A beautiful pre-winter-solstice day on the best short traverse hike in the Adirondacks: The Porter-Cascade traverse. Everything went just right for us on this winter-season hike: just-below freezing temperatures, clear and calm skies, and a developing bit of interesting low cloud formations as the day progressed. Starting from the Marcy Field trailhead at 8:30 a.m., we followed a firm snowshoe track up the steeps to scenic Blueberry Mountain, then on up to the eastern end of Porter's ridgeline. A few snow-laden branches were the only real obstacles to an easy walk along the ridgeline to Porter's summit, where we noticed a buildup of clouds below us near South Meadows. Continuing on to Cascade, we encountered a beautiful snow-covered alpine stretch to the summit. Having only brought one car, we received a generous ride back from the hike's end to our start point by a fellow hiker named Noah. Definitely my best Cascade Mountain summit experience so far!
Trip Reports, Image Galleries or Other References: Image Gallery: December 2014 Porter-Cascade Traverse hike
A summer-like hike on a late-winter day in the Adirondacks. The objective simple: a quick climb of Cascade and Porter from Cascade Pass.
This hike was part of a larger weekend cabin stay in the Adirondacks - something unusual for us. We wanted a short hike to allow us spend some time doing other activities over the weekend.
It was an extremely warm day for March 17, and the lower half of the trail was completely bare. Higher up, a layer of melting hard-pack and ice necessitated traction aids.
The summits of both Porter and Cascade both offered great views on this very warm but still very clear day. Usually an unusually warm day is accompanied by lots of haze and a reduction in clarity. This was not the case today.
Trip Reports, Image Galleries or Other References: Image Gallery: March 2012 Cascade and Porter Hike
Another intro hike for Miriam. Grew into something a little bigger and harder after we churned all the required parameters into the mix. We were seven in all: Luke, Sophie, Bob, Miriam, Asmir, Jenn, and myself. A glorious late summer day in the Adirondacks!
We left a car at the Cascade Mtn trailhead and shuttled everyone down to Marcy Field, where we headed up the trail to Blueberry. Kept the pace nice and slow so as to promote enjoyment for all. Slabs and steep bits on Blueberry were fun, as usual. The big bald spot on the other side of Porter's summit was a scenic, if somewhat breezy and chilly, place to stop.
One final major grind up to Porter's ridgecrest, and then we enjoyed the delightful little path that runs along the crest all the way to Porter's summit. Weather continued to be great; couldn't ask for a better day to showcase one of the Adirondacks shorter fine hikes.
After Porter, things got really busy, and the summit of Cascade was crawling with hikers! Filled out a survey on summit impacts from the University of Vermont -- interesting. Headed back down to catch up with compatriots and to get ahead and make progress on retrieving the far vehicle before everyone got down. Was pleased that Luke's feet didn't bother him too much and that all seemed to enjoy the hike!
Trip Reports, Image Galleries or Other References: Image Gallery: August 2008 Porter-Cascade Traverse
Today's hike's objectives: Introduce some new people to Adirondack winter hiking; Get Jenn and Brian some more as-yet-undone 46er peaks; and something with nice views. I figured the porter-cascade traverse would fit the bill, because it was fairly short and had quite a lot of good lookouts, and the summit of Cascade offers big open terrain on a relatively low peak.
We left Brian's car at the Cascade Mountain trailhead, and drove around and started at the Porter Mountain trailhead at Marcy Field.
The forecast was unsettled. The previous few days had seen very warm temperatures and heavy rain; the last 24 hours had seen an abrupt deep freeze. We were at the tail end of a winter storm and flood warning combination. As a result, I was
unsure of exactly what weather and trail conditions to expect.
There was very little snow at the lower elevations, and the streams were flowing vigorously, although crossing them on this particular hike is not hard because
they are still small.
We only got to use snowshoes above the 3000-foot level. Weather was actually pretty nice if you weren't in the wind, and there was a lot of blue sky. The final ascent up to Porter's ridgecrest had a lot of tiresome blowdown (from about 300 to about 3600 feet).
Pretty brisk and cold on Porter's ridge, but we made good time. Brian noticed that he'd forgotten his keys!!! back at Marcy Field, so we aborted the Cascade summit and I went ahead at a run to see if I could flag someone down at the Cascade Trailhead to bring me around to the Marcy Field trailhead.
Fortunately, a very kind Mary Brandt stopped and gave me a lift, and I was able
to fetch both the CRV and Brian's Accord keys within the CRV and bring both back to our finish spot. A somewhat more eventful and tiring day than I had planned for!!
(a more detailed report and lots of images available by clicking image gallery link below)
Trip Reports, Image Galleries or Other References: Image Gallery: January 2006 Porter Mountain Traverse Hike
This hike came about after meeting a bunch of like-minded outdoors types on a Wilderness First Aid course that I took. We decided to do a point-to-point traverse of Porter and Cascade, a very pleasant route with lots of good lookouts and with one particularly nice summit (Cascade). Even though it was late March there had been a recent heavy snowfall and everything was very wintry. We started off from Marcy Field in clouds and light snow, but with still enough visibility to take in some good views on the way up Blueberry Peak. Once up on the ridge, snow conditions were great for fast and easy snowshoeing. The weather steadily improved and by the time we reached porter it was a mostly clear late winter day (although even though these were clearly winter conditions it technically NOT a winter hike, since it was now spring). A final stop on the very nice open summit of Cascade and then it was down the steep stuff to the Cascade mountain trailhead before it got too dark.
Trip Reports, Image Galleries or Other References: Image Gallery: March 24 2002 hike (Porter-Cascade traverse)
Peter and I did this hike as part of our training for Rainier. We wanted to get some wintry conditions under our belt for the upcoming summer climb. We rented/borrowed snowshoes and hiked up from the Cascade mountain trailhead. Weather was clouds mixed with sun and lots of wind - gave things a good winter-adventure feel. We did Porter's summit first and then returned and did Cascade. Cascade is really such a nice summit for so little distance!
Trip Reports, Image Galleries or Other References: Image Gallery: February 15, 2000 Hike (Porter and Cascade Mountains)
This was the hike where I introduced Luke to the Adirondacks. We did this hike as a point-to-point (which is the only reasonable way to do this). As I mention in another trip report, this route is very nice with lots of different lookouts in different directions all along the way. I recall Billy and I investigating some cool ice formations on the way up Blueberry, even though it was May.
The other thing I recall vividly about this hike is that Luke's feet ended up killing him. By the time he got to Porter he was quite uncomfortable and by Cascade's summit he was in severe pain. Weather was so-so with limited views into the still-snowy high peaks. I think Luke's feet problems combined with a fairly long hike conspired to turn him off of hiking with us for quite a while.
Trip Reports, Image Galleries or Other References: Image Gallery: May 1, 1995 hike (Porter-Cascade traverse)