Thursday, July 28, 2016

Cascade (ADK 3/46) and Porter Mountains (ADK 4/46), July 22, 2016

Cascade Mountain (4,098') and Porter Mountain (4,056) via Cascade Mountain Trail, July 22, 2016.

Mileage:  6.3 miles (RT)

Elevation gain: 

Trailhead:  Route 73 approximately 6.8 miles west of Keene. The trailhead is well marked, just beyond a small lake. There is a small parking area (hikers also park in cutouts above and below the main parking area).

Hiked with Jill and Ken. Thunderstorms were predicted in the afternoon so we chose a shorter hike.  

Being new to the Adirondacks (me: 2 peaks, Jill and Ken: 0) this was the perfect introductory hike for us.  Jill wanted a view to get the lay of the land, to see as much of the Adirondacks as she could from a vantage point.

Cascade's summit did not disappoint.

We were delighted to get a parking spot at 9:15. The trail is located on the far right of the small parking area (down a set of steps).  There is an outhouse off to the side about 100 yards down the trail.

Well marked (Pitchoff Mtn trailhead is across the street).

Small parking area..

Stairs mark the start of the hike.

The trail starts off easy but soon steepens, rocky and as we ascend, slabby.

Baby cairn - there were several random babies throughout the hike.
Views come up quickly.
As we go up we negotiated more slabs. When we got to the junction we went left to the summit Cascade, figuring we'd better hit the exposed top before the storms.

Go left to the summit of Cascade; head right to the summit of Porter.

There are fun scrambles as we closed in on the summit.  Ian, a summit steward greeted us and we latched onto him for more information about peakbagging (Ian is also a 46er, having completed the Adirondack 4k list).

Blazes mark the way up the rocks.

Heading to the summit with Steward Ian.

USGS marker at Cascade Mountain's summit.

We spent some time on the summit soaking in the extraordinary views. Only a handful of people were there (I highly recommend hiking this peak on a weekday to beat the crowds!). Then we headed down the knob and over toward Porter Mountain.

This crack must be tricky going down in winter.

The col to Porter is a combination of soft trail and slab. 

It didn't take long to get to the top of Porter Mountain but we weren't entirely sure we'd reached the summit. We looked around for a USGS marker on the rock. 

It's the summit alright but no marker.

I poked around in the trees, then headed further down the trail (which continues to The Garden trailhead parking) to be certain we were at the height of land. 

We were.

This sign is the only indication we may have arrived at the summit.

The view is nice from Porter Mountain, though not quite as spectacular as that from Cascade Mountain.  We had lunch and headed back toward the junction and our car.

On the way back we could see the rocky approach to the summit of Cascade.

We got to our car around 1:30 and headed back for a swim.  Thunderstorms never did show up that day.  But they would on our hike up Street and Nye (see report).

NE111 72 and 73/115