Catamount Mountain (9/9 Winter LP 9er Complete!)
We saved Catamount for our final hike of the Winter LP9er Challenge because we knew it was one of the hardest ones, had a beautiful view and was one that neither of us had ever done before - check, check and check! Catamount Mountain is a 4 mile hike, 1,600 ft elevation hike.
We headed up to Wilmington, NY on Sunday March 7th a beaaaautiful winter bluebird day to tackle Catamount. We got to the trailhead with only 2 other cars in the parking lot and began our trek up the mountain!
The hike begins on a flat road that actually is a snowmobile trail as well (we didn't see any snowmobiles this day, but definitely keep that in mind if you want to hike this in the winter time!) This section of flat trail continues through the woods for approximately .8 miles before the ascent begins.
At about .8 miles you begin to do some more gradual switchbacks which get the heart pumping and ready for the steepness, because FYI once the steepness starts - it doesn't let up!
After about .3 miles of switchbacks you begin to climb. Straight up this mountain you gain quite a bit of elevation as you continue up the mountain. Mainly in the woods, you don't get many views until you reach a lookout area at about 1.3 miles into your hike. After the lookout, your next view will be when you reach the chimney. You'll reach the chimney rock structure at about 1.5 miles into your hike. This section of trail can be tricky to navigate, you need to prepare for slippery conditions, and an section where you could easily slide backwards if not prepared with proper traction devices.
As you continue passed the chimney you'll see a beautiful look out and then come to a false summit. Yes, don't get excited this is not the final summit! After the false summit, you continue your trek back through the woods. This is a nice break for your legs & lungs because you get a short .2 mile walk through the woods without any elevation.
After this, you begin your final ascent up to the summit. There is a slab climb and then you're there! Beautiful views where you can see Whiteface and other high peak views. A BEAUTIFUL day and peak to finish off our Winter LP9er.
Totally recommend this challenge for anyone looking for some smaller Lake Placid hikes that offer stellar views but aren't as intense as the high peaks. Or someone just looking for an awesome hiking challenge. Not a single peak disappointed and I will totally do some of these peaks again come summer time. Happy hiking!