blowdown made that even more fun! for some reason I can't post most of my photos as it says the files are too large- I have a great one of the "sun" glow right behind the Seymour sign
        Yes the sign had an Aura. I didn't think of what to call it earlier.

        Don

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