Winter Adventure Update

No, I did not fall off the face of the Earth! I’ve neglected this space for the past month because I’ve been busy with my clinical rotation of my Dietetic Internship! On January 16th I started this 13 week rotation at a hospital in Western Massachusetts, so I’ve been living in the Berkshires during the week and returning back to the Capital Region on the weekends. It has been going pretty well so far! I plan on doing a Day in the Life of Clinical Dietetic Intern pretty soon! But here’s what I’ve been up to.

+Fat biking! Last weekend Jordan and I drove with a few of his friends to Northfield Mountain Bike Park in New Hampshire for Winter Woolly, a downhill fat biking festival! The park opened up the lifts for one day so we could ride our fat bikes downhill in the SNOW! We haven’t had this much snow in about two years so it took some getting used to. The first time I ever rode a fat bike was during Winter Bike Fest in Vermont 2 years ago…and that was the last time until now. I got my own fat bike for Christmas and love love love it! Next weekend we are doing our annual trip to Vermont to fat bike at Kingdom Trails and Ski at Jay Peak. Cannot wait!

+Skiing! Jordan and I bought value passes for Jiminy Peak so we could meet there and go skiing after work. The hospital is only about 20 min from Jiminy so I can drive straight from work and meet Jordan to go skiing. We’ve done this a few times and I’ve also met some other friends there for a Ski date. Twilight skiing is so fun! I learned to ski a year ago and I’m slowly getting a little better each time I do it.


+Training for Seneca 7. Nothing much is happening on the running front. After taking a break this fall from training and racing, I’m slowly upping my mileage for the Senenca 7 Relay in April! We have our team from last year together again because we had such a blast. I’m looking forward to running 77.7 miles with them around Senenca Lake in April.

+Snowshoeing. We finally got enough snow to strap on snowshoes. Last Sunday during the big snow storm Jenna and I met some friends at the Pine Bush in Albany for a short three mile snowshoe. This was the longest hike I’ve been on since January 2nd and I’m really missing the mountains! I have plans to get up to the Adirondacks tomorrow to do some exploring.


+46r # 10,007. After waiting patiently for MONTHS, I was finally assigned my 46r number! It’s official, I’m 46r #10,007! I promptly ordered a few pieces of gear with that logo on it!

I’ll be back soon with a trip report for my hike tomorrow!

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Exploring the Huyck Preserve

Yesterday Jenna and I took Zahra to Hyuck Preserve located about 45 minutes South West of Albany in Rensselaerville. We parked at the Pond Hill Road parking lot to hike the Lake Trail which is a nice loop around Myosotis Lake.

Eventually we came to the trail to the Rensselaerville Falls and went to the overlook.

We walked about 3.5 miles. There are a lot of other trails here that I’d like to come back and explore!

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Balanced Rocks at Pitchoff Mountain

Happy New Year! Yesterday my friend Margaret and I hiked our first hike of 2017, Balanced Rocks at Pitchoff Mountain in the Adirondacks. Located right across from the most popular high peak, Cascade Mountain, Pitchoff is an easy hike with rewarding views. We left Exit 9 at about 7:40 and headed up to Keene. We started hiking around 10am.

 

Jordan and I are dogsitting Zahra, so I brought her along for the hike.

The trail starts to climb right away, but flattens out for some time, then climbs pretty steeply until hitting the Pitchoff Ridge. We brought enough gear for a high peak (always good to be prepared) and over-dressed since we thought it was colder out than it was. Thankfully we could remove layers!  We only went as far as the Balanced Rocks, but we had the option to continue on along the ridge to the summit of Pitchoff.

A great view of Cascade and Cascade Falls

Algonquin in the middle, with Colden to its left, Marcy on the far left

Another view of Marcy, Colden and Algonquin

It was an unusually warm day yesterday, so it was nice to sit for a while and enjoy our snacks with a view.

 

We could see the hikers on top of Cascade. It was probably a bit colder up there.

 

The trail was interesting. The wind had completely blown off the snow on some sections, while some were almost knee deep. Since it changed back and forth between ice, frozen ground, slush and powdery snow, we left our Kahtoolas on while our snowshoes stayed attached to our packs.

 

 

The hike to the Balanced Rocks was only about 1.5 miles. Since we took our time and wanted to get home at a decent hour, we decided to head back, arriving back at the car at about 1:30.

Balanced Rocks at Pitchoff Mountain
Distance ~4mi RT
Time 3 hrs, 30 min (including stops)
Ascent 740′
Gear 
Kahtoola microspikes, EMS Gore Tex Gaiters, Vasque Snowblime hiking boots, Smartwool socks w/liners, CAMP crampons (used only for 1 small icy section), Tubbs Mountaineer Snowshoes (not used), 1 L Hydroflask, 1 L Nalgene, Osprey Sirrus daypack, LL Bean sweater fleece down jacket, LL Bean Merino baselayer tights, EMS hiking pants, EMS Excel Thermo Hoodie, Marmot Snowqueen Jacket (removed after 5 min of hiking), Target gloves, Kelty trekking poles

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Christmas Eve Hike to Black Mountain

On Saturday my friend and I did a quick hike to Black Mountain near Lake George. The day started off nice, then it began to snow on our hike down from the mountain.

It felt like we were in a snow globe. The trail had a layer of snow on top of thick ice, making our Kahtoolas necessary, but an annoyance on the descent.  The snow kept forming balls of ice under our spikes.  It was my second time on Black and my second Winter Fire Tower! It was also a nice change to spend Christmas Eve hiking! I hope everyone had a fantastic holiday.

Black Mountain Fire Tower
Distance 5.6 mi RT
Time 2 hrs, 40 min, including stops
Elevation 2,665′
Ascent 1,169′

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Adirondack Hiker’s Gift Guide – For Him

 1. GoPro Hero5 Session – We have this GoPro and we love it to record our hiking and mountain biking adventures!
2. Osprey Kamber 32 Backpack – This pack is made specifically for winter hiking or skiing. It has place to carry your snowshoes (or skis), a waterproof main compartment, an insulated harness sleeve for your hydration pack and also loops for your ice tools. If I actually decide to become a Winter 46er, I would definitely want this pack!
3. Stanley Stainless Steel Shot Glass Set – this set would be perfect to bring on that backpacking trip with friends.
4. Eagles Nest Outfitters DoubleNest LED Hammock – Now this is just cool. Made for two with battery-powered LED lights, this hammock would be awesome for camping!
5. Original Buff – Every outdoor enthusiast needs a Buff. They can be used as a sun guard, scarf, hat, or neck gaiter. They also come in tons of awesome prints!
6. Princeton Tec Backcountry LED Light Kit – This kit comes with a flashlight, lantern and headlamp, all of which are great to have in your pack or when camping.
7. Yeti Rambler Colster – This Koozie is made of heavy-duty stainless steel and works with bottles and cans–another great thing to have when camping!
8. Garmin Montana 610 Handheld GPS – I don’t own a handheld GPS but if I did, I would want this one. Even though we shouldn’t depend on electronics in the backcountry, they are useful to have and this one has all the bells and whistles.
9. EMS Spindrift Gaiters – Gaiters are an awesome piece of gear for winter hiking. They also come in handy during the shoulder season when you are knee deep in mud on the trail (literally).
10. Kahtoola Microspikes – An absolute essential for winter hiking–never leave home without ’em.
11. EMS Roundtrip Full Zip Sweater – I have the women’s version of this fleece and it’s one of my favorite pieces of clothing! It’s warm and cozy and can be worn under a shell during a hike or looks great wearing around town.
12. MSR Miniworks EX Water Filter – I have this exact filter that I bring with me on backpacking trips and long day hikes. I love it and highly recommend it!

Again, I’m not affiliated with any of the above companies, but I have purchased many similar items and highly recommend them.

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