Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Slide, Cornell, Wittenberg & back

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Slide, Cornell, Wittenberg & back

    Purification by pain. That would be a good title for this hike. Actually wasn't horrendous until we had to re climb Slide from the steep side again. More on that later....

    sunday. Snowed on us 90% of time. Sometimes hard, sometimes flurries. Always snowing. Sometimes windy. Sometimes not. Left my house by 5am to meet with my buddy, the other half of our team. A team of 2. Start walking at 8am from 47 trailhead. One other car. One pulled in. And us. Difficult stream crossing in beginning but we managed. Other lone woman from car that pulled in had trouble crossing. I thought she was already ahead of us, but then I heard yelling from upstream about where to cross. Eventually she did. We chatted a little as we hiked but then pulled ahead of her. She was only out for Slide.

    Microspikes for me. Steel crampons for partner to Slide summit. Everybody knows that's an easy climb to Slide from 47. Very windy going up Slide. Snowing heavy on top. We met 2 guys who overnighted on other side of
    Slide, I guess below 3500 sign. They warned us about deep snow and sketchy sections. They also didn't think we could make Wittenberg and back by dark. My buddy responded about the dark not being a concern. They were going headed back to 47. So that's it. We knew it would just be us. Now the fun begins. Snowing and blowing hard we changed into snowshoes just below the plaque. Tubbs Mountaineers 30".

    heading down, some areas there with deep snow, steep drop offs, and absolute care and attention required. The log ladder was buried. We had to turn around on all 4s. Belly to the ladder or where it should have been. Jam our gloved hands into snow and slide down carefully. Controlled falling w snowshoes on. We would employ this technique more than once on some steeps on that side of Slide. Drifted snow. Powder. Mashed potatoes. Sometimes with a hard crust. Sometimes not. Mixed snow conditions all day, but always snowshoe worthy. Except for the climb from 47.

    eventually down all these steeps and into the wild and wooly col between Slide & Cornell. Beauty all around! We were having a great time, but also knew the type of day we were staring at bc we would have to come back! Breaking trail almost all day. Was fun and not too grueling but still hard work for a 2 man team that are only in semi Winter hiking shape. Plus we knew we had 12 miles and a lot of up and down if we chose to go all the way to the Witt.

    one tough spot going up Cornell where that icy rock juts out. It's hard to get up w snowshoes on and hard to squeeze between but we prevailed with a little teamwork. You prob know where I mean.

    on Cornell summit we needed calories and it was decision time. We broke out our new 4 person bothy bag and got in it. The 2 of us with our gear minus the snowshoes and poles. I have a 2 person bothy bag which is really more like a solo bag, especially if you want to bring your packs inside. A bothy bag is basically a tent with no poles. Can be used for a winter hike when you need to get out of cold and eat something or whatever. Or emergency. Your own body heat will make it toasty but also can get moist. Should have vents sewn in. From what I understand it's more popular in European mountaineering than America. But who knows. Maybe everybody here knows about them and I'm wasting my time. But there it is. Bothy bag. They are pretty neat.

    so we sat inside for 20 minutes and stuffed our face with Soppressata and sharp cheddar cheese. Craving the protein and fat. Both trying to finish our winter rounds this year, we know we didn't want to come back for just Wittenberg. So we decided to go. We knew it was close to Cornell but we also have to deal with the Crack. The crack was snowed in, untouched and hairy. We had no rope or anything and it looked sketchy. We looked for a work around to the left and found it. Although that was pretty damn sketchy too. Had to reverse downclimb that too. We crossed paths with one other nice guy who started from WV and was out for Witt and corn. He was the 4th and final person we would see for the day.

    Began the march back which was beautiful but we were getting more and more tired. My buddy was having some asthma trouble which he never really had that bad in 10 years of hiking together. He thought his inhaler was frozen or broke bc he used it 7 or 8 times and it didn't do anything. He said it was like hiking with a plastic bag on his head. I don't how the hell he finished but he did.

    standing at the base of slide we were near spent. All our tracks had been snowed, blown in and disappeared. Like nobody was there. Wind picked up again. Was getting darker. We knew we had at least 600 feet of probably the toughest terrain and most snow on the day's hike on this side of Slide. We began climbing. Marching. Breathing hard. Kicking steps in some areas. Then I saw the 3500 sign which I swore I passed, but didn't. It was demoralizing bc I knew I had 600 to go and I was gassed. Spent or just about. I was taking breaks every 10 steps. It was a slog. I knew we would complete but I knew it would be awhile. Climbing the steeps that we backwards slid hours earlier. Took every ounce of my will. I wanted to see that ladder area. Although it would be painful I knew it would signify the almost end of climbing. Eventually I hit it and fought my way up tooth and nail. Sliding backwards a few times in the powder eventually I was up the invisible, buried log ladder. Some more climbing after that I had forgot about, which tortured me. Then the plaque. Prob snowed 3 new inches since the morning. Maybe more. Snowshoes on the descent for awhile then microspikes and headlamps. Zombie walk in the dark to the car and done at 6:30.

    10.5 hour hike. We did it.
    we de-geared and drank a cold beer in the dark in the parking lot. It tasted delicious. Sitting there on a bench we brought. It was a day. We left at 7:30. Late fast food dinner in Kingston. I walked in my house 10:30 at night. God bless my wife for watching the kids. I was gone for 18 hours. 3 peaks left for me on the Winter round. We earned this one. Made the last 3 trips to Rusk, Lone & Rocky, and Fir seem like a joke. A painful, but magical day.
    Last edited by Nivek; 01-29-2019, 12:11 AM.
    Catskills: 39/39, 35W/35W
    ADK: 46/46

  • #2
    Great TR! I have a bothy (2 person) - picked it up in my travels in scotland. I haven't used it yet, but I have been carrying it. I think you just inspired me to use it soon
    46/46 as of August 1st, 2014!

    Comment


    • Nivek
      Nivek commented
      Editing a comment
      Thanks for reading. I actually had to post it and then go back to edit to finish the story bc my iPad was acting up, but now it's all there I think. Thanks.

    • YanaLG
      YanaLG commented
      Editing a comment
      Yes! I was wondering about the trip back but I used my imagination. after reading your last 3 paragraphs, I realized that my imagination was not as vivid. Yikes. you guys really earned it! great job!

  • #3
    Wow, an excellent read! Felt like I was right there with you. Breaking trail on that route is tough; nicely done.
    We don't stop playing because we get old; we get old because we stop playing ~ Satchel Paige

    Comment


    • Nivek
      Nivek commented
      Editing a comment
      Thanks Debmonster. Appreciate it. Was a fun day. We are addicted to torture! My legs are still baked

  • #4
    Now that's a 5-mountain hike! Only 3 peaks to go. Wow, you took this serious. I have 27 to go.
    I might be kidding...

    Comment


    • CatskillKev
      CatskillKev commented
      Editing a comment
      Oh, sorry about that. I was thinking last spring that you mentioned doing them all this winter, but it may not have been you, or I may have misunderstood back then, too.

    • moosebeware
      moosebeware commented
      Editing a comment
      @CatskillKev....the SSW was me.

    • CatskillKev
      CatskillKev commented
      Editing a comment
      No, moosebeware, I knew of you, but I thought there was another. How's yours going?

  • #5
    You had an epic! Getting to The Wittenberg was the easy part. So many underestimate this area and are so ill prepared they need help, but it seems you were well prepared for this. Did you have your oil cans and chairs? I saw a rab bothy this week end for the first time, I believe it had vent tubes. It weighs less than my mylar bivy emergency bag( which I have deployed twice in emergencies) it is on my list of equipment to get. I always read your reports in case I need that peak, you do a great job breaking trail for me

    Comment


    • Nivek
      Nivek commented
      Editing a comment
      Getting to the Witt is the easy part! Unlike others, I knew this. Re climbing Slide was the crux of the day. I knew this when I was jamming my fists into the mountain and sliding in my snowshoes backwards down the steeps. No oil cans and chairs. I knew better. This was a real winter hike. Not a dusting. We did have a 16 oz Polish beer each at the car called Tyskie. Went down the hatch without a fight.

      Yes, Rab makes bothy bags. I think my buddy's bag was called Summit bothy 4 by Summitgear.co.uk. The bothy bag I own is by Terra Nova Equipment, another UK company, called Superlite 2 person bothy bag. You can fit 2 people without gear but boy is it tight. You're like nose to nose. I consider it a solo bag, especially for broad shouldered American boys! Brooks Range Mountaineering used to make them, but that company recently folded. Many companies usually make 2 versions, regular or ultralight. Ultralight being more expensive. Usually come in like 2, 4, 6, 8, 10 person varieties. Maybe 20.

      No problem on the trail breaking. We love to help others, have fun up there, and punish ourselves physically. My Tracks are probably gone, but maybe firm underfoot. After tonight, it might not matter. I saw 8-14" in Seager. Sweet! Thanks and take care.
      Last edited by Nivek; 01-29-2019, 11:06 PM.

  • #6
    Great trip.

    Climbed Slide today (1-29). No indication you'd been there

    Don

    Comment


    • Nivek
      Nivek commented
      Editing a comment
      Thanks Don. Always nice to hear from you. You climbed from 47?

    • Hear the Footsteps
      Hear the Footsteps commented
      Editing a comment
      Yeah climbed from 47. Was looking for something quick in order to beat the weather yesterday.

  • #7
    Wow, great report and great adventure! You guys definitely were prepared physically and mentally. The only thing I would have done differently... soppressata and aged provolone instead of cheddar. Excellent job!
    And because of all their tears
    Their eyes can't hope to see
    The beauty that surrounds them
    Isn't it a pity
    -George Harrison

    Comment


    • Nivek
      Nivek commented
      Editing a comment
      Thanks for the kind words and all the great photos you leave on your trip reports. I should prob bother to learn how leave pictures, but I'm half stubborn and half lazy. After writing the report, I'm usually done. Need to put the IPad down, ya know.... Take it easy.

      I'll get some aged provolone for sure, but when I'm that hungry, I could eat anything and call it gourmet!

  • #8
    Thanks Nivek. A few pics is all that's missing from your great reports. I get getting away from the computer too. Keep having fun, gourmet meals and all!
    And because of all their tears
    Their eyes can't hope to see
    The beauty that surrounds them
    Isn't it a pity
    -George Harrison

    Comment


    • #9
      Nicely written adventure story. Gotta wonder why you guys didn't park at opposite trailheads and do a key swap? It would have undoubtedly saved a few hours.

      Comment


      • Nivek
        Nivek commented
        Editing a comment
        Key swap with who? Each other? We did talk about driving 2 cars and finishing at Woodland Valley. Although we didn't. One reason is we have a 2 hour car ride and prefer each other's company when hammering out the boring drive up the thruway we've done countless times. The other reason is we prefer to do everything the hard way bc we are gluttons for punishment. And I guess, the challenge of it.

    • #10
      Nice hike, man. I've read of bothy bags but don't know anyone who uses one. I would be interested in your continued reviewing in different conditions (winter only, obv.); how moist are we talking?

      Sunday was a great day to be out, we went up Plateau and Sugaloaf with a ridiculously late start just before noon. Nice night to be out, too!

      This weekend looks even better!

      Comment


      • Nivek
        Nivek commented
        Editing a comment
        Thanks, dude. Yes, Sunday was a great day. This weekend looks great, unfortunately I have engagements Saturday and Sunday that I have to attend. So no hiking this weekend. With 2 young kids I'm lucky I get out at all. My wife is a Saint. Please leave a report. I'd love to hear about the snow amounts.

        Bothy bags have vents. They tend to come in different "vent configurations" from the few companies that make them. Some have one vent. Some have 3, etc.

        The vents on this new 4 person bag my buddy bought has Velcro closures. It was our first time using this new bag. We didn't give it a dry run at home and we admittedly, didn't open them, which we probably should have.....

        My 2 person bothy bag by Terra Nova Equipment has a stuff sack that is the vent if I remember correctly, meaning the stuff has a mesh/netted bottom that serves as the opening. I never used it hiking but have sat on my screen porch in it when it was 10 degrees...... In a tshirt, shorts and socks. Yes, we were perfectly warm. Yes, we were drinking beer. It worked. Bc when we came out that day on my porch, we couldn't believe how cold it was outside the bag.

        The problem with a 2 person bothy bag, much like real tent ratings, is its so friggin tight. You are sitting nose to nose and almost in each other's laps. I consider it a solo bag now.

        We haven't owned them that long but will continue to use them on "colder" winter hikes. We like it. Next time we'll open Velcro vents. When it's 2 of us with gear, we'll use the 4 person. If it's 3 of us, we will prob bring the 6-8 person one. Gotta round up if you want to be comfortable in there.

        Hope that helps some more.
    Working...
    X