Friday night we always drive in – meet up at the hotel and head to the Lake Placid pub and Brewey. We have some beers and dinner and then head over to wiseguys to drink some more beers before calling it a night
This year we decided to try and climb up Noonmark Mountain. The hike is short – but goes up the entire way. Many of the Adk peaks are higher – many are longer trips – but many also have you working around the mountain or even down at some points. Noonmark is straight up from the parking lot in. No breaks. A good challenge.
Side note – my trail running has made these hikes pretty much an easy walk in the woods in terms of effort. Love that I can say that.
We started the trip in snowshoes – which to be honest were not really needed. There were 2 ladders along the trail for climbing over some steep rock areas and there were 2 sections of trail that were so ice covered that part of the group found a way around off trail through the woods.
At the summit – there was an incredibly thick layer of ice for what would normally be a fun rock scramble. With the summit wind picking up I had switched out of my snowshoes and into my microspikes for the summit. I climbed up around the edge of the rocks – and felt odd – something in the pit of my stomach – So I just went back down.
Most of the group did not make it over the ice to the summit. Most of the group was wearing only snowshoes. The issue was not going up the summit as much as it was finding a safe way down from the summit. If you had crampons it was simple. If you had microspikes it was challenging at best – If you had snowshoes – it was dangerous.
I am a little frustrated I did not go up but I have learned in my years of doing this that if you don’t feel right – You turn back. The mountain was not very technical – and a few guys with snowshoes risked it on the way up and made it back down safely – I simply decided not to – no true regrets. – The mountain has no heart and doesn’t care if you slip.
Having climbed Noonmark previously one summer while staying at Massawepie - I had no drive to take a risk to reach a peak already notched off of my list.
The trip itself was fun as usual.
We left Lake Placid early on Saturday morning – Drove through the town of Keene and down to the trail head
We parked in the trailhead lot off of route 73 near the Ausable Club – A wonderful club out in the Adk range
There are 2 choices – a shorter and longer route – we chose the shorter 4.2 mile round trip – It suits this group more. I think a summer trip here would include the longer trip.
The hike as I said goes up from the get go – I took a few photos of some guys on the trail.
As I said – You have to work some ice patches to get up this mountain. Because of melt then cold then melt then snow – the ice was VERY thick. Eliminating hand holds and footholds. Had to spike in and hope!
The route climbs a few ladders – I always find this tough in snowshoes -
There are plenty of awesome views along the way – I made sure to get a few photos
Eventually you break out of the woods into what I consider a “false summit”. It offers amazing views with only part of the wind up on the real summit. Basically you rock a 360 degree view even from here.
Then I turned back at this point – This is the shot showing how close to the ledge we go – the 2nd photo shoes the rock summit that was all ice.
After the hike up we head back down for what I have coined “#trailgating” – Go ahead hashag it!
I Even managed to catch a chipmunk – I will never go hungry— just sayin.
Then of course the trip gets fun – we head out to do some pizza and bowling – and drink TONS of beer.
I love heading up to the mountains. There is something about being out there – The fresh air – the challenge of the climb - the peacefulness. It’s awesome.