Markus, Bryan, Pu and Adelia had left Ottawa super-early that morning and were scheduled to hike in to our campsite at about 10am. So, we in our sleeping bags were able to sleep in to the luxurious hour of 8am !!! imagine that! The day outside had dawned, clear, crisp and very very cold (in fact, the forecast for the next night had a forecast low of -30F to -40F!!! - we'd missed the coldest night!).
The four dayhikers were running slightly behind schedule, but we had forseen this possibility and had a couple of FRS 2-way radios to establish contact as they were hiking in. They arrived soon after 10am, and it was not long after that that we were all ready to go. Unfortunately, Deborah decided not to proceed with us, because an injury sustained to her knee 3 weeks before on our last hike was causing her a lot of pain.
The first of the morning joiners
Preparing to start the Ascent
We got started up the trail towards Whiteface roughly around 11am. Although it was only 4 or 5km to the summit of Whiteface from the lean-to, it was all up - and a lot of it - close to 3000 feet worth! Adelia, not having done many hikes yet, found the going a bit tough, but she managed! partway up there was a goodly section of trail that had very soft snow that caused me a lot of trouble, and, combined with my height and tall pack, caused me to be completely piled with snow. Stupidly I was only wearing fleece at that point so it was a cold and bothersome process to brush all of the ice and snow off and re-dress myself properly.
The going was continued slow and tough, but we soon emerged above the treeline and into a glorious late-day alpine setting. Crystal clear everywhere, from the High Peaks to Vermont and beyond. It was actually not that windy, which was a very good thing, because we estimate that the temperature up there was between -25C and -30C without the wind chill. Truly an Arctic day. Fortunately, everybody had been diligent about bring lots and lots of proper clothing, so we were well prepared for it.
Bundled up against the bitter cold....