The weather was teetering on the edge, then finally dropped a few weeks ago. Farewell fall, hello winter.
What to do when the cold hits the North Country?
You go on a hike!
A few Saturdays ago I went with my school's Outing Club to Mount Ampersand, taking respite from work and the scratchy air of my townhouse. Ampersands elevation isn't tall enough to be classified as a High Peak, but it's still in the Adirondack Park about five miles outside Tupper Lake. Despite balmy weather on campus, the trails already had snow! That didn't make the ascent any easier-- I'm not accustomed to hiking in the snow. My shoes didn't have proper traction, so my measured steps were basically useless, as I slipped on my rear the entire way back down the mountain.
An early winter wonderland, with gusting winds and endless views at the peak. We could see all of Tupper and Saranac Lakes, then for miles across the High Peaks. Seeing the south side of Whiteface Mountain, towering above the others ... that was one of those moments that I regret never learning how to alpine ski or snowboard. It must be such an enthralling sensation to gun down that slope! Although it's not too late, I'm not sure if I can make the time or financial commitment to figure it out this year.
With the change of time in the higher latitudes, the sun really starts setting by 4 PM. The light was glorious on the way out of the woods.
It was definitely worth a Saturday to absorb a bit of life off-campus. Next time, I'll remember the crampons that I don't have, some skis, perhaps snow shoes and definitely a change of shoes at the bottom...
Listening: "Vanessa" by Grimes