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Esther and Whiteface, 21 Nov. 2015

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  • Esther and Whiteface, 21 Nov. 2015

    This past weekend I needed some mountain therapy so I drove up to the Dacks. On Saturday I climbed Esther and Whiteface for the first time since my NE111 finish there in 2013.

    I once again went up from the Marble Mtn. Road trailhead near the Atmospheric Research Station. The weather was fine for November, and being stick season I could see glimpses of mountains even when I was in the woods. The main difficulty was the ice. Starting not too high up there was a lot of ice on the trail. Unfortunately, there was also a lot of non-ice, so for most of the hike it didn't make sense to put on traction. It just made it kind of slow going, since I always had to be careful about foot placement.

    This trail climbs steeply up and old ski run, and then is relatively gentle for a while. Before long I got to the Esther herd path, which I took.

    By this time there was a dusting of snow on the ground. After summiting Esther, I returned to the main trail which then goes fairly steeply up Whiteface. Somewhere around here I met forum member Pathgrinder, who recognized me when we had hiked together in the Catskills a few years ago. He was one of about a half dozen other hikers I met on my way up.

    Once I got past where the trail almost meets the road the ice got bad enough to put on the microspikes for a while, but then I took them off near the top where it was mostly bare rock. The summit building is closed now, but I hung around the summit area for a while, enjoying the views I didn't have my first time up there.

    Since I had started kind of late (because working on Friday) and negotiating the ice had slowed me down I decided to descend via the road. I'm not a fan of roadwalks, but I'm also not a fan on picking my way around ice in the dark. It was a little hard on the feet, but the roadwalk was mostly nice.

    It got dark around when I reached the gate. I was putting on my headlamp soon after then when a woman, a boy, and a girl caught up with me. They had had the same idea of descending by the road to avoid the ice, but they had parked at the other trailhead, further down the road. So I gave them a ride from my trailhead to theirs. Then I drove to Tmax-n-Topo's Hostel for the night.

    I've been redoing the Northeast 111 in my 60s, having done them previously in my 50s, and Esther and Whiteface were numbers 25 and 26 in that effort.

    Here are the pictures.



    NE111 in my 50s: 115/115 (67/67, 46/46, 2/2)
    NE111 in my 60s: 27/115 (19/67, 8/46, 0/2)
    NEFF: 50/50; Cat35: 39/39; WNH4K: 36/48; NEHH 81/100
    LT NB 2009

    "I don't much care where [I get to] --" said Alice, "-- so long as I get somewhere," ...
    "Oh, you're sure to do that," said the Cat, "if you only walk long enough."
    - Lewis Carroll

  • #2
    Nice to see you up there, Cumulus! It was certainly a comfortable day for November. That Catskill hike up to Friday & Balsam Cap you referred to was back in December of 2012 so, it’s been a while. Coincidentally, I met Zero-G coming off of Redfield a couple of months ago who was also on the Friday/BC hike. Like Saturday, Connie was with me so two Catskill gridders came face to face in the Adirondacks that day!

    Good luck with your post-60 NE111 quest!
    Limped thru the Northeast 115...