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A W46 finish atop Basin - finally!

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  • A W46 finish atop Basin - finally!

    After four previous attempts, on Sunday, February 10, we finally summited Basin for my winter 46 finish.

    Kim (Skittles), Andy (Kracken) and I left the Garden Trailhead at 7:20 under sunny skies and 10-degree temps. Having spent last weekend at JBL, the conditions had changed dramatically. Most of the stream crossings now had flowing water, and while crossable, required some care. The trail was rock hard and microspikes carried us quickly all the way to Slant Rock by 10:30. Skies were remaining blue and it was amazing how warm 15 degrees could now feel.

    We donned our snowshoes and headed towards Shorey Shortcut. The "Shortcut" was made somewhat easier by the fact we packed it out last weekend with a team of 5. What took three hours kicking through 2 feet of loose powder and endless route finding, took less than an hour yesterday. Some snow had blown in near the top, but we made quick time.

    A much-needed stop for lunch at the intersection of the Range Trail and Shorey Shortcut and we set off for the ".7" miles to the summit. No sign of fresh tracks and some possible trail breaking awaited. Last week our team lost the trail just above the first ledge on Basin and had to abort. We discovered our miscue quickly thanks to lower snow cover and better visibility.

    The ladder posed its own challenges. Completely covered in ice flow, with more ice above, we switched to crampons. Using my ax, I was able to make it above the lower ledge and worked around to the left. Skittles and Kracken found another workaround to the right through some scrub. Above the ladder, the trail was a mix of ice and hard packed crust. Safer, but still very steep and slow going. Once above the slide, we remained in crampons and found the snow consolidated and mostly easy going, unlike last weekend. Still, some route finding was needed, although by now we could proceed in the general direction of the summit. Although we remained on top of the crust, spruce traps lay in wait and swallowed us from time to time.

    At just after 2:00, we summited! W46 at last. Winds were minimal and views were optimal. Some celebratory scotch and gummies capped off a perfect day, thus far. A cautious decent through the slide and final ledge, although I lost my purchase on the final ledge and slid approximately 10 feet. Basin took her final toll on me - a snapped pole. My beloved Leki pole, with me for almost 15 years, the Long Trail, all 46 ADK peaks and most every other peak in New England. Worse was hiking out with one pole and negotiating the descent on Shorey.

    The long walk out started under fading light and very little talk. A stop at now dark JBL to don our headlamps. The zombie march proceeded, mostly quiet, until 7:20 and the return to the Garden. Nearly 12 hours roundtrip, 18 miles, and one very elusive summit.
    Dropbox is a free service that lets you bring your photos, docs, and videos anywhere and share them easily. Never email yourself a file again!
    Redtail
    LT 06
    46x46

  • #2
    Thanks for sharing to story of your last peak--the ones that make us work harder are always more memorable. Congratulations on your Winter finish!
    46/46, 13/46w "I only went out for a walk, and concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in." John Muir

    Comment


    • Redtail
      Redtail commented
      Editing a comment
      Thank you. As Grace H would say, "The Mountains will wait." Many times, that echoed through my head when we turned around short of the summit. Not this time.

  • #3
    Congrats! This is quite an accomplishment.

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    • #4
      Congratulations!
      ADK 46/46W + MacNaughton, Grid 266/552
      Photos & Stuff

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      • #5
        Congratulations! That is the most ice I have ever seen around the ladder.

        Comment


        • Redtail
          Redtail commented
          Editing a comment
          Thanks Joe! We turned around at that same point last year with similar ice - it looked like a bobsled track - although last year you could actually still climb the ladder.

      • #6
        Congratulations!
        If by chance some day you're not feeling well and you should remember some silly thing I've said or done and it brings back a smile to your face or a chuckle to your heart, then my purpose as your clown has been fulfilled ~ Red Skelton

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        • #7
          Congratulations!
          Looking for Views!

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          • #8
            Congratulations.
            Don

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            • #9
              Congratulations! Nice work!!

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              • #10
                Congratulations

                Comment


                • #11
                  Congratulations...well done!
                  Never look down on anybody unless you're helping him up. ~Jesse Jackson

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                  • #12
                    Awesome!!! Congratulations.

                    Comment


                    • #13
                      Congratulations! Way to keep after it.
                      104/115

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                      • #14
                        Congratulations!

                        Comment


                        • #15
                          Congratulations! Hardest one? 18 miles sounds like Allen.
                          I might be kidding...

                          Comment


                          • Redtail
                            Redtail commented
                            Editing a comment
                            Thank you! Not sure Basin was the hardest one - getting above the ladder and the ice flow was the crux. Other than that is was just distance and effort. Weather conditions were perfect. Persistence is key to summiting every peak.

                            The Sewards were likely the biggest chore - two nights at Ward Brook in subzero temps and breaking trail all day with zero visibility.

                            All in all, each peak was memorable in its own way.
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