There are perfect days for hiking. This, unfortunately, was not one of them. In fact, it was the opposite of a perfect day for hiking.
Cascade was our first high peak, way back in 2009. Back then, the three quarters of a mile to Porter might as well have been a million; we were exhausted within a mile of the car.
God made me a glorious Adirondack day, with four summits and nearly 20 miles of wonderful winter hiking.
4,340-foot Allen Mountain is one of the more rued hikes for aspiring 46ers. It sits to the south of most of the other High Peaks, isolated from all the other trailheads. The start of the hike, shared with the über-cool Mount Adams and its restored fire tower, is a whopping 9 miles (one way!) from the summit.
In finishing the Adirondack 46 High Peaks a second time, I had a few of the more remote peaks to tackle. I had considered attempting Allen Mountain instead, but the planning (read: breakfast in Keene Valley) dictated this pair instead.
We had accomplished a goal set 5 years prior, through adversity and joy, in a simply perfect day for hiking in these beautiful Adirondack mountains.
Our penultimate peak would be 4,120-foot Seymour Mountain, the last in the Seward Range.
With two of three difficult hikes behind us, the last long day in our quest was Mount Donaldson, Mount Emmons, and Seward Mountain.
One of the things my quest for becoming a 46er has changed in me is redefining possible, and these three mountains are proof of it.
“What type of mountain is Allen?” “Oh, just like any other mountain, only more so.”
When we summited Mount Colvin, the clouds were hovering just above the peaks, making for an awesome view. Colvin offers a wide vista of the snow-capped and majestic Great Range, from the Wolfjaws to Haystack and beyond.
On the last day of summer, we did a loop hike of the Santanoni range: 4,606-foot Santanoni Peak, 4,442-foot Panther Peak, and 3,793-foot Couchsachraga Peak.
Hiking these mountains started on a whim, and I for one had never hiked anything, ever, before my first trip to Lake Placid. Over the course of these several years our hiking has taught us about ourselves, about overcoming obstacles, about completing seemingly impossible tasks.
Five days of hiking out of six was more than we had ever done. Factoring in the difficulty/length of three of those hikes, we were looking for something simpler on day 6. Enter Whiteface & Esther.