Since we had plans to hike another short Adirondack peak this day, we needed to make haste back to the car. So, after a short lunch break, we made ready to head back down (still on snowshoes). Having a track to follow would eliminate routefinding time.
The intense spring sun had noticeably softened things as we made our way back down the steep trail to the south summit, slipping and sliding as the now-mushy snow balled up under our snowshoes. Once at the south summit, we-reverted to bare boots in order to safely downclimb over the steep slabs and down through the Chimney. Below the Chimney, the snow depth had lessened back to a degree that didn't require snowshoes, so we transitioned to microspikes, knowing that what had been crisp styrofoam snow in the morning would very likely be something more mushy over a possible layer of ice.
In very short order, we were down to the base of the slopes and hiked back across the flats to the trailhead, finishing in under four hours. The constant switching of footwear and some of the difficulties staying on the trail had actually resulted in a slightly longer time that I had anticipated. Overall, though, fabulous and interesting conditions for a climb of Catamount. A short but challenging little winter hike!
(If you'd like to continue reading about the hikes we did on this Easter Long Weekend, click here