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Winter Bushwhack of Santanoni Mt. via Twin Slide

Posted by Kevin MacKenzie,
North Country explorer from
February 22, 2014

Please...No one should interpret this report to mean that avalanche conditions are safe in the backcountry or on this slide. This is simply a report of our experience.

Round-trip distance/duration: 13.25 miles / 15 hours
Conditions: 30”-48” Powder with thin crust.
Partner: Alan Wechsler
Total elevation gain: 4,100 feet

Friend, Alan Wechsler, and I made plans for a winter bushwhack of Santanoni Mt. a couple years ago. He needed the peak for his 46W and was seeking adventure. Thus we set a flexible climbing date of sometime in February; the exact date to be determined last minute based on conditions—a good thing since the avalanche conditions have been prime over the last few weeks (and still are depending on the area).

The drive to the trail head on sections of black ice and realization that I’d forgotten my gaitors (a first) was foretelling of how the day would go. I still hoped for a solid night’s sleep, but my mind worked overtime during the night on how to remedy the gaitor situation. I certainly couldn’t bushwhack without them. Sinus problems and a pounding headache allowed me a mere 2 or 3 hours of sleep, but I chalked the symptoms up to allergies like many times before. I later realized that I’d contracted a of flu-like bug…(my wife was in its grip as well when I returned home after the climb).

When the alarm went off at 4:45 a.m., I felt less than ambitious. As Alan had driven up from Albany so I planned to suck it up and hopefully walk off the headache. As for the gaiters—it took about 20 minutes to convert a mesh grocery bag (the reusable type available at the grocery store) and a nylon stuff sack into make-shift gaiters. I cut a hole in the edge of the bottom for the toe box of the boot to stick through. Several slits in the top allowed me to weave a shoelace through to secure each to my leg. Stylish, no, but I hoped they’d be functional.

....read the rest at: http://forums.adkhighpeaks.com/showthread.php?t=24190


Jacob Malcomb

Thanks for this Kevin... what a long day. How did the makeshift gaiters work out for you?


Kevin MacKenzie

My pleasure!
Gaiters worked perfectly, not a bit of snow in the boots remarkably!