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Old 12-25-2005, 02:35 AM   #1
Adirondacks = Heaven
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Burlington, VT
Posts: 219
Most difficult 46er in Winter?

Perhaps this has been asked on the forum b/f, but I am very curious. Which peaks are the most difficult winter climbs and why?

I realize weather can make any peak difficult on a particular day, but which Mts. have the reputation as being the most demanding in winter.

Second Question: What mountains (if any) in the Dacks CAN'T be summited by a day hike in Winter. Meaning for reasons such as distance or lack of daylight, the only way to to climb them is to overnight?

...gotta go, I think Santa just walked in...
Merry Christmas
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Old 12-25-2005, 10:07 AM   #2
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Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 1,084
There is absolutely NO PEAK in Winter that can't be done in a day hike. I day hiked my Winter Forty Six and several rounds of the Winter that followed. They were Looong Day Hikes but it is totally feasible to do so! It all depends on your stamina and determination. Time to me, was not the factor, as many were done with headlamps before and after summitting the mountain. That doesn't mean that we haven't aborted climbs, because we have but very few and usually for darn good reasons. We always set turnaround times! Didn't take stupid chances, "usually."

In my experience Redfield, Allen, the Seward Range were the worst of them. Some of them, there distances made it much more difficult to approach in Winter. Haystack can be quite the challenge to fight the bitter winds of Little Haystack. You pick and choose your days for some of the long distance peaks. You form strong groups, to accompany some of these trips, as rotating lead breakers become more important.

The first time, it took us three trips to do Skylight and Gray. As we tried the first two times from Lake Tear of the Clouds. We then decided to go up over Marcy dropping to Four Corners, to where we finally got all three. Fortunately in only twelve hours. The ranges were usually split up. Not going out thinking, we were going to get the whole Santanoni Range in a day. Only once did we. The Sewards usually split up into three trips. Only a couple of times did we actually get Seward-Donaldson-Emmons in a day. The Dix Range three trips. etc. etc. Just don't set high standards for yourself when going out. Believe it or not, but Street and Nye were seldom done together in a day. They also were very tough! Careful planning is an important factor to trips. Try not to do off the wall trips.

The Sewards are quite demanding, especially when the gate gets closed at Stoney Creek, to where it adds seven extra miles onto the hike.
As well as the Dixes, with the gate closed at Clear Pond adding an extra four to five miles to the trip. Always liked the Bouquet Valley approach to them, for this reason and also much more beautiful of a hike!
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