Ascent of Mount Jo on 2011-02-12

Climber: Jesse Quonce

Others in Party:The ADK Ladies
Date:Saturday, February 12, 2011
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Mount Jo
    Location:USA-New York
    Elevation:2877 ft / 876 m

Ascent Trip Report

Started out around 7:30am with Jim C and a few of the ADK Ladies. We made great time on the hard, packed trail, cruising all the way to the Algonquin junction of the Van Hoevenberg trail. We passed several other hikers along the way. The wind howled as we increased in elevation. We stopped at the Wright Peak junction to put on warmer clothes. I knew we were in for a serious adventure. HighOnLife broke our trail from the junction onwards towards the summit... or did she? We came across a gentleman coming down towards us, yet there was no sign of his track anywhere on the trail! The trail was blowing in as soon as you lifted your feet! We broke treeline, donning our frozen, fogged-up goggles, and wet, sweat soaked balaclavas. I soon lost most of my vision due to my glasses freezing under my goggles. The winds gusted to over 60mph, lifting Laurie and I nearly off of our feet. With the summit in sight, we huddle near a cairn, trying to regroup. We decided that if we did make it to the summit, we may not be able to find our way back to the trail. We abandoned our plans for Iroquois, and Algonquin as well, using better discretion, and retreated. We were quickly joined by a second group of 5, looking to return to treeline. Due to deteriorating visibility, we thought that we were off the trail. We scattered, searching for any and all signs of our footsteps. Twice we retreated to the last cairn found, but sight was reduced to about 100 feet in any direction. We decided to press towards what appeared to be the trail, with members of the other party pushing the way. Suddenly, through the gusts, I heard "I FOUND IT!" from one of the other party members. I lifted my goggles and rushed towards the sounds of those ahead of me. Reaching treeline, I was finally able to clean the quarter inch of ice off both sides of my glasses! We snowshoe-skied some of the steeper sections, until I finally fell and caused a buttslide fad among the ADK Ladies. We met up at the Wright Peak junction to change some clothes and recount the events of our summit push over snacks. We regrouped, and slowly chugged back towards the lodge. From the back of the pack, I hear "Anyone want to tackle Mount Jo?" from HighonLife (Nancy). With my legs still firmly under me, I decided to tag along with the Ladies. Jim bowed out at our return to the parking area, citing his long return trip to home. Jim was a great partner on the trip, and I would certainly hike with him again. I dropped a lot of weight at my vehicle, including 2 fleeces, mittens, balaclava, and water. We made great time up the "Short Trail," and near the summit I took the lead of the group. We ran into a couple and their dog just below summit. The male hiker said "You might want another jacket" to us, which was extremely awkward as we had just been blown off Algonquin. I "pushed" forward, reaching the rocky summit. I joked "quick, get me my oxygen, rope up ladies!" as they neared the summit. We took a few pictures in the open summit environment, and even enjoyed a little sunshine. We took the "Long Trail" on descent, and stopped for pictures on the ice at Heart Lake. It was a great time hiking with the ADK Ladies. Another adventure in the Adirondacks.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:700 ft / 213 m
    Total Elevation Loss:700 ft / 213 m
    Round-Trip Distance:3.2 mi / 5.2 km
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Snow on Ground
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles, Snowshoes
    Weather:Snowing, Cool, Windy, Overcast
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:700 ft / 213 m
    Distance:1.5 mi / 2.4 km
    Route:Short Trail
    Start Trailhead:Heart Lake  2177 ft / 663 m
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:700 ft / 213 m
    Distance:1.7 mi / 2.7 km
    Route:Long Trail
    End Trailhead:Heart Lake  2177 ft / 663 m

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