Cascade and Porter of the ADK46

This Sunday, April 22nd, we set out to hike our first two of the 46 Adirondack High Peaks.  Steve and I hiked the 48 New Hampshire 4,000 footers over the past few years when we lived in Boston, so now that we are in upstate New York, this seemed like the perfect list to tackle next.

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Since this has been a long winter, we were hesitant to start climbing mountains this early in the season.  However, I’ve been feeling restless from many months without the great outdoors, so we went for it.  I had been reading trail reports and facebook posts to try and figure out what the trails would be like. Some people said snowshoes were needed. Some people said not to hike without crampons and an ice axe. I was a bit nervous. However, microspikes and trekking poles turned out to be enough for a solid hike up the mountains. The trail was icy on the way up and slushy on the way down.

The Hike

I will share some of the details and statistics from our hike.  Some of the information is based on the AllTrails app data and may not be perfectly accurate.

  • Time started: 9:45am
  • Time Ended: 1:45pm
  • Total Time: 4 hours
  • Total Distance: 5.7 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 2,297 feet

We started at the Cascade Mountain Trailhead on route 73 between Lake Placid and Keene. There were a few small parking lots right along the main road.  I assume this probably gets quite full during the summer months!

Alltrails Map

We took the Cascade Mountain Trail and then at the junction we took the Porter Mountain Trail to hit the summit of Porter first.  This ascent took 2 hours.  The summit of Porter had some lovely views of mountains in one direction and beautiful snow covered trees in the other direction.  There was only one other couple up there and we took our time enjoying the quiet and the beauty around us.  We then hiked down to the junction and then up to the summit of Cascade.  This took another 45 minutes including taking photos and having snacks at the top of Porter.  We spent some time alone on top of Cascade enjoying the incredible 360 degree mountain views.

After 15 or so minutes at the top, we made our way down.  The descent to the car from Porter took less than an hour.  We passed a lot of inexperienced and unprepared hikers on the trail. Make sure to do your research when hiking in early spring! Microspikes and poles were needed for a safe day on the mountain.

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This was a beautiful hike and a great introduction to the Adirondack High Peaks. Even though the ice was a bit slippery and slowed us down a bit, the scenery was incredible.  We also didn’t face any crowds or bugs, which was a plus! I can’t wait to hike more high peaks! 2 down, 44 to go!

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Finished!

img_20160829_172510I am so excited to share that I have completed the goal of hiking all 48 of New Hampshire’s 4,000-foot mountains! It has taken me a little under four years to complete the list and I am feeling so happy to have finished. Steve and I had planned to hike North and South Twin on Saturday, August 27th which would be #46 and #47 and then we had plans to attend a party Saturday night. A few days before the hike, we found out the party was cancelled which opened up a new possibility: we could finish the 4,000-Footers on Sunday! And we did! We completed the 48 on Mt. Carrigain, a medium-difficulty hike with beautiful views and a fire tower at the summit. At the top, we ran into a family who was celebrating the father’s completion of the 48 as well! We swapped stories and shared champagne. It was a really magical and special moment.

Part of me is feeling a little sad about being done with the list, because it has been such a driving force in how I chose to spend my weekends and free time these past four years. Driving up to New Hampshire became a regular part of my life. However, I am excited to start thinking about other hiking goals and travel ambitions. Steve and I are also slowly working toward hiking to the high point of all 50 states, so it may be time to turn our attention toward that list for a while. Have you ever done any hiking lists or set hiking goals for yourself? If so, I’d love to hear about them!

NH48…So close!

IMG_20160708_171236I am getting SO close to achieving a goal I have been working on for the past few years: hiking to the summit of all 48 of the 4,000-foot mountains in New Hampshire. This past weekend I did a 12-hour, 20-mile hike to hit Zealand, Bond, West Bond, and Bondcliff. That leaves me at #45 out of 48. I can’t believe how close I am! What are some of your goals?