Baldface Mountain (Debar Wild Forest)
This was a short but sweet little bushwhack, snowshoe. I had been eyeballing this peak ever since I saw the profile of it from Debar Pond last year.
This is a rather long drive from Lake Placid so we panned on climbing Debar Mountain as well, but due to our late start and rise from our comatose state that morning we opted for only Baldface. Along narrow, Old Route 99, now Country Route 26, we found a nice spot to ditch our car and start our unknown adventure.
According to the GPS we were only 0.75 miles, in a straight line to the summit. But, if anyone here bushwhacks, you know, "you ain't walkin' no straight line through the woods!" So it would eventually end up being a mile or so.
The forest was pleasantly open with about 4-6 inches of old, heavy, wet snow. The snow had a slight crust on it, but nothing that proved to be more than a sound producer. So, at about a quarter mile in we started a relatively steady climb so I flipped up my heel-lifts on my Atlas 10-series and went to town. Apparently the only thing I was going to town on was my snowshoes. Both heel-lifts cracked near the frame of the snowshoe by the time I was to the ridge. I wasn't too upset, it's near the end of the season and they weren't really helping anyhow.
The grade continued to get much steeper as we approached a small cliff band that we decided to climb through, rather than avoid. That exited us to a very large erratic on the ridge and a much smoother sailing course of attack. Now on the ridge we continued a rather fast pace, kicking in steps as needed, and quickly popped out on the rocky summit. We were pleasantly surprised at the 180+ degree views we had. Debar Mountain and Pond was right in front of us, looming, with a snowstorm over them, which just so happened to be moving our way. It wasn't long before we were immersed in pelleting "Styrofoam" snow. But that didn't stop us from breaking out the Jetboil and prepping ourselves some spruce tea to warm our insides. After a cup or so and some really stale gingerbread chocolate, don't ask, we made a fast descent back to the car.
Interested in learning the technique ofand route finding? Maybe you want to learn GPS or map and compass use? Seek out a local guide service today to set up a group or private class.