Whiteface recovered nicely from the rain. When I arrived, it was in the 20s and windy. The roaring of the snow guns was music to my ears.
I didn’t get a chance to take my first run until 9:45 and was anxious to ski Essex because I’d missed it last weekend. I asked a couple of guys on the Gondi how it was skiing — they found a breakable crust at opening, but hadn’t skied it since.
The day that my wife, youngest son, and I hiked Hurricane Mountain, it was overcast, but conditions were nice — around 70 degrees with no bugs.
There are three ways up Hurricane. We decided on the north route, which starts at the end of O’Toole Road. From the trailhead, the hike to the 3,678-foot bald summit is about three miles. The most popular route to the summit is from Route 9N — in purple on the map. But we chose the trailhead on O’Toole Road. We snagged the last available parking spot and headed off.
The Hurricane Mountain Chapter of ADK maintains the trail. The first mile is up and down, without much elevation gain until you get to the lean-to at Gulf Brook. After you cross the stream for the first time, you start to climb. The trail is narrow and rocky much of the way.
MB and I were busy on Friday morning, but it was such a beautiful day, we knew that we had to take at least a short hike. We’d never done Baxter and decided to give it a try. I’d read good things about it, and after reading an article about upland development, I wanted to see the view for myself.
The trailhead is easy to spot, right on the side of Route 9N in the town of Keene, NY. There is no designated parking area — everyone parks on the side of the road. The trail is well maintained, very easy to follow and features a four-mile loop that is popular with trail runners. We saw one group of runners coming down as we were headed up.