Seward Range in Winter
Submitted By Michael Virdone
The Mountains & Stats
People On The Trip
Neil posted an invite on ADKHP for the range (and he was offering to drive). We put out an invite for lodging and ronnie (zero-g) took us up on the offer. We stayed at the Tupper Lake Motel (which was very nice, good rooms, clean, great hot water in the shower).|
Everyone met up at the winter parking lot @ 6:30. A car pulled up and I expected Neil to get out, but instead it was Al (whom we had hiked with earlier in the summer). Neil had some biological/car problems so we opted to take Al's car to the summer trailhead.
We took off heading to the herd path at a pretty quick clip and in quick fashion we were at the beginning of the calkins herd path. On the way to the herd path we definitely noticed the descent to the herd path.
We took the pace down a notch for the (seemingly endless) climb up to the ridge junction. The broken trail stayed very faithful to the summer herd path and didn't really involve any terrible heroics (other than some stomach crawling under some blowdown).
After the ridge junction we made quick work of the steep climb up to the Donaldson summit. After a quick break up top we started the traverse over to Emmons. I was starting to bonk out a bit due to 1) not doing a good job of fueling myself 2) the fast pace on the way in to the herd path. I took my pace down a notch but the group insisted that Nicole and I stick together with the big group and adjusted their paces accordingly. The climb back over to Donaldson was tiring but I was doing the winter "slow and steady".
Everyone felt good enough at the herd path junction (ok, everyone else, felt great, and I felt confident enough to drag myself out and back to Seward). The bump and climb of Seward went by pretty quickly. The steep rocky sections added a bit of excitement and fun to the climb and in no time we were on our 3rd summit of the day. I was ecstatic to have gotten all three in one day but I knew we'd still have the challenge of the hike out.
The re-climb of Donaldson was a bit of a challenge late in the day but once we hit the calkins herd path again it was all downhill from there (ok, except for all the PUD to get back to the parking lot). We stopped at the herd path and trail junction for a snack before hiking out to the car. At this point I was seriously dragging. After dragging my feet back to the parking lot I saw one of the best sights of my life, the headlights and tailights from Al's car. We packed up and headed back to the winter lot, All 3 of our cars started without any dramatics!
The Good and The Bad
The companionship on the trip