This trip to the Adirondacks was centered around a cabin that friends Roland and Sara had rented for the weekend near Wilmington Notch. They invited us - along with another couple, Isabel and Jean, to share the spot for the weekend. We planned two days of hiking, climbing, and a bit of touristy-ing.
First up was a hike, and we chose something simple and straightforward: Cascade and Porter (strangely, Roland had never actually been to the top of Cascade before). Upon arrival in the Adirondacks, we went straight for the trailhead and the hike - we'd visit the cabin afterwards.
It was a glorious day, weather-wise: It was clear and fantastically warm - 25 degrees C (77 F) for March 17. It was hard to conceive that our summits today would technically be considered as "winter ascents".
Heading off from the Cascade Trailhed in t-shirts, we trudged up the moderately-muddy trail. Roland was wearing his ridiculously excessive double plastic mountaineering boots, a result of his chronic inability to find a good pair of mid-level mountaineering boots that fit his wide feet.
There was essentially no snow down at the 2500-foot mark, but we had brought traction aids anyway, since it is often the case that spring conditions brings ice to the higher-elevation portions of forested trails.
Sure enough, at about the 3,000-foot mark, we started to encounter snow and several sections of ice-covered trail (rapidly-melting ice, mind you - but still ice). Roland and Sara put crampons on, and Jenn and I put yak-trax on. The yak-trax were probably a bit less than what we needed on this type of trail, but we managed. Most others we encountered on the trail had no traction aids whatsoever, making for a somewhat slow and dicey journey.
First Lookout, Cascade Trail
The trail to Cascade is short, and soon we were at the junction with the trail that leads off to Porter. We decided to tackle Porter first, and so headed off right, down into the saddle between Cascade and Porter. The trail was less travelled here, and so had less ice and more soft snow.
Just before reaching the summit, we stopped by at the excellent viewpoint that looks down over Railroad Notch - a spot which sees very few visitors, compared to most other places in the High Peaks region.
Junction w/trail to Porter
Lookout to Railroad Notch
A few minutes later and we were on the summit of Porter. The sky remained perfectly clear and the temperature, even up here at 4,000 feet, was extremely balmy.
After a short snack break on the summit of Porter, we trudged back along the trail towards Cascade, eventually returning to the junction, where we turned right for the final few minutes to the top of Cascade. Soon we were at the edge of Cascade Mountain's summit's very extensive open bedrock. The bedrock was clear and dry, necessitating a stop to take our traction aids off.
Climbing To Cascade's Summit
A short bit of walking and scrambling brought us to Cascade's open summit. Not wanting to waste such a nice day and a beautiful view, we spent a good thirty minutes relaxing in the vicinity of the summit.