Whiteface & Esther (September)

On most of my recent long (sometimes much too long) hikes, I’ve remarked that I wished Kathy was with me to stop me from pushing so far. Now that she arrived, I proved that point by taking a picture-perfect day to hike Whiteface & Esther.

We even got out to a lazy 9:00 AM start, starting up the steep and direct Marble Mountain from the ASRC. This trail is slated for a reroute, and only those who want it short & sweet will miss this relatively unattractive former ski lift route. At least the top of Marble Mountain has interesting views over towards Hurricane and Giant Mountains.

The late start meant a direct climb of Whiteface, which at about 3,800 feet is mostly boulders and rock slabs. In other words, really fun and quick climbing.

We swung over the summit and headed right down for lunch at the cafe with the Mumaughs. I can’t believe we didn’t do this our first time here, it was absolutely brilliant to sit and have a hot lunch and cold soda in the middle of the hike. This will be the plan for this pair from now on!

Lake Placid from Whiteface
Lake Placid from Whiteface

The views were vast on this bluebird day, and Whiteface has easily one of the top views in the Adirondacks.

After lunch we rejoined the trail and climbed Esther Mountain on the way out. The trail to Esther was in good shape after the dry summer, but the decent views I remember from the winter were due to the several feet of snow raising you up above the trees. On this first day of Autumn most of the views were obscured.

Despite being her first hike since Memorial Day, Kathy was fast enough that we finished ahead of my estimate, without accounting for the hour in the cafe. So she beat the time by well over an hour. We were glad to get back down Marble Mountain and were back at the lovely Random Scoots cabin well before dinner.