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Old 02-14-2017, 05:23 PM   #1
Josh Seeley
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Favorite Snowshoe hike in ADKs

Ok team, I realize the title is too broad:

I am wondering what your favorite winter hikes are in the Southern ADKs? Tomorrow is my birthday and I do not want to work. I want to play hooky and be in the mountains! We won't have time to do something in the HPs, unfortunately.

Thinking about Crane MT, just outside of North creek, Johnsburg, etc.

Whete else should I consider Pharaoh MT? Sleeping Beauty? We have extensive mountaineering experience in favorable weather, and some experience snowshoeing in the winter. We will be prepared with layers, water filtration, map/compass, whistle, micro spikes, MSR Ascents, even a watch... all that.

Qs is... where should we go? Looking at southern ADKs. Like, Lake George Wild Forest area, North Creek, Schroon, etc. something with an hour (or an hour and a half) from the Albany area.

Thoughts?
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Old 02-14-2017, 05:59 PM   #2
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You've got some good choices. I also like 5th peak on the Tongue Range.

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Old 02-14-2017, 06:57 PM   #3
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Can you recommend any others that I haven't mentioned?

I LOVE Noonmark, so that's another good option. Where else? Buck Mt on Lale George?
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Old 02-14-2017, 08:59 PM   #4
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You can't go wrong with Buck and you have several options. The most popular route is from Pilot Knob. There is another route off Hogtown that comes up the opposite side of the mountain. The Pilot Knob route is a 3.2 miles one way and Hogtown is 2.5 miles. If you go in through Hogtown bring a shovel to dig out a spot as the trailhead is not plowed (sometimes it's cleared for one vehicle though). I do these regularly in winter and they are a blast either way.

Sleeping Beauty... meh. The summit is not that great IMHO. It's worth doing but I'd chose Buck first.

Tongue Range is great and my personal favorite in the Lake George area. No snakes in winter too although seeing one in warmer times is a treat.

Black Mountain is another option. No real summit but there is a windmill on top which is kind of neat. Not a hard hike.

Crane Mountain is steep if you take the direct approach and there are plenty of large boulders and some ladders that you'll have to climb over. You'll be taking the snowshoes on and off so be sure to bring spikes. There's another approach past Crane Mtn. pond that is longer but not steep. Might be better for snowshoes.

Pharaoh Mountain is really nice. I did this one a few weeks ago from Mill Brook. Be advised that it's almost 5 miles just to reach the summit trailhead from either Mill Brook or Crane Pond so be ready for an all day affair. Pharaoh is one of my favorite spots in the Adirondacks.

Other ones...
Hadley Mountain near Lake Luzerne. Short, kind of steep, fire tower and old ranger cabin on top. Neat hike. Good first time winter hike.
Snowy Mountain in Indian Lake. Great hike. Fire tower on top. Most of it is flat until you get to the actual mountain. You'll see Indian Lake on one side of the summit and the High Peaks on the other side.
Moreau Lake State Park. Another good first time winter hike. Extensive trail system. You can snowshoe all day and not get bored. It's not a real mountain per se but the Overlook trail will get your heart pounding.
Happy Birthday and enjoy!!
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Old 02-14-2017, 09:17 PM   #5
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Cat Mt in Bolton, combine it with Thomas Mt if you're feeling ambitious.
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Old 02-14-2017, 10:47 PM   #6
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Great suggestions! Thanks for the info.

Have you ever done Buck from Sly Pond Road TH? (Butternut Brook Trail)

Thinking that might be the plan for tomorrow.

Cat and Thomas seem like cool options too.
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Old 02-15-2017, 01:37 PM   #7
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"water filtration"

I learned on this forum that my trusty water filter is not ideal for winter conditions. If water freezes in the filter it expands, ruining the filter element. My strategy for now is to carry it (with my phone) in an side pocket. Keeping it close and warm. May move to a steripen in the future or chem

Just passing along what someone was nice enough to point out to me.

Have fun!
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Old 02-15-2017, 04:47 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh Seeley View Post
Tomorrow is my birthday...
Happy Birthday Josh!
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Old 02-15-2017, 11:16 PM   #9
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Well how did it go?
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Old 02-16-2017, 07:39 AM   #10
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The batteries in the Steripen will also be vulnerable to the cold. When I used one in the Sierrras I had to sleep with the batteries in my pocket to keep them warm enough to work in the morning. Not real comfortable to roll over on.
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Old 02-16-2017, 09:52 AM   #11
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is the trail from the Hogtown Rd been packed yet.?????thanks, looking at the Mt for next week...
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Old 02-16-2017, 10:04 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tenderfoot View Post
"water filtration"

I learned on this forum that my trusty water filter is not ideal for winter conditions. If water freezes in the filter it expands, ruining the filter element. My strategy for now is to carry it (with my phone) in an side pocket. Keeping it close and warm. May move to a steripen in the future or chem

Just passing along what someone was nice enough to point out to me.

Have fun!
You could always melt snow
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Old 02-16-2017, 12:48 PM   #13
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The trail toward Siamese Ponds via LT from 11th Mountain TH was active with XC day hikers, and myself on SS for overnight 10 d ago, pretty much snow added since, should be good.
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Old 02-16-2017, 01:00 PM   #14
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Tenderfoot--
Trying to do the Indian Pass Traverse a couple of years ago I had to turn back because I had packed an alcohol stove, inadequate for snow melting with my restricted fuel supply when temps fell to -18 F and Indian Creek/brook froze solid. Likewise, I got Giardia using Iodine drops on the Hundred Mile Wilderness section of the AT, fall shoulder season. For me, in serious freezing conditions in the ADK, go with a gasoline stove, melt snow if you have to and boil water. This scheme surely has a weight and time penalty. Filters ok for milder conditions where you know they won't freeze. I emailed the Sawyer company, asking whether stowing the filter with alcohol to prevent freezing, washing out with water before each use would be ok, but they refused to endorse this notion.
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