Touring in the Adirondack High Peaks
Every holiday, a group of our friends (and us of course) make our way to some ski destination where we resort ski and cheers to the new year. This year, it was certainly on the docket, but in our wanderlust we decided to head up north a bit early to hit the backcountry slopes.
While we are super familiar with the Adirondacks during most seasons, winter is not one of them, so we admittedly struggled on where to best tour in the high peaks. We knew there was a ski trail near ADK LOJ (Van Hoevenberg Ski Trail), so we packed up our gear on the first day to check it out. The trail itself was pretty close to the start of the route to Marcy Dam, and we considered going on it at first, but wasn’t exactly sure if he went to the Dam too, and gosh, we really wanted to go there. So against everything that would have made sense, we used the trail instead.
NOTE: skinning the trail to Marcy Dam is not easy. For some reason my skins were more playful and absorbed the ups and downs with ease, but Tom’s more technical skins had him inching at every downhill. It was a struggle ,and I wouldn’t recommend it. But it got us to Marcy Dam, and we reveled in each moment in the sun.
On our way back, we almost took a route that looked like it lead to the toilets. Seems silly, but it was the only thing that made sense when considering that there is a ski trail from here. But since the cold knocked our phones below 20%, we decided to take the route we came as we didn’t want to get stuck in the -6 weather. So alas, we made the way back – but certainly still enjoyed the trip.
Day two was just as cold, but we made it out anyway. This time, we talked to a few people in the area and realized the South Meadows entrance would in fact get us there, and it was A LOT friendlier than Van Hoevenberg Trail. Upon arriving, we immediately ran into someone who was skinning, too. So the promise was there. It was a wide, open trail, and very beautiful – perfect for touring. While we didn’t have a few hours to make the trek to Marcy again, we did take in the sights and make a route out of it – giving us all we needed for a nice little ride back to the car.
Next time, we will come a bit more prepared, but with a few hours, a pair of skins, and the will to brave negative temps – we made it happen and had a great time. If you have any hot spots to share in the area, send them our way! We'd love to hear them.