ADIRONDACK GUIDED BACKPACKING
NTP TRAIL PISECO TO UPPER BENSON
March 13, 2004 - March 21, 2004
Meet Ana Maria, Andreas, and Kaspar
March 13, 2004
Ana, Andreas and Kaspar all arrived for an extreme winter excursion. They were to attempt the NLP trail from Piseco to Upper Benson.
We picked Ana up at the train station in Amsterdam. She is currently attending NYU but from South America. It is not only her first wilderness excursion, but also the first winter she ever experienced.
Ana was placed in our Crow's Nest accommodation, and popcorn kept her company for the first few evenings.
Ana and Kim
March 14, 2004
It's exciting to pack your bag for the first time. Try to make it as light as possible but don't forget anything. Then, weigh it.... (Ana)
Pack Weights upon departure
Ana - 45 lbs
Kaspar - 31 lbs
Andreas - 57 lbs
Dan - 65 lbs
Kim - 55 lbs
Andreas & Kaspar (father & son) stayed at Whitetail run prior to their backpacking adventure through the first section of the Northville-Lake Placid trail. Kaspar is 10 years of age, and determined.
Kaspar wanted a backpacking remote adventure with his Dad, and Andreas (his father) was all for it.
Andreas and Kaspar outside Whitetail Run Yurt. Andreas and Kaspar are living in Conneticut, but are originally from Switzerland
Kaspar, Andreas, & Ana at Arctic Circle X-C Ski Lodge, awaiting their first snowmobile ride from owner Al Gessinger.
My first ride in a snowmobile (Ana).
Our neighbor (Al Gessinger) and the owner of the Arctic Circle Ski Center, graciously provided our guest with their first snowmobile ride ever.
Kaspar even got to participate in grooming the cross-country ski trails during his snowmobile ride.
Al asked Kaspar how his ride was and Kaspar replied awesome, but Al thought he said awlful. Kaspar was very pleased with his first snowmobiling ride.
During Kaspar's snowmobile tour, Andreas played snowball with popcorn. Pop couldn't of been happier.
Andreas' turn for the snowmobile
Al & Andreas return from the snowmobile trail
All had a great time thanks to Al
Kaspar outside the Arctic Circle Ski Center Lodge, waiting for Dad (Andreas) to return.
He did have time to play with Pop
After snowmobiling; Ana and Kaspar decided to try Cross-Country skiing for the first time.
Andreas settled down to a good book and a cat nap, while Ana and Kaspar took to the cross-country ski trails.
Both Ana and Kaspar did a fabulous first time job
Adirondack Cross-Country Determination
The night before the groups departure for the trail. We all sat down to a Lasagna dinner at the Main House. Andreas chose the Adirondack Chair.
Last e-mail to Colombia before the hike.
Ana chose to contact her family before departure
Kaspar decided on a cat nap in front of the woodstove with Pop
All put in a long day of packing, playing, and the Adirondack Air.
March 15, 2004
OFF TO THE WILD BLUE YONDER
Ana prior to here guided backpacking trip. Time for the ride to the trailhead.
Andreas has his snowshoes ready
The ride to Piseco trailhead
Dan was in the mood for singing before the trip started, but we were all too nervous to follow his tune!! Meanwhile, Pop was trying to breath in the back of the car....(ANA)
Nobody ever said your Adirondack Guides would be normal!
We drove Route 10 through Arietta. The roads were slick from the 3" of snow we received last evening.
HERE'S A GROUP READY FOR ACTION
The goal for the first night was Hamilton Lake Stream Lean-To (3.6 miles)
Ana what happened to your walking stick????
Kaspar's there somewhere
Time for our first break
Kaspar heading to Hamilton Lake
Ana heading to her first Lean-To experience in the Adirondack Mountains
Our first stream crossing ended in a soak and wet Kaspar in 25 degrees weather. Immediate action was taken by all to put him back to warm and dry. During the process Andreas ask "what no picture for this"?
Dan proceed to break out the camera
Kim more concerned with Kaspar then the picture
Our first break for our last homemade lunch along the NTP
Last home-made lunch before the MRE's
We found out later that Kaspar saved part of his sandwich for the following day (great conservation)!!!
We stopped for another break at Priest's Vly
Everyone was getting tired, but enjoyed the views
Kaspar and Andreas at Priest's Vly
We finally arrived at Hamilton Lake Stream Lean-To. Andreas and Dan gathered wood for the fire, while Ana and I filtered water from the stream.
Dan was asking me to smile for the picture, but I couldn't smile. I was so cold, I could only grab my toes and try to warm them up (Ana).
Didn't take long for this group to unpack
Ana finally did get warm, but with six layers, a handwarmer, and popcorn.
MARCH 16, 2004
Popcorn's ready for another day
Kaspar decided to check on his socks in the morning.
A brilliant view from Hamilton Lake Stream Lean-To - A winter scene not to be forgot.
Everyone packed and ready to move on to Whitehouse (2.8 miles)
Goal to get to Whitehouse and set up camp. Winter Storm Warning in effect for possible 7" of snow.
Ana and Kims first break heading out of Hamilton Lake Stream. A wonderful opportunity to snap a picture of Andreas and Kaspar cresting the ridge.
Ana motivated greatly during the winter trex into Whitehouse
Ana and Pop spent alot of time together during this wilderness trex.
Kim was exhausted, but knew Whitehouse was just over the crest
Ana and Pop at the Suspension Bridge in Whitehouse
Time to set up camp
A cozy spot to bunker down for the night
Upon arrival to Whitehouse; Andreas and Kaspar dug our a great place to place their tent for the evening.
Time for warm dry clothes prior to finishing the nightly winter camping routines at Whitehouse.
Ana seems pleased with her new accommodation for the evening. Pop is also taking the time out to check out the evening facilities.
The evening dinner of Meals Ready To Eat choices:
Chicken Stew and
Spaghetti with Meatsauce
Ana & Kaspar decided on a warm meal around the campfire, while Andreas took in a cat nap prior to dinner.
The Adirondack campfire was a warm welcome to us all. We enjoyed a great meal along with the daily trail concerns.
The previous Winter Storm Warning did develop into a foot of snow for our morning awakening. Ana - you alive in there!!!!
Andreas & Kaspar's tent faired a little better than Ana's
The first daily chore wood for the fire.
Kaspar arose to the new fallen snow, but did appear quite cold.
Where's your jacket??????
The Adirondack scenery was beautiful with the fresh snow cover
Andreas arises to the Winter Wonderland. Boots a little stiff Andreas?
Kim does find humor in watching Andreas attempt to put his boots on. Been there Done that!
Ana was the last to arise that morning. Her turn to attempt the boots.
Ana awoke this morning at Whitehouse not feeling well. Never experiencing a winter or the extreme Adirondack conditions. She felt it better to return to Back To Basics. We were concerned about her health and immediately revised our plans to get her to comfort. We immediately asked for a group vote, and the decision was that Kim would take Ana out through Whitehouse; while Dan proceed thru with Andreas and Kaspar. Ana not use to the harsh winter conditions, did do her best and was able to complete the trail from Piseco to Whitehouse.
A view taking by Ana the morning in Whitehouse after the new fallen snow.
Ana and Kim packed up camp and proceeded out of Whitehouse into Wells. The trex out was uphill and after the foot of new snow it did provide a tough 9 mile trex.
During Ana and Kim's trex out; Ana was still willing to be pictured. This photo is just one of the ascents out of Whitehouse into Wells. Ana did tire the last mile out of Whitehouse and a ride was obtained by two gracious individuals road side. We were thankful for their presence after a long day. We arrived in Wells at 4:30 and called Douglas for a ride back to civilization.
Douglas arrived at 5:30 and drove us to the Piseco trailhead to retrieve the truck for our return home. Ana and I stopped at Canada Lake Store for our evening meal of hamburgers and returned home exhausted from the days excursion.
After Ana and Kim's departure; Dan, Andreas, & Kaspar headed for the goal of Mud Lake Lean To (3.05 miles)
Mud Lake Lean-To was reached and the group was very pleased with the endeavor. Popcorn immediately kicked back to relax.
This father and son experienced what survival in the wilderness mean't from step one till the end of their Adirondack backpacking trip.
The remote area of Mud Lake is a wonderful wilderness area to explore
Winter provides an excellent time to discover the road less traveled
A winter scene of solitude and beauty.
A great father and son vacation trip to the middle of nowhere
The goal today 5.8 miles to Silver Lake Lean-To. Andreas and Kaspar refuel for the long stretch.
An interesting specimen
Kaspar & Andreas had a rough day, but still enjoyed the Adirondack scenes.
The goal of Silver Lake lean-to was not going to be reached today. Due to the harsh winter many trees were down along with a flooded vly. At one point it took Dan, Andreas, and Kaspar 3 hours to locate the trail markers.
The alternative location along the NTP that evening was Canary Pond. A wonderful tenting area for the evening right along the shore of the pond amoung the evergreens.
Andreas & Kaspars site was just as nice. No need to fight for a prime location in the dead of winter.
The evening campsite prepared to prefection, where is everyone!!!!
Campfire hole craters allow for excellent feet warming. The shoe shoes worked great for our laundry drying. The previous nights laundry resulted in duct taping Kaspars pants "oops".
The following morning, we were slightly off track by spending the night at Canary Pond. Our next goal was a push to Rock Lake for another Adirondack Camping Adventure.
Kaspar was tired, but at the age of 10 endured his first extreme winter camping adventure like a trooper.
Andreas seems a bit cold, wondering why your bringing the collar of snow with you?
The road less traveled, but well worth the effort.
DOES ANYONE KNOW WHAT THIS IS?????
At Silver Lake Lean-To for a rest stop. Andreas decided to write in the Journal regarding his extreme adventures.
A glimpse of Silver Lake through the treeline
Andreas continues his journal writing as Kaspar watches the fallen snow. The new joke of the day is "it's snowing".
An excellent winter view of Blue Ridge Mountain along the NTP
Andreas view the map heading out from Silver Lake. Kaspar taking a need rest while Dad looks at the topo.
Dad still looking at the map. We told you the last mile seems to take forever in a day.
Rock Lake wasn't reached this evening. Tents were pitched about a mile north of Rock Lake.
Andreas and Kaspar view the Topographical map on the way out. Today will be the day - UPPER BENSON!!!!!!!!!!!!! This is one of Kim's favorite pictures of the trip. FURTHER GROWTH OF A FATHER & SON.
Crossing the West Stony Creek, almost there guys bring it home.
(1.6 miles to go)
Andreas & Kaspar have endured a lot. No turning back now only the grand finale. PUSH PUSH PUSH
ROAD CLOSED GUYS, GOTTA TURN AROUND AND GO BACK.
Andreas and Kaspar during their last few steps of completing the trail from Piseco to Upper Benson.
THE MOMENT OF TRUTH AND ACCOMPLISHMENT!!!!!!!!
Upon arrival back, the feet needed tending to. Kaspar enjoyed the massage along with a cat nap while awaiting dinner. Dinner tonight: Prime Rib, Seafood Chowder, Twice Baked Potatoes, and Chocolate Eclair Cake.
Andreas played a game of Go-Fish with Taryn & Rachel while awaiting Dinner. It was either that or sleeping. Both Andreas and Kaspar upon weight in lost about 5-7 lbs during their wilderness excursion
"We arrived yesterday and spent the first night here. We just weighed our backpacks, mine ways 31 pounds my Dads 57 pounds."
"Kaspar and I had a safe trip back. We arrived in the middle of the
afternoon. Kaspar has been proudly showing his presents to everybody who
wants to see them. He especially likes the headlamp. I have been relaxing
looking at my mail and the newspaper. I also checked out the website of our
trip again - the pictures bring back wonderful memories. In a couple of
minutes we will have dinner together, the "Aelplermaggrone" are already
being prepared. Dominique will send the recipe soon.
It is hard to believe that tomorrow will be Go Back To The Daily Routine.
Kaspar and I will certainly miss the wilderness, but we are already making
plans to repeat this experience in some form.
Thank you again for this exceptional week. Kaspar and I enjoyed every minute
we spent with you. Kaspar says he is missing Popcorn."
Andreas and Kaspar
© Back To Basics Adirondack Wilderness Adventures 2004