Gothics, NY 4,736′ True North Slide 2/21/2011 Cold, Solo, Fun

The planning for this trip began a month ago when I made reservations to go visit my parents back in NY. It seemed like a good time for the kids to see Grandma and Grampa, what with a nice long weekend over Presidents Day. I followed the weather pretty often and noticed that there was a warm up on the way. I needed to keep my fitness up however so I decided to bring the skis along and kind of see what happened.The partner I had lined up bailed due to the warm up. The weather however was predicting 2 inches Friday then 2-4 Sunday into Monday. It didn’t seem too unreasonable.

I used to work in the music business in NYC and thru facebook found out about a reunion of Xanax 25 to benefit a friend from Wetlands that passed away. Jack DeSantis, the bass player, was one of the 1st people I met, at my 1st Spin Doctors show. So the plan was to go to the show on the 20th in Brooklyn, then drive up to the Adirondacks. With a few hours of sleep I’d then skin up and ski Gothics and Lower Wolfjaw. Things don’t always go as planned.

It was dumping on the way up to the North Country. Being in a rental I took it pretty easy. I didn’t get up to Lake Placid till 4am. I didn’t get to sleep until 5am. Finally at the crack of 10:35am I left the trailhead and set off for a planned 16 mile trip solo. The skinning was pretty easy. It was just far. I realized early on that Bennies on Lower Wolfjaw wasn’t going to happen. It was pretty cold at about 5° so I just kept moving and enjoyed the absolutely beautiful zone I was in. It’s such a treat to go to an area that’s not the usual thing. The ridge from the Saddleback Col to the false summit of Gothics was a bit spicy, and I’m glad I brought my crampons. There was good ice to play around on.

Once on the summit I took some pics and threw on my skis. It was wicked cold up there with 30-40 mph gusts. I skied down the ridge and tried to figure out how to get into the route. The entrance to True North was a bit hard to find. I walked out onto the cliff and realized that I need to ski down the trail a bit more. Once I finally figured this out it was just a matter of bushwhacking through dense trees to get to the line.

The skiing was an interesting mix. From 2-8 inches on the skiers left to 1/2″ on top of bulletproof ice. I never knew what was going to happen each turn. True adventure skiing. Being solo I took it easy. I was about 6 miles from the trailhead at this point so every turn had a consequence. I love being in those moments. Such a fun place.

The trail out was a blast. I thought it would be a slog but much of it was ski-able and with the dusting of snow was a real blast. I pushed it hard and made it back to the trailhead at 6:07. My altimeter said 4100 vert for the day and NatGeoTopo said it was 12 miles. So I got it done in 7:32. It was such a fun zone I will be back for sure. I saw some really nice lines that I’ve already added to the hit list. Enjoy the pics. And if any of my friends from from NYC see this it was so great to see all of you. Looking forward to the next Nightingale’s Reunion.


Jaik Doing his Xanax25 Thang
Jack Shredding the Bass
Such Beautiful Mountains
A Coold Winters Day
Looks like there are some old ski tracks on this line
Saddleback Gothics Col
Looking Down the Ridge towards True North
Looking towards Saddleback Basin and Haystack
Nippletop Slide. MMMMM Nippletop (Homer Voice)
Giant Mountain = Slide Heaven
Checking out Whiteface Mtn
My skis are happy they get to ski new mountains
Heading down the ridge
Looking up the ridge at the Summit of Gothics
A view down True North Slide from the entrance
Crossing Johns Brook at Dusk

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