|Mar. 21, 2004 (Sun.)
|Elevation: 4736 feet; Order of Height: 10
|Participants: Andrew Lavigne, Caroline Doucet
The original plan for this weekend was to do an outing to the White Mountains in NH. However, the weather was not co-operating. Still, I felt like doing a mountain somewhere, so I picked the best weather day of the weekend (Sunday), and decided to do something in the Adirondacks. As it turned out, only Caroline could make this one, so we tackled something she needed for her 46er quest: Gothics.
The drive down was through some pretty yucky and tricky winter weather, but we made it to the St. Hubert's trailhead in one piece. We decided to use skiis to help ease the passage of the boring section along the AMR lake road. Snow conditions were excellent and we made good time skiing up the road. At Lower Ausable Lake we switched into snowshoes. Weather was actually pretty good. Lots of sun and blue sky mixed in with clouds. After donning our snowshoes, the long and high slog up to Gothics began (2800 foot ascent from the Lake). I had obviously snowed over the past week, but only a few inches worth at the lower elevations, and we could follow an old snowshoe track up the trail to the Sawteeth/Panther col, no problem. However, above this col, at 3500+ feet, there was a ton of new snow, and no tracks were visible at all. Breaking the trail up the very steep section up Panther was agonizingly tiring. This slowed our ascent and we ended up summitting Gothics around 2-ish. Unfortunately, the weather had also closed in again and the summit was socked in and windy with blowing snow. Still, felt good to have made it to the top - and because of the ADK winter 46er rules we managed to bag a winter 46er summit even though it was technically spring on March 21 of this year!
Also at the summit were two hardy climbers that had just finished an ascent of the North Face of Gothics - impressive! The way down was MUCH quicker than the way up, and soon we were back at lower Ausable Lake, where off went the snowshoes and on went the skiis. The ski down the Lake road was heaven... mostly a nice swift glide all the way back to the gate. Took us only about 30 minutes to do the whole Lake Road!
Trip Reports, Image Galleries or Other References:
Image Gallery: March 2004 Gothics Climb