Whiteface & Esther

posted in: Adirondacks, Landscape | 1

I know this will sound strange to all you frigophobes: 6 hours tromping around the snow in sub-15°F (sub-minus 10°C) is really quite fun. The hardest part is getting from the house to your car; once you’re stomping down fluffy white snow, and especially once you start climbing a mountain, you barely notice the temperature.

And on days like Saturday, after a few consecutive days of snow, the Adirondacks are simply a winter wonderland. Every branch, every spruce needle is encased in white, which in addition to looking pretty also damps sound, making it amazingly peaceful.

Winter Wonderland

Since I haven’t been hiking much, Whiteface and Esther were a perfect combination. I decided for a later hike, trying to get nice light from Whiteface’s gorgeous summit. Alas, this pair grabbed a cloud in the morning and never let go. In fact, it was thick, dropping snow all day along the hike, and making the summit “castle” barely visible from just a few hundred yards away. (Compare a view from this hike to a summer shot from the same place!)

Pastoral view W from Whiteface Highway

I opted for the longer (more monotonous and frankly much less pleasant) return via the Whiteface Highway, which is closed to cars all winter, in hopes of getting a view once out of the Whiteface fog. I was rewarded with a perfect winter pastoral scene, the sky a mix of blues, Payne’s grey and peach from the setting sun.

  1. Erik Bertrand

    Thanks for the post! I’ll be hitting these and several others right after Christmas, so it’s great to know who’s been out there and which route was taken. I’m no stranger to winter hiking, having completed the New England 100 in Winter, but I’m an ADK newbie; so posts like these help a ton!

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