St. Regis Mountain

Martin and Me, halfway up St. Regis

St. Regis Mountain (2865 ft)

Difficulty: Gradual, (but read on...)
Date of Summit: 12/15/2007
Trailhead to Summit: 3.4 miles
Trip Time: 4 hrs
Ascent: 1266 ft
Temperature: negative something something

My first time on snowshoes. Quite the experience. Martin Heintzelman and I decided to do a bit of winter hiking before the holidays. Wear on Earth (the Potsdam, NY Outfitter) had only two pairs of snowshoes for rental. Small and BIG. I figured that the bigger the snowshoe, the better. Actually, the bigger the snowshoe, the more snow you're shoveling with your feet with every step. Regardless, it was beautiful. Completely untouched snow the entire hike, which was both good and bad. Unfortunately, the blazes seemed to either be covered with snow or non-existent, leading us to wander through the woods looking for the areas that look the most like they could actually be a path. Did I mention how cold it was? We stopped once for an extended "lunch-break", and after 10 minutes, my leather work gloves that I had taken off had frozen rock-solid, not allowing me to put them back on my hands. (those gloves have been retired for some fleece/wool ones now)

The saddest part of all is that we never actually summited this mountain. We were within 1/2 mile of the summit when the trail completely disappeared. Even if the trail had disappeared, we were prepared to bushwack (snowack?) our way to the summit. But the only problem was that there had been what looked like a freak ice-storm that only had affected areas near the summit. Every single tree had been blown upside down and frozen, creating a field of giant frozen brooms, that were completely and utterly impassable. I can't tell you how angry I was. The first time snowshoeing AND the first time I have not summited an intended peak. Blech.



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