Saturday, April 27, 2019
Start/End: Seymour trailhead
Elevation gain/loss: 2631′
After parking at the nearest trailhead to the closed gate, I hopped on my mountain bike and rode the 3 road miles to the actual trailhead, where I left my bike for my return trip. Having walked this once before, I felt no desire to do it again.
I tromped down the trail from there, following the Caulkins Brook trail up the mountain. Like my previous time, the mostly flat traverse to get to the base of the mountain took quite a while, and the 2 inches of freshly fallen (and falling) snow didn’t make it easier. It was in the 20s and windy and wet. It wasn’t great conditions. I managed to cross Caulkins Brook despite its 4-feet-deep roaring rage; I found a fallen tree and very, very carefully walked across. According to reports, the average water temperature in the Adirondacks was 38 degrees that day, making an accidental dunking life-threatening.
As I continued onward and upward, previous snow accumulation began to be present, slowly turning into a very unstable, narrow ice monorail. Around 3200′, I started postholing, and had to put on my snowshoes. Even with those on, I started falling through the snow. First up to my knees, then my thighs, and then finally to my ribs. Around 3800′, I threw in the towel and turned around. I was soaking wet from the chest-deep snow dunking and the trees dropping new snow down my shirt, and it was too cold for those conditions. And honestly, I have no desire to do the Adirondack 46ers in winter, and this still qualified as such.
I was glad I made the choice I did; descending was worse than climbing, with me punching through the snow crust more due to gravity. And after my decision, I still had to walk another 6 miles back, and then bike another 3 miles to get back to my car.