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Ascent of Porter Mountain on 2010-12-31

Climber: Jesse Quonce

Date:Friday, December 31, 2010
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Porter Mountain
    Location:USA-New York
    Elevation:4068 ft / 1239 m

Ascent Trip Report

My first winter ascent, and my first time on snowshoes. I reached the trailhead at 8:30am on New Year's eve day. At the trail register, I strapped on my brand new MSR Evo Ascents, and headed for the top. I took frequent breaks to get accustomed to the Televator feature on the MSR shoes. After taking some pictures, I arrived at the trail junction. I opted to head to Porter Mountain first, heading into the col and quickly reaching summit. I enjoyed a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and a couple Clif bars, and headed back to the junction. The sun really began to shine and the snow was melting off the trees rapidly. I quickly became damp, and the trail began to muck up. I reached the junction with a horrible cramp in my thighs (first time on snowshoes). I drank a ton of water and rested for about 20 minutes. I got up to head to Cascade's summit, just in time to meet a lady who said "it's a bit breezy up there." I headed up the trail, and quickly broke treeline, and to my surprise, bare rock at the summit! Not a spot of snow to be found. I took off the snowshoes and put on my Yaktrax Pro's and headed for the top. Breezy is possibly the worst description for the conditions at Cascade's summit. I was knocked clean off my feet on two occasions within 10 feet of each other. I decided to hang out behind a rock ledge, out of the wind, and wait for a calm period to make the last push. Needless to say, the wind was not about to relent anytime soon. I decided to drop pack and poles and make a run for it. I reached the summit marker, snapped a picture, and ran down to where my pack was waiting. I gathered up my gear and ran for treeline. Back at the junction, I met a large group of Canadians departing with their snowshoes in favor of crampons. I alerted them of the bare rock and high wind conditions, and they decided to leave packs behind at the junction. Temperatures continued to rise throughout the day, into the high 40's/low 50's! I descended the mountain in a Under Armour short sleeved shirt and my snow pants. I am one of the few people who can say they hiked the Adirondacks on both the hottest day of summer and winter in 2010. It was a great way to learn about snowshoes, and a great way to ring in 2011. Was back at the car at 2:09pm and was quickly off to Plattsburgh to celebrate the New Year with the LaFave family at Club 130.
Summary Total Data
    Elevation Gain:2700 ft / 823 m
    Distance:7.6 mi / 12.2 km
    Route:Cascade Mountain Trail
    Trailhead:Cascade Mountain Trail  1368 ft / 416 m
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Snow on Ground
    Gear Used:
Crampons, Ski Poles, Snowshoes
    Weather:Cool, Extremely Windy, Partly Cloudy
Ascent Part of Trip: Cascade/Porter 2 (0 nights total away from roads)

Complete Trip Sequence:
OrderPeak/PointDate
1Porter Mountain2010-12-31
2Cascade Mountain2010-12-31



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