Ascent of Gothics on 2011-04-15

Climber: Jesse Quonce

Date:Friday, April 15, 2011
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
    Location:USA-New York
    Elevation:4734 ft / 1442 m

Ascent Trip Report

From my Trip Report on the ADKHighPeaks forum:

My day started out at 8am at the AMR parking area, with one other car in the lot (Trail Boss). I barebooted all the way to Rainbow Falls. I took off three layers and put on snowshoes (I started out in full winter gear just to be safe). On the Weld Trail, the jaunt up to the Sawteeth/Pyramid junction was uneventful for the most part. The brooks ARE open, which surprised me, as I'd only seen the trail under deep snow. After a break for snacks, I took off up Pyramid. Yeah, it's still just as steep as it's advertised (Picture #15). I didn't realize how narrow the summit is, I stepped left around the trees near the summit rock, only to look behind me and see.... nothing! I took some pictures of the amazing scenery, as well as the very apparent trail up Gothics (Pictures #36, #48). The Upper Range side of Gothics is bare, and the sun bore down upon us. Before I knew it, it was 12pm, and I was at the summit marker! I had postponed this trip several times, waiting for better weather, and I'm sure glad I did! It felt like summer time at the top, so I switched into a T-shirt and took a short nap on the exposed summit rocks! I woke up, took an extraordinary amount of pictures.... and then the fun began. As I descended into the col between Gothics and Armstrong, the trail absolutely, positively, unimaginably, disappeared. I found myself wandering aimlessly through thick scrub, and nothing seemed to make sense. I kept pressing towards Armstrong, but nothing seemed to jive. I pulled out the map, compass, GPS, and iPhone. GaiaLite GPS had me pegged way to the left of the trail, but the Nat. Geo. map had me right on it. I decided to "zag" hard right, and began side-hilling the scrub. After a good 20 minutes, I found a marker! I found myself rechecking GaiaLite a couple more times, as a majority of trail markers are still deep under several feet of snow. Beaver Meadow Falls was awesome!!!! I can not believe the destruction that the falls unleashed onto the forest floor below (Picture #76). Spied on 3 deer grazing on the fairways by the tennis courts. I made it back to the car around 4pm. I enjoyed meeting Trail Boss, who was returning to the parking area around the same time, and we had a good long talk about today's conditions.

Lessons learned:
1) Trail conditions right now are incredibly variable, sometimes it's hard as a rock, and other times your postholing with snowshoes.
2) The snow is still very, very deep. Do not depend on trail markers for help.
2b) Come on people wear snowshoes! I don't know how many times I tripped in a size 9 posthole.
3) Gothics is definitely worth waiting for the perfect day for.

Enjoy pictures and my first video here:
Summary Total Data
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Maintained Trail, Bushwhack, Snow on Ground
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles, Snowshoes
    Weather:Cool, Calm, Clear
Ascent Statistics
    Route:Weld Trail
    Trailhead:Ausable Club  
    Time Up:4 Hours 
Descent Statistics
    Route:Beaver Meadows Trail
    Trailhead:Ausable Club  
    Time Down:4 Hours 

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