Ascent of Esther Mountain on 2013-09-17
|Others in Party:||Doyle Prier----Only Party on Mountain|
|Date:||Tuesday, September 17, 2013|
|Ascent Type:||Successful Summit Attained|
| Location:||USA-New York|
| Elevation:||4239 ft / 1292 m|
Ascent Trip ReportWe parked at the Wilmington Reservoir TH around 7:30 am and hiked in, going straight through the first junction, and then taking a right to ascend Marble Mountain at the second junction. We briefly stepped off the trail for Marble's summit, then followed the Whiteface Summit trail until we reached the cairn at the junction for Mt. Esther.
We took the unmarked, unmaintained trial to Lookout Mountain's summit and then on to Esther (the trail was narrow, and very wet and muddy, but easy to follow). We took a snack break on Esther, taking in the limited views before leaving. We went back to the cairn and continued on to Whiteface.
On the way up, we saw the new trail cut for the skiing facilities, but kept on walking straight ahead with the red markers. We came up to the Toll Road's immense wall/guardrail, following it up to the left until we reached the road, surprising some car tourists (who were even more surprised to see us continue on up the trail, climbing up some rocks and walking off into the distance).
This final stretch of the walk was the most memorable--beautiful views all around, small patches of ice in the shade, and plants I haven't seen since I lived in Newfoundland (like labrador tea). It is strange reaching the summit and its throngs of tourists, but we received hearty congratulations from several there. We ate our packed lunch on the summit, taking it all in and wandering through the building, reading historical info.
On the way back down, the descent was a bit more than my elderly father was prepared for, what with the constant stepping down off of rocks and not really hitting a level stretch until we were nearly out. We made it out just after dark, feeling the descent powerfully in the knees. We both felt pretty satisfied with the hike, although in the future I believe I would take the unmarked trail to Marble Mountain from the SUNY observation station off of the Memorial Highway before the toll road begins (it cuts off a considerable chunk of walking).
|Summary Total Data|
| Elevation Gain:||276 ft / 85 m|
| Distance:||2 mi / 3.2 km|
| Route:||Unmarked Mt. Esther Trail|
| Trailhead:||Mt. Esther cairn TH 3963 ft / 1207 m|
| Quality:||5 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)|
| Route Conditions:||Unmaintained Trail|
| Weather:||Cool, Calm, Clear|
| Time Up:||1 Hours 14 Minutes|
| Time Down:||1 Hours 14 Minutes|
|Ascent Part of Trip: Whiteface Mountain trip|
Complete Trip Sequence:
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