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This hike served multiple purposes. In addition to being a peak on Jenn's winter 46 list, we wanted to introduce our friends Scott and Phuong to the beauty of the Adirondacks in the winter. And, more than that, we wanted to get a little test hiking in with them before our upcoming Utah desert trip, which they were coming on with us this year. They had lots of new gear they wanted to test!

We picked Phuong and Scott up and headed down to the Adirondacks. On the down side, the weather looked like it was going to give us one of those 'socked-in' days, where the summits are solidly in the clouds. On the plus side, the temperature was forecast to be moderate and the winds not that strong. We told Phuong and Scott that there was a good chance we'd have no views, but they were still keen to go.

Sure enough, when we arrive at the Cascade Mountain trailhead on route 73, the summit is shrouded in cloud.
courtesy PTruong
Picking up Phuong & Scott
Cascade Trailhead
The Cascade Trailhead
As we got ready, we noticed many other hikers starting off up the trail in yaktrax and stabilicers. We chose to wear our snowshoes.
courtesy PTruong
Scott at the trailhead
Ready for adventure
Somewhat flimsy
The trail was indeed very firm. In fact, there was very little snow base down low at the start - perhaps 6 inches at most. What was there was hard, and one could easily bareboot it with some traction aids. We started up the trail, and the value of this hike as a new-gear break-in exercise proves it's worth, as Scott's hiking pole and goretex pants both failed within 30 minutes.
courtesy PTruong
Ho-ho-ho, Green Giant!
Dreamy trailmarker
First steep bit
We took our time and headed leisurely up the pretty trail to Cascade Mountain. The clouds occasionally showed some hints of sunlight, but overall it stayed solidly clouded-in. There was lots of pretty ice and frosted snow on the trees, and Phuong and Scott enjoyed the trail even without the far-reaching views.
courtesy PTruong
courtesy PTruong
Pleasant Trail
Some refreshments
courtesy PTruong
Pleasant hiking on firm base
Frosted and Iced
First open bit
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