There were nice views to be had at the intersection with the main trail. The camp site here is also compelling. The trail up lookout was quite pretty and we started to get some nice views through the trees. This part of the trail flew and we were soon at the intersection with Esther. There is a large cairn and a sign. Can't miss it.
|Esther Summit looking back towards Whiteface|
|Shredstars and sumitstars!|
|The final push along the arete.|
|Possible slide access routes (?) following natural lines|
|lake Placid and the other 44 from Whiteface summit|
The first stretch of road was intensely wind-blown. After getting in the protective shadow of the mountain, it dissipated and we needed to put our snowshoes back on. At this point we ate our summit chocolate and were recharged for the next bit of walking. We made good time and chatted more wildly as the mountain trance set in. Once time started to slow and our feet got to the point of being beyond sore, the snow thinned out and we were able to start bare-booting again. We sat at one of the many picnic tables and gave our legs a break.
|Bare booting down the highway|
The final push wasn't terrible and as we approached the booth our spirits raised. Along the last half mile of trail, we saw numerous "dog" tracks and wondered if they might be coyote. On the last section of road walk, my feet became kind of deadened and sore. I could barely lift them! Back in the car at around 5:30. We hiked for around 8 hours with about a 1 hour of down time. Though sore, we both felt strong and appreciated the time we had been recently in the gym.
I took my time getting my boots off and having a snack before heading out and reflected on the hike. The weather was stunning, 30's in the morning and probably close to 50 at the highest, with a long afternoon and evening thanks to the spring ahead. I felt blessed. For my girlfriend, my buddies, this beautiful world and the opportunity to explore it.