Trail: Glencliff Trail

Equipment: Microspikes, snowshoes, wind gear, eye protection

Our car ride over and back we were keeping our eyes peeled for the possibility of a moose sighting. We saw one, a BIG 4802' Moosy! Yeah, no actual moose were spotted during this trip. We enjoyed a nice night of food, beer and sleep, woke up to a delicious breakfast at the Woodstock Inn and headed out on another gorgeous day for the planned hike of Moosilauke on our return trip home. Our drive to the trailhead had more ups and downs than the trail would have, the frost heaves were in full affect. Once we arrived at the trailhead, we geared up and hit the trail by 10am. The majority of us wore microspikes for traction while the remainder wore snowshoes start to finish. The trail was in great condition on our climb up, the sun was still to the east and south and the temperatures had yet warmed up enough to degrade the quality of the snow.
Approach to South Peak

I think the biggest thing I've seen in comparison between my hikes in the native 'dack and the Whites is the ADK's steep pitches and drops vs the Whites continuous unrelenting climb. This was I think most true today, as on the way up it seemed like we didn't hit a flat spot till we hit the ridgeline, hah. That's ok, it's a nice trade for the long approaches that the Adirondacks have to offer; here you just get straight to the business.

The trailhead was fairly full when we left and at the beginning of the trail we passed three groups of people, two with dogs. I am a fan of dogs on trails, even though I don't have one, but am curious what if any regulations there are in the Whites concerning dogs. The first two we passed were off leash, running around on and off trail and running under our groups feet. I had a feeling a few of my hiking partners were a little annoyed by it. Conversely, we passed a beautiful lab (on-leash) close to the ridgeline and on the descent who was very well behaved and his owner stepped him off-trail to give him/her a snack.
Panoramic back to South Peak

I decided to switch over to snowshoes as we got closer to the ridge so I could take advantage of the ascender bars on my Evos and save my calves some burn. When we hit the ridgeline trail junction with the Carriage trail the remainder of the group donned snowshoes and wind gear for the short jaunt over to South Peak. What a great little trail through the trees to a beautiful view on the summit! One of the best .2 of a mile there is. Back at the junction we picked up our packs and began the scenic walk along the ridge amongst the trees and then after as we approached the summit cone and the blustery summit winds. I've come to really enjoy and love the ridgeline, alpine sections of trails that a number of the Whites have to offer. It is cool to be able to pan your head and enjoy views in all directions!

Our group managed to take a few minutes to snap photos, soak up the view and enjoy a quick lunch on the summit before the winds started to chill and we had to begin our descent. The return off of the summit was quite a bit chillier give that this time we were walking into the wind instead of having it at our backs. Thankfully we only had a few minutes of walking before we were back below treeline and by this time the warm sun and increasing temperatures had begun to melt and soften the snow. As soon as we hit the ridge walk amongst the trees we started to get balling under the snowshoes and it continued till we got to an elevation where there actually wasn't enough snow to ball up. We did manage a few really nice butt-slides on the way down which helped to give short respite to knees. We made it back to the cars by 3:15pm and changed out of some of our wet clothes and buckled in for our ride back home. What a beautiful day and beautiful trip! I can't wait for the next opportunity to enjoy the Whites!