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Old 04-15-2012, 07:56 PM   #1
TakeAHike
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Esther (4/14/12)

The trip began for my Dad and I with a 5 AM departure from Syracuse NY. We jumped into the truck and prepared for the 4.5 hour trip to the trail head at The Reservoir. An uneventful ride was to follow and we arrived at the trail just past 9:30 AM (we were the only car parked at The Reservoir). A group of 3 gentlemen pulled in moments after we arrived to hike Whiteface.

We put our boots on, double checked our packs and headed into the woods. The trail heading into the summit of Marble was in good condition), not nearly as rocky and full of tree roots as so many of the other ADK trails I have learned to love. Spots of the trail I would consider to be 'soft' rather than muddy, anyone who has spent time hiking the ADK knows exactly what I mean. We made the 2.2 mile ascent to Marble in about an hour and stopped for a quick snack.

After snacking on a few cashews we began the next section of our hike to the top of Lookout. Almost immediately after beginning we encountered something that neither of us had even thought about, SNOW! Fresh, white, recently fallen snow. We were first under the impression that we had hit a pocket of snow that would soon end, but wrong we were. The remainder of the trail to the top of Lookout was covered in anywhere from 2"-8" of snow. Lucky for us it was not enough snow to require snowshoes (neither of us were carrying snowshoes and people hiking Whiteface earlier in the week had established a path) and not icy requiring crampons (I had mine in my pack, my dad's were back in Syracuse). We passed the old Toboggan shed on top of Lookout and were disappointed to find it was already closed for the season, could have rented one for the ride down!

We arrived at the split to Whiteface and Esther to find nobody had hiked Esther since the snow had fallen, it was now time for us to break our own trail. Following the ridge over to Esther provided us little lookouts facing Whiteface, the great range and east over Lake Champlain into Vermont. As the trail came to an end we looked up and saw the small yellow tree marker letting us know we were on top of the peak. We brushed some snow aside and sat down for lunch on top of the peak.

Overall it was a unique experience for the both of us as neither has done much hiking in the snow. It took a hike to the top of a mountain with limited views and turned it much more enjoyable than both us of had anticipated. We were able to hike in snow and were not punished with postholing our way up the mountain.

The hike down was uneventful and we made great time being able to almost ski our way down the trail. We reached the truck around 3:45 PM and headed back to civilization in search of out post hike meal.

Weather conditions were 45-60 degrees F, partly cloudy with a slight breeze (more noticeable with elevation).

Enjoy!
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Last edited by TakeAHike; 04-15-2012 at 10:42 PM..
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Old 04-15-2012, 09:12 PM   #2
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Nice report, Esther can be a real gem. Looks like you had a nice day.
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Old 04-16-2012, 09:46 AM   #3
PA Ridgerunner
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Very nice! I like the new bridge...wonder if the old one was a casualty of Irene?
I love climbing Marble from that direction. It's so beautiful going up through the birches. Although longer, it's much more pleasant than the approach from the ASRC, IMHO.
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Old 04-19-2012, 05:53 PM   #4
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Great. Thanks for the report. I'm heading for Whiteface and Esther this weekend, glad to know what I'm in for.
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Old 04-19-2012, 09:27 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SanDimas1988 View Post
Great. Thanks for the report. I'm heading for Whiteface and Esther this weekend, glad to know what I'm in for.
No problem, glad I could help out. If you are hiking Saturday I hope you bring a raincoat, weatherman is calling for showers. As of last weekend the road up to Whiteface was still closed so you should be able to enjoy the summit without 100 people around you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PA Ridgerunner View Post
Very nice! I like the new bridge...wonder if the old one was a casualty of Irene?
I love climbing Marble from that direction. It's so beautiful going up through the birches. Although longer, it's much more pleasant than the approach from the ASRC, IMHO.
I think the old bridge was a casualty of Irene although I don't know that for a fact. The reservoir did still show some evidence of really high waters. Hiking Marble through the birches was really enjoyable, a much different trail setting than hiking from Marble to Esther.
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