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Climbing some cliffs

02-05-2011

Submitted By Michael Virdone

The Mountains & Stats

18 miles with 3500 feet of gain
  • Cliff (3944 Feet, NY) globe Mountain

People On The Trip

Trip Report

     Trip Report From Nate:

      Started from the Loj parking lot at 6am sharp with BigNSlow and Nicole. We made sure not to take the 61 trail because that is the way to Marcy. Trail into the dam and pretty much to Avalanche camp is a super highway. As the sun rose it was apparent the forecast from Friday night was wrong, it was bluebird and the views made me stop a couple of times for photos. Made good time to Avalanche lake, the lake is frozen but rough. Not the most fun to be had on mountaineering snowshoes. Avalanche was a wind tunnel, we battened down and headed across. Wind on Lake colden was much less. Lake seemed well frozen until the point in front of the Interior outpost, then it got really slushy. Not sure if this was surface or through but we didn't try and find out. Detoured by the outpost and back onto the lake on the far side. Some slush along the path to the point and solid all the way to the damn.

      Trail to uphill brook lean-to starts up the stream and goes quite a ways. When we started up it was just a set of ski tracks, not consolidated to speak of. Made uphill brook lean-to in 4 hours from the car. Took a snack break at uphill lean-to, then the fun began. After a little confusion about how long the herd path goes in before splitting we reached the normal summer junction and headed to Cliff. There was a consolidated trail somewhere under the fresh snow, but it was still over calf deep in the flats and worse up high. We broke out the trail pretty much along where the previous trails have gone, which follow the summer path, but there wasn't much of a trench to follow. The cliff bands are icy but passable in snow shoes. BigNSlow found all the spruce traps along the way, especially on the false summit. It was a beautiful sunny day and warm in the sun. This made for spring conditions and really sticky snow, especially on the steep parts. Every 10 steps or so we had to stop and knock the snow balls from the snowshoes to keep going up.

      Made the summit just after 1pm under thickening skies. There were still great views, just no blue sky. Time to summit from lean-to, 3 hours. Karma paid for trail vultureing last year, high. Enjoyment factor finding and breaking trail with 2 good friends, priceless. Passed a group of 4 headed up the last summit pitch as we left, polished most of the snow off the steep sections on the way down. The group behind us did a good job of consolidating our trail and it was right proper on our way out. Met another group at the lean-to who were headed up that afternoon.

      Trail from uphill brook lean-to back to Lake Colden was much more consolidated on our way in. Made it back to the car 3:45 from the lean-to under wicked snow conditions from Avalanche lake on.

The Good and The Bad

The Good:

Good views from a typically viewless peak
Great weather until the last hour and a half

The Bad:

Getting soaked between Marcy Dam and the car

The Drive

Got snowed in in LP and had to find a place to stay in saranac lake

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