Thursday, December 23, 2010

Hiking - Taconic Crest Trail

With my back yard looking like this:

and no cross-country skiing to be found anywhere nearby, today I joined a Schenectady Chapter ADK hike on the Taconic Crest Trail, along the ridge that defines the NY/MA border. It's only a little over an hour east of here, but 1,500-2,000 feet higher in elevation. Based on recent reports, we were all expecting a couple inches of snow, and no base except the occasional icy patch. With that in mind, we headed to Petersburg Pass to head south on the trail for 5.2 miles, before dropping off the ridge and retrieving the second car we'd left at Southeast Hollow, 7 total miles from our start.

Well guess what?


We put our snowshoes on at the start, and never took them off. On the ridge, there was about 6-8" of new snow that had just fallen overnight, drifts up to 2 feet, 20 degrees, snow still falling, and a howling wind occasionally causing near-whiteouts. Wow! The trees were beautiful covered in snow, and it was a completely different kind of day than we'd expected. There were the usual first-hike-of-the-winter flubs and should-haves (at least speaking for myself), but we all survived and had a great time.

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