Giant via Ridge Trail
Submitted By Michael Virdone
The Mountains & Stats
People On The Trip
We had planned to go to Buffalo on Sunday for autocross, but the forecast for saturday was just too good to not hike so we decided to try for giant and RPR. We stayed at the econo lodge in LP and were hiking by 8am. The trail conditions were interesting to say the least, however we started the day on snowshoes for the added traction they offered. The hike up wasn't bad, fortunately I had read up on giant so I knew to expect a ton of false summits. The hike up to giants washbowl was uneventful, but after the trail to the nubble broke off it began to get steep.|
The switchbacks on the way up were a nice change of pace in contrast to the typical adirondack "straight up" trails. The snow down low was a slushy consitency, however as we gained elevation there was more of an icy crust with rotten (almost sand-like) snow underneath. Another hiker had gotten an early start with us and was ahead of us with crampons on. This wasn't providing much difficulty for nicole since she weighs half of what I weigh, however after the junction with the roaring brook trail I began to posthole 8-12" (with MSRs on) every step. This made the going very slow and I decided that we'd call off RPR since the vertical loss/re-gain would really kill our already slow time. As we got to the junction of the RPR trail a large group of 6-8 passed us on their way to the summit.
When we reached the summit we took a break to take in the views and enjoy the sun (and subsequent sunburn). We left the summit shorly after the large group that was ahead of us. As we descened we found that the postholes that had formed earlier had formed into a nice snowshoe trench most of the way down which made our pace pretty quick until we got to some of the steep sections on the ridge. We made our way back down and eventually changed to bareboots near the higher stream crossing below the washbowl (at that point the snow accumulation had turned to slush, and we were walking on rocks/mud anyways).
The Good and The Bad
The views were awesome from both the summit and the slabs on the way up
Trail conditions on the way up were terrible
|We stayed in LP on friday night to get an early start saturday. Drove back to syracuse saturday afternoon.|