Sunrise comes late this far north, so starting hikes before dawn usually means cold. It was 5°F as I pulled in the lot at the Adirondack Loj. I got the front spot.

I try to stay ‘comfortably cool’, but on mornings like this it’s more like ‘tolerably cold’. It took about a mile for my hands to warm up, typically the coldest part.

As the first day snowshoeing, I didn’t want to push too far. The gait is different, so it pulls on new muscles. Luckily there was enough snow that once I changed into the snowshoes I kept them on for the rest of the 12 miles out-and-back to Mount Colden. (I opted for the shortest and easiest route over Lake Arnold; once the freeze locks in I want to head over a solid Avalanche Lake instead.)

Like the day before on Cascade, both the north false summit and the true summit were mostly in sunshine, with all the surrounding peaks clouded in. As one of my favorite viewpoints, it was a little disappointing but still a nice hike.

On the way out I encountered my first humans of the day, a trio of cross-country skiers just above Marcy Dam. I would only see 3 more people on the day, which for a weekend was surprising but welcome.