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Old 11-21-2017, 12:36 PM   #1
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Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 5,985
Day Two. Giant-RPR on ice. Nov. 20.

After a fantastic sleep on a luxury cot in Tom and Doreen's gear room followed by a relaxing morning lingering over coffee I hit the trail at 9:15. At Chapel Pond it was about 20F. I decided I was going to go at whatever pace, no matter how slow, it took not to feel any discomfort of fatigue in my legs. There was fresh snow on the ground (not much) and the wind was blowing. I put my Hillsounds on just after the Cobbles junction and that is where it got very steep and incredibly icy.

I had chosen G-RPR for it's elevation gain to distance ratio but never though about the ice (duh!). The ice was hidden under about an inch of fluffy snow. Sometimes the ice was spike-yielding and at others it was very hard and black and the spikes would skitter uselessly unless I stomped them down hard. I never knew what was underfoot: rock, porous ice or water ice. All the way to the top of Giant all I could think of was the trip down and I even down-climbed a couple of gnarlier sections just to ease my mind.

I regretted not having a camera just for a summit shot on Giant. Very beautiful and very inhospitable. The trees were plastered in the whitest snow possible. The drop towards RPR was not bad. The Hillshounds maintained traction on even the steepest pitches (major quad workout. The RT to RPR was very meditative and I ceased worrying about the descent of Giant. It had taken me 3h30 to get to RPR so my pace was not as slow as it felt, which reassured me after the fatigue I felt just the day before. The climb back up Giant was a grunt- as always- but I took it slow and then I very carefully picked my way down, down, down to the Washbowl. In the flat light on the exposed rock I didn't see a lip and ledge and just at that spot the ice (hidden by 2'' of snow) turned black and rock hard. I went down immediately and began an uncontrolled slide. I saw a big rock and a bush below me coming up fast. I hoped I would hit the bush. I did. I doubled my already highly-tuned vigilance after that scare. I had been trying to make every single step under total control and ensure that every foot-fall was secure. It was very hard work and it was a huge relief to be off the steeps and stare, empty-headed out across the Washbowl.

Higher up, the views of the slabs on Giant and the Round Mtn face across the way were intimidating and awe-inspiring. I was back at my car 6h45 minutes after departing.
The best, the most successful adventurer, is the one having the most fun.
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Old 11-21-2017, 01:13 PM   #2
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 1,686
Good strong hike!

Don't get hurt now! The main event is coming up soon.
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Old 11-21-2017, 05:41 PM   #3
aft paddle
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Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Northern Greene County
Posts: 308
I had to look back to refresh my mind, I thought maybe this should be noted in each trip report.

Originally Posted by SpencerVT View Post
Still a little unclear as to what your winter hiking project is?

Originally Posted by Neil
I'm going to try and do the ADK-HH in a single winter season.
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Old 11-22-2017, 08:30 AM   #4
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 589
That report made me shiver while sitting in my well-heated house! Not to sound like your mother, but please be careful out there, and shouldn't you bring along a friend? Good luck on your winter quest. I really enjoy your reports.
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Old 11-22-2017, 08:56 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by jan View Post
shouldn't you bring along a friend?
As a last resort:
The best, the most successful adventurer, is the one having the most fun.
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