Mount Santanoni

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(Special note to Mom: click on photos for full size images)

This trip turned out to be a bonus. I thought March's trip would be the last one of winter but we squeaked this one in at the last minute. We're becoming old hands when it comes to the nocturnal entry. On this trip we didn't leave Montreal until 8:30 PM and so our hike began at midnight. 

Check out Dominic's backcountry fashion statement. As you can see there was no sign of snow at lower elevations. I was wishing that I had worn shorts.   The trip in was pretty tough due to the three feet of rotten snow that we encountered half-way in. If we stayed right in the middle of the trail the snow was hard packed and we were OK but if we went off by as much as an inch we broke through to our knees. I expended a fair bit of energy getting back up onto the trail. The last half a mile was the worst as we knew we almost there but the trail was more of a muddy stream covered in rotting snow at this point, Between the fatigue (I kept looking at my watch while Dominic kept looking for the turn-off to the lean-to) and the conditions we slowed to a crawl.   We stumbled into the lean-to at 3:00 am which was a little later than I would have cared for. Our first job was to wake everybody up and have them make room for us. The reception we received was so enthusiastic and friendly that I immediately forgot about being tired. The second job was to peel off soaking wet clothes and boots and crawl into our bags and eat our roast beef sandwiches. Sleep came real easy that night except for being awakened by a downpour at 4:00. We all slept in to 9:00 and spent a leisurely morning shooting the breeze and eating breakfast. Dominic cooked this time. Same menu of bacon and eggs as last time.

Here is a shot of a typical Adirondacks lean-to in full usage. Note all the gear strewed about and the clothing hanging everywhere.

By the time we got going it was noon. So much for getting an early start! Check out the hiking trail we came in over. The lean-to is about 500 metres past the turn-off for the climb. To backtrack that portion of the trail we put our snowshoes on at the lean-to and were able to blast along because we didn't sink into the mud. What a beautiful day it was!



Just in case you were wondering, Dominic is able to take pictures. We crossed this brook twice and were too lazy to remove our snowshoes. The snowbank behind me is 3 or 4 feet high and had to be surmounted in order to continue along the trail.

From time to time we ran into terrain that wasn't exactly snowshoe material.









The climb eventually left the obvious trail and we had to bushwhack our way up. These shots were taken on the way down following the trail we made as we went up. Allthough the snowshoes were indispensable, at times the scrubby spruce made them a royal pain in the ass.

This is the only summit shot I took. The mountain to the left of Dominic is the second the highest in the Adirondacks.





Winding down now. Most of the effort is behind us now. Only 5 hours to go!






That's it for the photos of this trip. We got back to the lean-to at about 7:30 and noted that a thin layer of ice was forming on the pools of water. This was good news as it heralded a more solid surface to walk out on. Back at the lean-to we still had to pack up all of our stuff and grab a bite to eat. By the time we got going it had cooled off considerably and it was dark. The walk out to the car took two and a half hours instead of three. We were fairly beat as we'd been going pretty well non-stop for eleven hours. And there was still that long drive home...


Click your way (soon) to our next outing up Big Slide, Yard and Porter Mountains.

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