View Full Version : Whiteface in early November

10-06-2004, 12:42 PM
I am planning a trip up to Lake Placid area early next month. Would like to climb Whiteface Mtn. via the Connery Pond (think I spelled that right?) trail. I plan on giving myself all the daylight available. Just wondering if anyone has done this at this time of year, or has an opinion if it should be done at all. TIA.

10-06-2004, 12:54 PM
Last year we climbed Whiteface in January, during that first cold snap. -20(at least) at the top, with 40mph winds. It was cold. November probably wont offer the same level of cold, but you should go well-prepared. Probably you will need crampons, as the last 1/2 mile can be very icy.

Question for you. What is your experience level? Have you climbed in the Adirondacks before? Whiteface is a good choice for a first winter ascent, because the ski resort provides somewhat close proximity to help if you have a radio. This is a tough one to give advice on, because you have not given us any info on your ability level, and experience.


10-06-2004, 02:28 PM
Thank you for the information. In regards to experience, I really have none climbing the High Peaks at this time of year. The climbing I do in that area is in the summer and therefore the weather is not a much of a factor. I have spent quite of bit of time over the last 30 years in other parts of the ADK's both climbing and back packing from April thru December. So I am aware of the weather changes that can take place at the lower elevations. For this trip we are planning on having 4 people on the climb, all have experience in the ADK's during winter. We have all agreed that if the day is decent we will make the attempt, knowing that things can change rapidly and we may need to bail out. Your suggestion on the crampons and radio are noted. Thanks again for the response and I apologize for my initial lack of information.

> NicksMaint

10-06-2004, 02:38 PM
No need to appologize. I am always weary of giving advice about winter climbs, so I need the most info I can get from someone. The route you have chosen is excellent, if it is a nice day, you should be able to grab Esther if you are feeling up to it. It is great that you are latching on to a few guys that already have some winter under their belt. I was actually going to suggest that you go with a party of 4 since this is the safest way to travel in the winter.

Other notes. You may also need snowshoes depending on what kind of winter we are having. Last year, there was no real need for snowshoes in November, but jus the year before that we had 3 feet of snow on the ground before Thanksgiving. So, if you look at trail conditions on this site, or spacifically ask the board for conditions the week before your trip, you should be in good shape. You can also call the Mountaineer in Keene Valley, and they should be able to tell you if there is ice. There is one cliff in particular that gets iced up, but it can be circumnavigated by taking the road if need be. Hope you have a great hike.


Doc McPeak
10-06-2004, 03:31 PM
Originally posted by percious
The route you have chosen is excellent ... There is one cliff in particular that gets iced up, but it can be circumnavigated by taking the road if need be ...

The route from Connery Pond is the southern approach, and on the opposite side of the mountain from the road. I think percious is thinking of the Wilmington trail.

Connery Pond's approach has a couple steep slabs on the way that could be treacherous if icy. The top also goes over lots of open rocks and ledges, so crampons if it is icy (and it most likely will be by mid-November) will be virtually mandatory.

Crampon season is late fall/early winter.

10-06-2004, 05:00 PM
I was just about to make a similar observation when Doc's reply popped up. The open slabs and the rocky top on Whiteface could make for a challenging ascent and one that makes crampons essential. And Esther, a trailless peak on the opposite side of Whiteface from Connery Pond is not a great idea this time of year.
From the top of Whiteface you drop quite a bit and even in the warm weather, Esther is a good hop to get over there. Doing it with a short day and then having to reclimb WF could be difficult. Then, of course, you have to deal with some snow covering the route over.

10-06-2004, 06:08 PM
Originally posted by Doc McPeak

Crampon season is late fall/early winter.
Speaking of crampons....Do you think they'd be madatory for the Sewards in November?

10-06-2004, 06:38 PM

Too many variables.
Standard or Calkins brook? Will it be warm or cold? Can you stay in the brook (icy maybe) or on the herd path along it?
Will there be snow and at what elevation?
If it gets really cold before much snow accumulation, then all the brooks, slides, bogs, wet spots, rocks and places where splashes freeze on rocks will be glaze ice. A little snow could even make it easier.
Probably smarter to carry them, instead of finding out that you wish you did.