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Thread: Cliff and Allan in winter 3-day

  1. #1
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    Cliff and Allan in winter 3-day

    Does anyone know a reasonable route to do these two peaks in a three day winter trip? As you may imagine, I'm hiking with someone who needs these two - and only these two! - to finish the 46. It would be great if we could get them in one trip over MLK weekend.

    We don't want to do a death march, but we're fairly fit and experienced hikers.

    Any suggestions? Or is this complete lunacy?

  2. #2
    Registered User DeadFred's Avatar
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    Lunacy! The old Marcy trail will not get you there, as it's no longer maintained and what was left was totally destroyed by hurricane Floyd. IMO, there is no easy way from Allen to Cliff without returning to Upper Works and going up the Opalescent to Cliff's herdpath. I'd highly recommend you do this as two totally separate hikes (possible on the same weekend but LOTS of miles).

  3. #3
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    In the summer it would be tough, but depending on snow conditions you might be able to do it.
    First Day: I would hike in to Flowed Lands EARLY. Set up camp and head to Cliff.
    Second Day: Day Hike Allen down the Hanging Spear Falls trail from Flowed Lands.
    Third Day: Crawl back to Upper Works!
    Never say never!

  4. #4
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    I may be speaking out of place and I am certainly speaking beyond my skill level but when I climbed Cliff this summer I was sorely tempted to try tracing the old trail back to Hanging Spears falls. With good crusty snow on the ground it seems like it might be possible to trace the old path or bushwack down the way the trail ran.

    I can't speak to the damage the hurricane did to the area but if it doesn't get worse than the section to Cliff it might be worth a try.

    Of course it's a lot easier and faster to get back to the Flowed Lands from Uphill Brook in the Winter than it is in the summer.

  5. #5
    Registered User DeadFred's Avatar
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    I don't necessarily disagree that winter travel may make that old route more manageable as Tahawus indicates, however, I still think you'll be in for one heck of a time trying to bag both these mountains in these snow conditions and with all that blowdown from Floyd in the area.

    It really depends how good the snowpack is for snowshoe travel, but I'm inclined to stick with my original opinion that you'd be better off breaking this trip up into two, or at least taking the long way around. All that said, if you do try it please post a report so we can check out your trip. Good luck and climb safe!

  6. #6
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    Question Allen to Redfield/ Cliff?

    I seem to remember a Trip Report filed a couple of years ago by Tom Haskins, where he hiked to Allen and then off Allen to Redfield. I believe it was in the summer. Since Redfiled and Cliff are neighbors, he, or someone who remembers the hike, may have some insight into this

    I also remember various discussions here that it may be a little easier to do Cliff in the winter from the Upper Works, since you can ski or snow shoe over the Flowed Lands, take a bearing to go up Cliff, and walk over most of the blowdown if the snow is deep enough.

    Pin Pin always seems to be doing some fairly interesting routes - maybe he has been between the two in the winter?

  7. #7
    Senior Member Doc McPeak's Avatar
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    Where there's a will...

    Day 1: Big day. Hike in to the state land by the old twin brook lean-to. Set up camp. Hike Allen.
    Day 2: Continue down the Hanging Spears trail to Flowed Lands and camp. Recuperate a little.
    Day 3: Cross the frozen Flowed Lands and take the popular winter route right off the lake straight to the summit, instead of hiking up the Op and in the back way. Most people did Cliff this way last year. Then out.

    Won't be easy, but definitely as doable as any ambitious winter plans. Good luck!
    "We sit together,
    the mountains and I,
    until only the mountain remains."

    -- Li Po (701-762 A.D.)

  8. #8
    Senior Member rhihn's Avatar
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    Day 3: Cross the frozen Flowed Lands and take the popular winter route right off the lake straight to the summit, instead of hiking up the Op and in the back way. Most people did Cliff this way last year. Then out.


    Doc McPeak: As ronandjon mentioned, I've also heard of doing Cliff this way in the winter, but that there had to be enough snow to make it a reasonable alternative. Is there enough snow?
    Dick

  9. #9
    Senior Member JimB's Avatar
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    I think Doc's plan is doable ,but I'm lazy and would switch day 1 and 3. That would make the big hill by Hanging Spear Falls a descent(it's big). So you'd set up camp and climb Cliff from FL on day 1 and then move your camp to the old Twin Brooks site on day 2. The trip out on day 3 would be long but possibly easier than the Calamity Brook trail. Good Luck
    Nobody moves.... nobody gets hurt!









  10. #10
    Senior Member Pete_Hickey's Avatar
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    Re: Where there's a will...

    Originally posted by Doc McPeak
    Hike in to the state land by the old twin brook lean-to. Set up camp.
    State land doesn't begin until almost a mile past the old Twin Brook lean-to site. Camping is no longer allowed in the area of the former lean-to.

  11. #11
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    Thumbs up stay in a warm bed!

    I recommend that you do Cliff one day and hike out to enjoy nice warm accommodations.
    You could take 2 days to do Allen if you wanted to spend one night in the woods.

    Being that you are both very strong hikers and most of the trail, if not all the way, to Cliff should be tracked, you could do this in a winter day.

    Enjoy and don't hesitate to tackle it all!

  12. #12
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    It's that, "if not all" part that can be the killer, especially when you have steep climbs.

    I have done more than one unbroken trail where I have been sweeping the snow in front of me out of the way with my arms to clear a path for my snowshoes. This without having to bend over or stoop. .25 mph can be a fast path when its really deep.

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