MY FIRST HIGH PEAKS - Cascade & Porter
Well so it begins... the first of my hikes on my 46er journey started on September 19th, 2020. I've been training with a wide assortment of hikes this entire summer gearing up for this exact moment and I couldn't have been more excited. Cascade & Porter was the hike of choice and it is approx 7 miles that climbs over 2,200 ft of elevation
We loaded up the car and left my house around 5 am - leaving us with a 2 hour drive to Lake Placid. We reached the trailhead for Cascade & Porter right around 7 am and the first 2 parking lots were already filled. We parked the car, geared up and began our walk to the sign in sheet.
Bundled up, starting off our hike in 27 degree weather, I was SO excited to start this hike. (Can you tell from my picture below? So smiley & so very cold...)
The hike starts out walking through the woods and switches back and forth between some meandering sections with steep rock scrambles. There's really not many challenging things technical on this hike - honestly the hardest part is the cardio strain while climbing the steep ascent.
About 10 minutes in to the hike while climbing my first rock scramble, I started removing layers. Key to hiking this time of year is LAYERS. When we started hiking, I could barely feel my fingers and by 7:30, I was down to just leggings and a fleece!
The hike was very crowded to my dismay, it honestly felt like we were hiking in a tour group. We were sandwiched between people in front of us and people behind us. Alltrails reviews are correct and the trail isn't well marked, however I don't know how you could possibly get lost on this hike, unless you were trying to.
We knew based on our research of this hike that we wanted to hike to the summit of Porter first and then back track up to Cascade and I'm glad we did this. Reason being, Porter is a much quieter summit, small in scale, nice views, more wooded, and a bit farther/steeper to get to. I wanted to get the harder part of the hike accomplished first.
We reached the fork in the trail where the sign read .7 miles to Porter so we bared to the right. This was probably one of my favorite parts of the hike, quiet, nobody on the trail with us at this point, just passed a few groups coming back.
I liked this section because of the beautiful wooded section you pass through. So peaceful and serene! Plus a nice break from all the steep sections of climbing...
Be careful to pay attention to your map while hiking to Porter summit, because we didn't see the summit coin and honestly kept walking past it! Here I am, HIGH PEAK #1 Porter Mountain (4,058 ft) - 9:10 am!
We didn't stay long on this summit at all, probably about 10 minutes. Had a snack, snapped some photos, soaked in the views and were on our way up to our final peak of the day - Cascade.
We trucked back through the woods and rock scrambles to the fork in the trail where we had originally veered off to Porter and now bared up the other direction to Cascade!
One final longer rock scramble to a beautiful look out section and then there it was - the bald summit and our final ascent to Cascade.
Climbed the one small ladder and the rockface and reached the summit at 9:50 in the morning! Second High Peak of my life and of the day - Cascade Mountain (4,098 ft) !
We stayed here a bit longer. Had our lunch (yes I know it was still morning), popped a small bottle of Prosecco in honor of our first high peak accomplishment, facetimed my mom and then started our descent at about 10:30 am.
We trucked back down the mountain at a really nice pace - honestly downhill has never bothered me, I tend to fly pretty quickly down scrambles. And we were back signing out of the sign-in sheet at noon on the dot.
What a rush! Two high peaks all done by 12 pm. We went out for a celebratory beer and started our planning for our next high peak adventure. SO excited to hike our next peaks. Stay tuned!