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Dec. 22, 2007 (Sat.)
Elevations: 4867 feet, 4240 feet; Order of Height: 5, 28
Participants: Andrew Lavigne, Jennifer Innes
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The kickoff to the winter 07-08 hiking season: a ski-snowshoe-ski up Whiteface and Esther Mountains.

Jenn needed these two for her winter 46er list, and the snow conditions were good for cross-country skiing, so we decided to make these two our first winters of the year. Despite the forecast, we arrived to a pretty bright and sunny day. Temperatures were moderate, and there was little wind.

We skiied up a snowmobile-packed toll road to the 2nd hairpin, where we ditched the skiis and snowshoed up the short remaining bit of the north ridge of Whiteface. Excellent views here! At the summit, we noted a neat undercast that was starting to develop over the Central High Peaks to the south of us, and also the busy Whiteface Olympic ski hill directly below us. People trying to get a good day of skiing in before the weather turned, perhaps?

We trudged back down to the 2nd hairpin and then broke trail all the way to Esther's summit. My previous tracklog proved useful for staying on the herdpath portion to Esther. We arrived relatively late, at 3pm. The return trip over now-broken-out trail was much faster, but still not fast enough to avoid dusk falling just as we arrived back at our skiis at the second hairpin.

The way down should have been fun and quick, but the darkness (plus our skinny old skiis and lack of skiing skill) made the descent back down the road slow and awkward. Still, a fine day, all-in-all!

See the image gallery link below for a more detailed writeup and the set of pictures.

Trip Reports, Image Galleries or Other References:
 Image Gallery: December 2007 Winter kickoff hike - Whiteface and Esther

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