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Old 12-19-2009, 08:51 PM   #1
T46pks
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Gothics Cable Route Winter?

Hi, my girlfriend and I are thinking about doing the Gothics cable route (along with saddleback, Armstrong and Upper (if time lower) WolfJaw during the week between Christmas and New Years. (Weather Permitting of Course)

We are both experienced in the Adirondacks and have proper winter gear. We have done this trip in the summer and as I remember there is some pretty open steep rock sections near the top of the north summit of Gothics.

My question: Has anyone here ever done the cable route during the winter? How hairy is the section near the top, also does anyone know what the trail conditions have been recently? Are the peaks generally snow-shoeable the whole way up, or is there still a lot of ice around? (we plan on bringing crampons either way, but it's always nice to know what to expect).

Any information that you feel might be helpful would be much appreciated!
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Old 12-19-2009, 09:55 PM   #2
John H Swanson
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It's been a while since I've done this route (3years ago) The difficulty depends largely on the snow conditions. As the terrain is steep, the snow sloughs off and most of the footing was rock with some ice patches. We booted it. The cables helped much, but they were cold on the hands and slippery. So waterproof gloves were a must.
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Old 12-20-2009, 06:28 PM   #3
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Having done this route in winter, I found good snowshoes would get you by. Also, there are times where the cables can be buried under snow/ice and not always available in sections.
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Old 12-21-2009, 09:52 AM   #4
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I've hiked the cable route at least 4 times in winter. I echo Ricks comments about the cables being buried. I was only able to use the cables once out of those 4 times, and it was during a thaw. If there is a normal amount of ice, crampons will be a huge help. Just be prepared for lots of steepness and lots of ice. Good luck!
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Old 12-21-2009, 01:48 PM   #5
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The one time I climbed Gothics in winter up the cables, full crampons were absolutey necessary. It was very icy and good snowshoes were not enough. As said, the cables may be buried and unusable.
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Old 12-21-2009, 03:10 PM   #6
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Just came back from this hike. As of now, cable are visible, but they can be burred easily by just one snow storm. I carried crampons in my backpack and never thought of them. Good aggressive snowshoes are more useful now - there is way more snow than ice. My Lightning Ascent were absolutely adequate.
The trail most likely will look like you are the first hikers in the season. I definitely saw marks of the previous hikers, like pokes in ice left by somebody's poles, but that did not help to break the trail even a tiny bit. Be prepared for quite sluggish progress, I'd say 0.7 - 1 mph on the ridge is a good average speed.
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Old 12-21-2009, 04:30 PM   #7
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I thinking the open rocks with ladders up the ore bed trail would not be very easy either...Have fun... cant wait to see your pics
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Old 12-26-2009, 04:32 PM   #8
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Thanks everyone for the input, not quite sure what we are doing next week, but we will post trip reports once finished!
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