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Backcountry nights next weekend.

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  • Backcountry nights next weekend.

    Looking to do some backpacking with a friend next weekend. Both of us have plenty of hiking and backpacking experience in both summer and winter, but only limited in this slush season. 3 options we're looking at now:
    1- UW through Indian pass to marcy dam, out through avalanche pass to opalescent pass and back to UW
    2- Elk lake to panther gorge, out to upper ausable and up ridge to Blake and Colvin, then back to elk lake via pinnacle.
    3- upper works to Henderson lake, out along north side of cold brook valley, camp at shattuck clearing, back along southern trail and drop into bradley pond, then back to santanoni gate and UW.
    Expecting snow and melt but wondering if people with more experience could weigh in. Except for the possibility of blake and colvin we really wouldn't be spending much time at elevation, sticking to valleys and such. Thanks in advance for any info/advice.

  • #2
    I like #2....going up C&B will be tough with full packs, but would be a terrific adventure. The PG trail from Elk will be a swamp this time of year, though the others would be wet, too. The trail north of Bradley Pond is awful, and the BP leanto (and privy) was a dump the last time I was there (5 yrs ago). Don't know if that has improved.

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    • sullivanlandino
      sullivanlandino commented
      Editing a comment
      Thanks for the reply! Definitely expecting some brutally wet conditions. I don't wanna do any damage, but I also need my fix of wilderness y'know? Recently went by the bradley pond lean to last summer, didn't seem too bad to me, but that was just a quick passing by. Maybe i'll just have to wear some hip waders for this hike!

  • #3
    I've done #1 and 2 as (summer) backpack trips and I'd vote for #1. Spectacular scenery! Not sure if water crossings will be an issue. Fun note: a friend calls this route "don't pass on the two passes."
    We don't stop playing because we get old; we get old because we stop playing ~ Satchel Paige

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    • #4
      Originally posted by sullivanlandino View Post
      ...
      1- UW through Indian pass to marcy dam, out through avalanche pass to opalescent pass and back to UW
      2- Elk lake to panther gorge, out to upper ausable and up ridge to Blake and Colvin, then back to elk lake via pinnacle.
      3- upper works to Henderson lake, out along north side of cold brook valley, camp at shattuck clearing, back along southern trail and drop into bradley pond, then back to santanoni gate and UW.
      ​Funnily enough, even though you're sticking to "valleys", you've managed to pick three routes that either contain stretches of godforsaken trail or refuse to give up on winter.

      ​#1: Indian Pass holds on to its snow and ice 4-ever ... then the stretch north of the pass, up to Scotts Pond, runs in or beside the brook (and all that that implies).

      ​#2: A soggy trek through Marcy Swamp (hopefully the renovated bridge survived the winter; let us know if not). The trail south of Blake sees next to zero traffic all winter so you may be the first to discover whatever winter wrought.

      ​#3: As a hobby, I update the High Peaks area of OpenStreetMap. I can't find any GPS tracks for the stretch from Duck Hole to Bradley Pond. If you travel with a GPS, please send me a tracklog of this trail ... after you've recovered from Trench Foot. 'nuf said.

      Looking for Views!

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      • #5
        This is not the time of year to head places where no one generally goes in winter. Those trails will have unconsolidated snow, and who knows how much, and anything at lower elevations will be slushy, wet, if not a lake. You'll get your fair share of wilderness experience even heading into the High Peaks via traditional routes. Everything is coming apart.
        #8335W, Solo 46W
        Four Season 31/46
        46 Grid 256/552
        NE 111 113/115


        One list may be done, but the journey is far from over...
        Half Dome, 2009

        Comment


        • sullivanlandino
          sullivanlandino commented
          Editing a comment
          Would say all three of these routes fall into that category? I would certainly rule out #2 over the west side of Blake, but are the other two that treacherous so as to warrant complete avoidance? Any alternative suggestions?

      • #6
        In case you are still looking for a route, I did a loop around the Sewards this past Sat-Sun. There was no snow and the trails were reasonably dry for the most part but with no shortage of mud and water. I wore Tingley rubber overboots on top of my trail runners and was glad to have them. Note that a lot of my route was on road beds (Calkins and Ward Brook) but the trailed portions (NPT and Blueberry footpath) were very acceptable. The only (very) sour note was 2-3 feet of snow to the east of Seymour into which I post-holed miserably for about 45-60 minutes.

        I did a loop from Averyville to the Loj last spring (mid-May) and the Calamity brook trail was badly flooded and there was ice around Flowed Lands (people were wearing spikes but I was OK with Tingleys).
        1111111111

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        • sullivanlandino
          sullivanlandino commented
          Editing a comment
          I saw your post about the Seward's yesterday and forgot to ask if you had tracked it at all, sounded interesting! It sounds like, if I read it correctly, you were down in cold brook valley near where my third proposed route would take us. Not looking forward to post-holing but it looks like it was pretty warm up there this week.
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