Tuesday, March  26, 2019
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As we neared the spot where the route enters the woods on Cliff's lower slope, we intersected a very well-defined snowshoe track. It looked like a very large group had gone through recently. We'd have no trouble following this!
Tracks across the land
Track across Flowed Lands
Approaching the 'whack
Although I had my previous Cliff ascents loaded into my tracklog, we decided to stick to the excellent snowshoe track. It wound expertly through the woods, avoiding most areas that would otherwise require brushy bushwhacking.
A decent route
A quite decent route
Views from partway up Cliff
The track continued to impress as it ascended Cliff, hitting many open spots and avoiding almost all thick bush. Following along on my GPS, I could see that in places my track followed it exactly, and in others it deviated. Overall, I liked the line of this track better than mine!

Midway up, the track entered a small gully and tracked straight up that. This was the only spot where there were some difficulties, with a series of crawls underneath blowdown.
courtesy HPiel
No, that's not a squirrel
Views from partway up Cliff
Crawling time
Middle-upper section
Superb Colden Views
Above the blowdown section, the track continued it's excellent course, staying generally to the east of the summit. It still managed to wind through many small open areas, and there were increasingly excellent views of Mt Colden and the MacIntyre range. Nearing the summit, the track deviated even more to the east, and I was surprised when it passed through a beautiful little open meadow. I had no idea this little gem was up here!
Even a meadow!
Meadow on Cliff
Ice Coatings everywhere
Soon after the meadow, the track surmounted the last little step up to the summit, and we were done. We arrived at the summit sign just a few minutes after a party ahead of us had left, and we had it to ourselves. All around us, the trees were thickly coated in ice from a recent freezing rain storm. In the warm sun of mid-day, crashes and tinkles of dislodging ice occurred every few seconds!
Conifers and Views
Colden framed by Birch
Colden and Deadwood
Pictures, pictures, pictures! Although the summit of Cliff is not high and is technically treed, the tree cover is thin enough and the snowpack this day was deep enough to give us superb views of most of the high peaks around us, including Iroquois, Algonquin, Colden, Marcy, Gray, Skylight, and Redfield. The combination of factors made for very scenic viewing today: crystal clear skies, ice-coated trees, and brilliant, snowy-white peaks.
courtesy BConnell
courtesy BConnell
Cliff Mountain's Summit
Another summit!
View from the top
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