After an even one hundred summits in 2016, number 101 was short and sweet. With the rest of the US gripped in a big freeze swooping down from the Arctic, we knew that the calm winds and sunny skies would make a great day hiking.
After lollygagging over coffee & eggs, we headed out to the Cascade trailhead, 20°F. The summit sits a scant 2.3 miles away from the road and about 2,000 vertical feet up. About half way, my thermometer read 14°F.
We made great time, passing the three groups ahead of us. We had the entire stretch between the junction to Porter and Cascade’s summit (about a quarter mile) all to ourselves, both out and back. Just before emerging on the exposed summit, my thermometer read “–“, apparently too cold to take a reading.
Cascade was engulfed in sunshine, with nearly 360° surrounded by clouds. Big Slide and the Great Range, Whiteface and Giant were all shrouded in clouds; Cascade, Porter and Pitchoff centered in blue skies. The sunshine kept the edge off, but after just a couple minutes my eyelashes started to freeze. (This is a very interesting feeling.)
On the way down we passed all the late sleepers, there were easily 20 groups of 2-6 people each on their way up. Luckily we were off the mountain in time for lunch and happy hour.