Ascent of Cascade Mountain on 2005-11-27

Climber: Luc Tremblay

Date:Sunday, November 27, 2005
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Cascade Mountain
    Location:USA-New York
    Elevation:4098 ft / 1249 m

Ascent Trip Report

Daniel had already summited Cascade and Porter in July 2005 with a friend, and told me to bring someone I wanted to introduce to the Adirondacks since it was an easy hike. So I talked my family into coming with me. My wife, Johanne Marcotte, and our two daughters: Claudine and Isabelle who were respectively 7 and 5 year old then. I sold them on the idea of being able to butt slide down, since there was some snow in the Adi unlike Montréal. It wasn’t the first experience for the family. In August, we had hiked successfully to the summit of Mont Jacques-Cartier 1270 meters, (4167 feet), highest mountain in the southern half of the province of Québec. Actually, Isabelle had started hiking with us at 3.

We got up at 5 o’clock and we were ready to drive out at 5h30 with our hiking gear and passports. We parked on highway 73 trail head, registered and I incorrectly set my altimeter, probably not counting correctly the contour lines on the topographic map. At the trail head, there was about 6 inches of snow and the temperature was just below freezing. With my kids, it’s always the same routine: they whine about being tired, that it’s long walk, they ask when we’ll get to the summit, for the first 20 minutes or so. After this short whining spree, they find their pace and walk for hours without complaining! This time was no different until we reached the first rocky sections before the Y to Porter. At that point, I thought we were almost there because of my wrong altimeter setting. Since I thought we were almost there, we decided to wait until the summit before eating. Unfortunately it took us another hour to get there. I had to closely supervise Isabelle on the final rocky part. She was looking very tired at the summit. I was wondering if it was that great an idea to have brought her up there; how would we get her down? It was cold and windy at the summit, my wife told me to hurry up with pictures, but I couldn’t help myself from looking at the outstanding view. The treeless rocky summit of Cascade located to the north of most of the 46 offers a better view than Gray I had done just before. Clouds were forming downwind Marcy, just like on photographs of high mountains. The wind prevented us from eating at the summit. Before starting down I tied a rope to carebiner and hooked up Isabelle so I could belay her down the rock steps. A three or four foot step is not easy to downclimb when you’re just over 3 feet tall. Secured by the rope, all went well for my little one going down the bare rock of the summits.

Upon reaching the tree line, we ate our lunches, including lots of goodies for the kids. Isabelle cheered up and we started down. I tied Isabelle’s rope around my hip so she could slide down safely. She was leading the way, running on flatter spots to gather speed to slide down faster. She was all smiles and laughs. Sometime kids are unpredictable. For Claudine, reaching the summit was her thing, all smiles at the summit, for Isabelle it was going down in the snow. Eventually, we reached the bottom part where the lack of snow and slope prevented butt sliding. That last part was a bit of a chore for the kids but they did not complain. It was starting to get dark by the time we reached the car. Isabelle slept the whole way back to Montréal.

We had taken 7 ½ hours to cover 7,7 km (4,8 miles) and gained a total vertical height of 600 meters (2000 ft) in winter conditions even though it was still fall officially. It was my wife’s second 46 after Phelps in 1998 and a first one for both of my daughters.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:2005 ft / 610 m
    Extra Gain:36 ft / 10 m
    Round-Trip Distance:4.8 mi / 7.8 km
    Route:Standard West Ridge Trail
    Trailhead:Road 73 Parking  2165 ft / 659 m
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Snow on Ground

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