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Ascent of Cascade Mountain on 2013-01-01

Climber: Elizabeth Sweet

Others in Party:Scott Duclos
Date:Tuesday, January 1, 2013
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Cascade Mountain
    Location:USA-New York
    Elevation:4098 ft / 1249 m

Ascent Trip Report

1st Winter ADK Peak! and our first hike of 2013! We arrived at the trail head at 8:30 am, taking about a half an hour to gear up and convince ourselves that leaving the heat of the car was a good idea as the outside temperature read a mere 8 degrees! At 9:00 am we finally signed into the trail book. I was quickly reminded that my last hike was more than 2 months ago- I felt very slow and winded. At several points of ascent I debated turning around as I was not feeling well. Following a few pep talks with myself and a few words of encouragement from Scott, I reminded myself that I was here to climb and summit a peak today. The stunning beauty of the winter and snow covered forest also helped to carry me along the way. The trail was well broken throughtout and we were able to traverse the first mile or so in just our microspikes. When the trail grew in elevation and became steeper, we quickly put on our snowshoes. It had been about 7 months since we initially climbed Cascade. Various markers along the way reminded me of our original climb and I was able to think back about how many peaks and how far we had hiked and climbed since. While the general layout of Cascade was familiar, the snow covered trail and colder temperatures changed the views and overall experience considerably. By the time we had reached the false summit it was apparent that the summit was likely going to be clouded over. A short distance after the Porter/Cascade junction we paused for a short while to put on more gear to summit. From the base we could see the summit was a whiteout with fierce winds. While adding additional gear we met three hikers who had just summitted and were able to let us know a little more about the conditions. I left my pack at the base of the summit, with the logic that I could move quicker without it and would require speed in order to summit Cascade today. As we made our way up the snow covered summit we attempted to stay on the trail as much as possible. The sharp, fierce and bitter wind caused me to fear frostbite and move even quicker. Several times I swerved and swooped my body down low in an attempt to decrease my size and risk of being blown over. Once the summit bolt/marker was in clear view, I approached it, slammed my hiking pole down on it, turned to Scott who threw his hands in the air, and then we quickly darted back off the summit. By the time we made it back off the summit we both had snow encrusted eyelids. We agreed the next items to purchase for winter hiking are goggles and a pair of mittens (gloves seemed worthless). After a brief pause at the base of the summit, we began our descent which could have been much quicker, however we took our time to descend slowly, taking in the beauty of the scenery with Scott taking numerous pictures along the way. It was a quiet day on Cascade, which increased it's peacefulness. With the exception of the three hikers whom we met just prior to summitting, we only saw two other women on the trail. As we signed out, two other groups were beginning to summit. When we piled back in to the car and began peeling off our layers, the sun began to sneak out and highlight Cascade from a distance, I could only think to myself that it was a perfect way to begin a new year.
Summary Total Data
    Route:Casacade Mountain via Cascade Lakes (90)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Snow on Ground, Snow Climb
    Gear Used:
Crampons, Ski Poles, Snowshoes
    Weather:cold, windy on summit- about 25 below on summit with 30-40 mile/hour winds



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