Ascent of Hunter Mountain on 2020-03-21

Climber: Crystal Davis

Others in Party:Dan Petit <10592>
Richard Hamlin
Date:Saturday, March 21, 2020
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Hunter Mountain
    Location:USA-New York
    Elevation:4040 ft / 1231 m

Ascent Trip Report

Started at the Hunter Mountain ski area base lodge / parking lot. Started skinning up, snow was very solid and bumpy from freeze/thaw cycle and recent rain. Dan and I were skinning up and Richard was carrying his skis and boots on his pack because he doesn't have skins. This was our first time skinning despite spending the last couple years acquiring gear. So we didn't fully know how to use it... We were skinning up with the breaks in place at first...Dan noticed it after about 15 minutes and we solved that issue.

We kept stopping to wait for Richard. He told us to go ahead, that he'd be ready shortly, but it was over 30 minutes for him to show up. We didn't make it too far up cuz I kept having us stop for him.

As we got farther up the hill, the snow had more and more icy spots, some covering almost the entire width of the trail. Skins are not good on boiler plate ice. And ever where it wasn't boiler plate, the snow was now so slippery and solid, that I fell just barely moving, and I slid down about 15 feet. I couldn't stop breaks lol. Dan had to help me up. We started up again...I soon fell...again. Now frustrated, we decided to go up just a wee bit farther to a flat-ish spot, take off our skis, and put on microspikes. Dan at first started to take off his ski boots and was going to put on his hiking boots, but I said wait, our spikes are both really big on our hiking boots, maybe they'll fit the ski boots -- and they did. We strapped our skis to our bags, put on our microspikes, and started upward again.

Soon enough we were at the top. It was a beautiful bluebird day, not a cloud in the sky. We found the Colonel's Chair hiking trail and left our skis and ski gear there. We changed out of ski boots and put on our hiking boots. The beginning of the trail was all dirt, so we packed our microspikes in our bags. The old quarry on the way up was kinda cool. We hiked the 2.1 miles up the the Hunter Mountain Fire Tower. The Colonel's Chair trail wasn't too bad, but the Spruceton Trail was very icy and after a bit, Richard and I put on our microspikes...Dan was stubborn and did not.

The view from the fire tower was fabulous. The cab was closed of course, but that's okay. There were some other people up there too, only about half of them had traction of any sort...stupid. We had a snack and headed back down. All 3 of us wore our spikes going down. I kept mine on until we met the trail register (which was the border between ski area and state land). We finally saw the Rip van Winkle statue -- pretty cool.

We got back to our skis pretty quickly, changed boots, and started skiing down. Some of the trails were really nice because they had been warming in the sun all day. Most of the trails were still pretty solid, but at least it was warm enough to get a good edge all the way down.

At the bottom, we ran into a bunch of people having a little apres ski on the deck at the lodge. We hung out with them for a bit and had some snacks we had left in the car. Oh yeah, because of Covid-19, Hunter Mountain ski area (and all other ski areas for that matter) were lift service and no lodge services. So we had the place to ourselves...pretty nice.

Start: 10:48AM
Change from skinning up to hiking up in ski boots: 11:51AM
Top of lifts / Colonel's Chair trail to fire tower: 2.1 miles at 12:49PM
Done changing gear over / headed up to fire tower: 2.3 miles at 1:02PM
Trail register (kinda in the middle of the woods, but really the border between ski area land and state land): 3.0 miles at 1:29PM
Spruceton Trail: 3.3 miles at 1:44PM
Hunter Mountain Fire Tower: 4.3 miles at 2:19PM
Headed down: 4.4 miles at 2:59PM
Spruceton Trail / Colonel's Chair Trail: 5.5 miles at 3:25PM
Trail register: 5.8 miles at 3:40PM
Rip van Winkle statue: 4:02PM
Back at skis: 6.7 miles at 4:24PM
Car: 8.3 miles at 5:00PM
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:2339 ft / 712 m
    Total Elevation Loss:2354 ft / 717 m
    Round-Trip Distance:8.3 mi / 13.4 km
    Quality:5 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Snow on Ground
    Gear Used:
Crampons, Skis, Ski Poles
    Weather:Cool, Calm, Clear
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:2339 ft / 712 m
    Distance:4.3 mi / 6.9 km
    Route:Belt Parkway, Colonel's Chair Trail, Spruceton Tra
    Start Trailhead:Hunter Mountain Ski Area  1701 ft / 518 m
    Time:3 Hours 31 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:2354 ft / 717 m
    Distance:4 mi / 6.4 km
    Route:Spruceton Trail, Colonel's Chair Trail, Minya Konk
    End Trailhead:Hunter Mountain Ski Area   1686 ft / 513 m
    Time:2 Hours 1 Minutes

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