Yabba Haba Doo
Submitted By Michael Virdone
The Mountains & Stats
People On The Trip
Stayed at the brookside Friday night so we could get an early start Saturday.|
Saturday morning we were leaving the Garden by 5:45, we made it to the JBL by ~7:30 and were at slant rock by 9. The trail was in great shape, minimal snow, with all the mud frozen. Brook crossings were pretty reasonable with thick ice above flowing water (on the way out we were sure to step near rocks as it had warmed). We stayed in microspikes until a little after the Haystack/Marcy jct. At the top of the steep section we changed to MSRs (they would have worked fine for the steep climb as well). Stayed in MSR until the Haystack spur where we changed into crampons.
The wind was howling but nothing as bad as the last time when we got turned back. As we climbed we entered a cloud which was pelting us with (un?) frozen rain soaking our softshell exteriors. At the little haystack/haystack col we decided to put our hardshells on to have some protection from the elements. The rest of the climb up Haystack was slow and steady with our progress being delayed by the conditions and lack of range of motion from our hardshells. The good news was we weren't slowed too much and were on the summit of Haystack at around 11:00.
The descent/climb back to the junction was uneventful and soon enough we were back at the junction and below the cloud. Being out of the moisture gave us some time to adjust layers, eat some food and then decide to make the push to Basin. There was a group of 4 ahead of us (doing HaBaSa) who broke out the trail between Haystack and Shorey's. Overall I think this is one of those sections of trail that is nicer in winter than summer.
At the Shorey's junction we met up with a large group who were hiking Basin from one of the JBL camps, we exchanged pleasantries and then continued our climb. I thought i had mentally accounted for all of the ledges on the way up Basin but I completely forgot about the one with the ladder (so that was a bit of a surprise). After taking our time on the climb we were at the summit by 1:30. On the descent we took our first real break of the day and had some more snacks. From here on out it was just going to be a death march. The descent of Basin was time consuming because of all the ledges, but eventually we were back at Shorey's.
Shorey's was the only section of trail on our hike that we hadn't used before. I was mentally prepared for the climb to get to the height of land, I didn't account for how much DOWN there is on the other side to get to slant rock. The map claims this section of trail is 1.1 miles, but it felt like a whole lot more than that. Eventually we spotted the very welcome sight of the trail junction. Here we had some more to eat, and switched back into microspikes.
We hauled on the way out for a few reasons
1) The snow on the trees had melted during the day, and every time the wind blew it would "rain" on us
2) We wanted to visit our friends who were staffing the warming hut this weekend
3) We needed to be out by 7 so that my Mother (who is responsible for "the call") wouldn't worry (we told her worry at 7, call at 8)
Fortunately we were at slant rock at 3:30, and we knew it only took 3 hours in, so it should be less than that on the way out. We were at JBL by 5:40 where we visited our friends (the warming hut just downstream of the JBL is open to the public FYI, we'll be staffing it the first weekend in spring). They had carried in so much food and beverage that Nicole partook in some of their homemade brownies while I had a few sips of the IPA growler that they brought.
We departed the warming hut at around 5:00 and were back to the car by 6:30.
Overall it was a great day, the warm temperatures really helped us stay comfortable with the idea of staying out for so long. The trail conditions were great too, I think they played a major part in us having the stamina to add Basin onto the hike (at the beginning of the hike it was a "maybe"). This was actually our first time hiking Haystack or Basin car-to-car in a day. Previously we had always hiked into the johns brook valley and camped out Friday night (to avoid the parking debacle that typically occurs at the Garden).
The Good and The Bad
Bagging 2 very challeging peaks
|Drove up and stayed at the Brookside Inn|
Had dinner at the Ausable Inn on Friday night and it was VERY good