A Great Mountain on an Great Day (Gothics & Armstrong)
Submitted By Michael Virdone
The Mountains & Stats
People On The Trip
The forecast for the weekend went from crappy to nice so I forced myself to miss a day of work :-). We left from the AMR parking lot and hiked to the Beaver Meadow Falls trail. The climb was steep and hard packed. It was tough on the ankles because the trail was rock hard and had bumps from where others had hiked on warmer snow (it hadn't been post-holed though). After what seemed like an endless climb we finally reached the overhanging boulder and crossed over the shoulder of Armstrong. The footprints meandered on and off the broken trail but it made it to the ladder section just fine. There were a few tricky sections by the slabs by the ladder but soon enough we were at the col.|
We could see the groups ahead of us on Gothics so we decided to head over to Armstrong first. The trail was easy to follow and we were on top of Armstrong in no time! The coolest part of the traverse was the views which normally aren't there, and the section where you have to climb/jump over the gap in the rocks was completely filled in.
Back at the Got/Arm col we met up with the other climbing parties and after a quick lunch we began our climb of Gothics. The trail was on and off the marked trail but it made its way to the ridge pretty easily. On the ridge I finally figured out why Gothics was Addario's favorite mountain. In summer it is nothing spectacular but in winter it is amazing. It has a huge alpine feel and where Algonquin and Marcy tend to be wind blown and bare rock, this was covered in feet of snow.
We hung around the summit for close to a half hour before descending. We saw two separate parties top out on their climb of the north face which we thought was pretty impressive.
The descent from the col back to the car was the hardest part. The valley where the trail resides didn't get any snow during the day so the trail was still rock hard. It was very hard on the feet, knees, and ankles.
Finally we were at the falls then eventually the road for the slog back to the car.
The Good and The Bad
The views were spectacular
The rough icy/snow conditions on the upper beaver meadows trail
|There were roughly 1000 deer on the side of the road between Tupper and Star Lake. We almost hit a few of them. And then a coyote decided to get in on the fray as well.|