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Old 03-14-2019, 06:06 PM   #1
Banjoe
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Pharaoh Paradise

So glad someone else picked the weekend to renew our winter trip to Pharaoh after missing a couple years. I'd have had us up there this weekend in the rain and warm temps instead of perfect weather and excellent skiing and snowshoeing. For all the complaints about how crowded Pharaoh can be, I was the only one on the lake Thursday night and only one other lean-to had people Saturday. I was pretty surprised no one else was on top of Pharaoh on Saturday in what I considered perfect conditions.
I got in Thursday afternoon and made it to the beaver pond before dark for a nice view of Pharaoh with some color after the sunset. It had been about 10 years since I climbed it so I was looking forward to going up either Friday or Saturday, maybe even early enough for the sunrise.
I reached the lean-to on the point a little after dark and didn't sleep well because it was so clear I kept getting up to star gaze.
Friday morning the skiing was too good to pass up and I wanted to take some of my excess stuff (didn't need it when it got down to 0 so figured I would be OK without it) back to my car so I skied down to the parking lot to meet my companions. I got there just as they were walking away from the trail registry.
Last time I was there, in the fall of 2017, I made it up Treadway Mountain after looking at it for almost 20 years. I just love how it catches the late afternoon sun in the winter.
Saturday I tried to leave early enough with the intention to make it most of the way, if not all the way up Pharaoh before the sunrise. That is if someone else had broken the trail. As it was I missed it (there's no disk on a tree at the edge of the lake anymore and few in the woods) and when I knew I'd missed it I decided on circling back around to the lean-to for a second breakfast and better clothing choices, with the hopes that someone would go past and break the trail. They did, but they followed my tracks from the first attempt and circled back to the other lean-to they were staying in.
It took almost 3 hours to get up the 1.5 miles, but I kept thinking how clear the sky was and what the High Peaks and mountains to the west would look like from the top so never considered turning back.
By the time I got back the snow fleas were out en mass. It looked like someone had dumped ash in the hole we drilled for water.
Sometime around 3 am Sunday morning we finally lost the clear skies and by 5 the expected snow was filling the lean-to. It was great to have fresh powder for another ski back to the parking lot.
I can't remember a weekend with as nice conditions as these.
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Last edited by Banjoe; 03-15-2019 at 07:52 PM..
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Old 03-14-2019, 08:34 PM   #2
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Pharaoh is paradise indeed, great photos!
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Old 03-14-2019, 11:04 PM   #3
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Great photos and trip report. Brought back memories of my winter trips in there when I lived in Ti. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 03-15-2019, 07:19 AM   #4
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Snow fleas are neat!

Loved the last picture. What a cool trip. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 03-15-2019, 07:47 PM   #5
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Thanks, between a cheap phone and a nice camera I ended up with some good shots. I'm afraid I haven't gotten far with my identification of the High Peaks using maps or internet research. Anyone care to put some names to this picture?
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Old 03-15-2019, 07:55 PM   #6
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Have you Used peakfinder? It’s a free online tool to help you I’d the various peaks
Nice pics and TRo
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Old 03-15-2019, 10:03 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Banjoe View Post
Thanks, between a cheap phone and a nice camera I ended up with some good shots. I'm afraid I haven't gotten far with my identification of the High Peaks using maps or internet research. Anyone care to put some names to this picture?

L-R: Everest, K2, Matterhorn, Mt. Blanc, Katahdin, Pikes Peak.....
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Old 03-16-2019, 09:07 AM   #8
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I'm not 100% sure that Colvin is actually visible but it's in that general location with Blake- both are in front of (and below) Gothics so they're pretty hard to pick out.

South Dix definitely is visible but it's in front of and below Dix so it's also hard to pick out.
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Old 03-16-2019, 09:57 AM   #9
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Here is a higher resolution photo of the view of the High Peaks from Pharaoh Mountain with a bit better contrast, and that you can zoom in on- makes it a bit easier to pick out the individual peaks. I used this photo to help pick out the peaks in your photo. (Note for people browsing on mobile phones with limited data plans- the image is about 500 kb.)

Also visible are Giant and Rocky Peak Ridge to the far right of Dix (the two peaks set off away from the rest of the High Peaks), Grace in the immediate vicinity of the right side of Dix, Skylight (and I think Gray) to the left of Marcy, Algonquin just barely peaking up over the ridge to the left of Skylight, and Redfield to the left of Algonquin (the one partially in the clouds, I think). A bit further left, I believe Allen is visible over the ridge line of Boreas Mountain.
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Old 03-16-2019, 03:16 PM   #10
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Fantastic, thanks. This was one of those trips I feel like a picture or two might end up getting framed, and if one is the High Peaks, everyone who sees it is going to ask which peak is which.
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Old 03-17-2019, 09:05 PM   #11
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Here is a higher resolution photo of the view of the High Peaks from Pharaoh Mountain with a bit better contrast, (Note for people browsing on mobile phones with limited data plans- the image is about 500 kb.)


That link definitely has much more resolution...

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Old 03-17-2019, 09:12 PM   #12
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Weird. When I click on the link, it takes me to the image itself, not the Imgur portal. It must have something to do with you being on mobile. I'd link it directly in this thread, but it's a 6,000 pixel wide image, and that'd mess up the formatting considerably.
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Old 03-17-2019, 09:31 PM   #13
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Nothing against imgur... I mean, who doesn’t like nacho fries?
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Old 03-18-2019, 02:15 PM   #14
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When I clicked on the link it would zoom in, but not very much. I then closed it out and clicked on it again and it worked the way it's intended. Curious, I tried the procedure again and it worked the same way. Click, no zoom, close, click zoom to hearts content.
Is there a serious nacho fries study going on at Paul Smith's? I've got some informal research data available if needed.
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Old 03-18-2019, 05:56 PM   #15
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While I was nowhere near identifying enough to pass a quiz on the picture of the High Peaks, I think I'd be embarrassed to put my name on this one looking west with how few I could name. And don't even get me started with issues about the panorama features on the phone and camera.
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Old 03-18-2019, 06:07 PM   #16
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Caltopo.com used to have a neat feature where you could switch from the USGS topo map to a Google Earth image, and you could zoom in & out at different heights & angles, and click back & forth from the topo & google earth. It was very helpful in identifying distance peaks & ponds etc, but I’m not sure that is still an option with Caltopo anymore. Good news is you can now get a craving for nacho fries while looking at Adirondack photos...a genius idea!
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Old 03-18-2019, 07:30 PM   #17
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Picked out a few of the more obvious ones.

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