home email
Prev Friday, September 29 Next

Morse Mountain & Beaver Meadow

  • Start: Madonna Peak
  • End: Whiteface Shelter
  • Approx Miles: 2.2

Like yesterday, today begins with an amazing sunrise.

I’m going to wait for Mooch, Stiltz, and Hang Ten to catch up before I set out for the day, since this will be my last day hiking with them! They’ll pull ahead when I hang back to wait for Rachel and Joe at Whiteface Shelter, and I don’t expect I’ll catch up before they finish.

I have a slow morning to myself eating my breakfast bars and taking pictures of the ski patrol hut and surroundings.

Just thought this rock looked cool
The dude abides

Finally they come hiking up the ski slopes at around 8:301. Stiltz makes it up to the hut first. “How do you feel?” she shouts back down to Hang Ten. “Horrible!” he shouts back, “…but I’m having a great time!” We have a laugh at this and then set out up the trail.

A couple hours of hiking go by quickly and we’re at Whiteface Shelter, halfway up the eponymous mountain. We eat a snack and say a bittersweet goodbye. I take a photo to remember them by and then they head out and we’re split up for good—or so I believe…2.

I hang around the shelter for a while by myself, and quickly feel bored and listless. It’s a cloudy and hazy day which I’m sure doesn’t help my mood. I coordinate with Rachel by text a bit. I’m still curious what it will be like to see her after so long away.

Her and Joe are planning to park at Beaver Meadow trailhead, hike up to meet me via Beaver Meadow and Whiteface trails, then hike over Whiteface Mountain and down to Route 15 with me tomorrow and get a shuttle back to their car.

Trails around Whiteface Mountain.

At last I get the text that they’re at the trailhead. I decide to hike down to meet them along the way. I’m just bored of sitting around!

The trail down is very steep at first, but quickly levels off into some really nice, wide (if muddy) hiking. I start getting more excited to see them as I head down the trail, thinking about what a crazy reunion it will be. Beautiful, color-changing woods all around.

I stop and listen every so often to see if I can hear them coming through the nearly silent woods. Finally, there they are! Much rejoicing. Even though I’d obviously been anticipating it, it’s almost shocking to see them. When you’re out hiking for so long, it feels like your normal life is part of another world, and everything from back then happened ages ago and couldn’t possibly intrude on you here.

We catch up and start heading back up to the ridge. Consciously or not, they seem happy to keep the conversation mostly about my life on the trail and miscellanea, rather than giving me an info dump of everything happening back home since I left. I really appreciate that. Being with them doesn’t make me feel pulled back into real world from hiking world, which is something I’d been worried about.

We check out Beaver Meadow Lodge on our way back, which is awesome. Wood stove inside fully stocked with wood. Would have been amazing to stay there but we decide to go back up to Whiteface to make tomorrow easier. Rachel’s leg is still recovering from an injury earlier in the summer, so she’s hiking pretty slow. I’m a bit worried we’re going to get to the road on the later side tomorrow and I’ll have to rush through my resupply in Jeffersonville.

Beaver Meadow Lodge

We make it back up to the LT, but via the Chilcoot trail, backtracking a bit to redo some of the miles I did this morning, just to make their day of hiking a bit longer and more interesting.

We get back to Whiteface Shelter around 5pm. Set up, do chores. make dinner. They have such a smorgasbord—stovetop stuffing, pepperoni, mashed potatoes. It’s funny to see the amount of food they brought for one night out. Rachel also brought some brownies that her and our friend Emily made. SO GOOD. I must have eaten half a tray.

Before going to sleep Rachel and I play some games with an “oracle deck” she got, it’s kind of like an arty millennial tarot. It’s fun, especially one where you deal four cards, play a song, and have to each decide which card best captures the song. Her and Emily made it up and I love it. I don’t feel like I’ve ever played a game that uses popular music in the same way. It’s great to just have a late night hang sesh with a close friend. I’ve missed that out on the trail.

  1. This shows you how on the hiker schedule I am. I woke up at 6:30am on a day when I knew I could sleep in! ↩︎

  2. Stay tuned. ↩︎