View Full Version : Climbing Whiteface and Ester

Michael M
03-03-2004, 01:20 PM
I am looking to climb both Whiteface and Ester this weekend. I would like to do this as a day trip. Does anyone know if you can park at the trail head (at 3700ft elevation) on Highway 431 and take this trail to Ester? This looks like less than a mile and half and only a few hundred feet gain so possibly could be done in two hours?

Also can you park at the hairpin turn on Hwy 431 (at 4,400 ft elevation)to climb Whiteface? Again this looks like less than one half mile and about 400 foot gain so this to looks like about 2hours?

Is the trail less route up Ester easy to find? and or is it broken out?

Michael CM

03-03-2004, 01:57 PM

That highway (also known as The Whiteface Memorial Highway) is closed for the winter, with large gates across the entrance at the toll station. In fact, I'm guessing it closes at least a month before winter and doesn't open up until at least a month after winter, but I don't know the specifics.

Whiteface and Esther can defintely be daytripped starting from the Atmospheric Center, which is how most hike these in the winter.


Michael M
03-03-2004, 02:15 PM

Johnnycakes, I guess you can tell I know very little about this area.

A women on the nVision adventure racing team sugested you change your handle to JohnnyBlue or JohnnyBlueEyes.


03-03-2004, 03:03 PM
The Whiteface Memorial Hwy is open to vehichles late-May to late October.

You can of course park down by the gatehouse and ski or snowshoe up the highway til it ends a couple hundred feet below the summit, and hike to the summit from there. It's an easy fun ski, (depending on snow conditions!!) Anyone with intermediate cross country or backcountry skills can do it. Might be a little boring on snowshoes though.

If snowshoeing, you might want to choose one of the other routes

Michael M
03-03-2004, 03:41 PM

Thanks this would be ideal!
I just tried skiing for the first time on the Lake Road hiking Sawteeth so I hope this is an easy ski!

I could park at the toll Gate?
Ski about 3 miles 1.5 hours
SnowShoe up Ester 1.5miles 1 hour
Then on to WF 2miles 1.5 hours
Back to the Road 1.5 miles 1 hour
Ski out 3miles .75 hour

Total about 6hours

Is this about right?

03-03-2004, 04:32 PM
Those times look pretty reasonable Michael. I have skied the road without doing Esther and it takes about about 3 hours round trip.
I was hoping to do the Esther extension during the gathering w/e but was unable to make it down.
One thing that may slow you down is the potential for "rotting" snow in these warmer temperatures we are experiencing right now. It looks a pretty steep climb from the road up to Esther.
Anyway have a good trip if you go!


Michael M
03-03-2004, 06:27 PM

Thank you very much!
I only hope there is some snow.
Please let me know if I should bring my roller blades


03-03-2004, 08:13 PM
Michael - it took us about 30 minutes to ski down from the summit. 3 pushes followed by a 30 minute glide with little effort! The road is a very even grade so your speed stays pretty constant.

03-04-2004, 08:00 AM
We'll have to see about the name change. In retrospect, I'm not so sure Johnnycakes was the best handle I could have come up with, but I think I'm stuck with it now.

03-04-2004, 08:26 AM

With the new snow conditions due to the spring like conditions of the last few days your schedule may be off by a few hours, you will likely get very wet and often inspect the void landscape between the earth and the snow on your way to Esther.


PS: With a few friends I revisited the Sewards Monday March 1st and the return at the very end of the day was as slow as tough, felt like we moved all of the Range snow around at times.

03-04-2004, 10:24 AM
Technically speaking and for inclusion in the 46ers, where would you need to begin the ascent for Whiteface and Ester to be officially climbed?
Are these the only two peaks in the ADKS that afford this shortcut of sorts?:confused: :confused:

03-04-2004, 08:21 PM
As long as you don't drive up the auto road (closed in winter) anything goes!!!

03-12-2004, 10:25 PM
You also can't drive down it either.

03-15-2004, 07:24 PM
True - nor can you be a passenger and not the driver in either direction in any kind of vehicle or be transported by a beast of burden.:D