Mark and Chuck organized the first winter hike this Saturday. At first when Mark’s email arrived and spoke casually of a 9am start just outside Naples I wasn’t immediately motivated but I did yesterday succeed in answering the 6:45am calling of the bedside alarm.
I threw the snowshoes in the car. In Rochester the snow levels weren’t very high to require them but that could be different 45 miles south. It turned out there was a bit less snow there than in the city so hiking boots sufficed. The temperature was around -6C/20F and with virtually no wind keeping the chill factor at bay, this was quite manageable. A group of around 10 was gathering at the parking area at the bottom of Parish Hill road. But no Mark yet. And we needed him for the route. We could make something up, of course. Then a cell phone rang; Mark overslept but is on his way, we should start, he’ll catch up.
So we started the hike up the hill towards the top of the gully. And while we were admiring the view at the top of that climb, Mark made his appearance. With the group now complete we marched on towards High Tor from where there’s a great view back over Lake Canandaigua.
Circling around we came to the top of the gully on the other side. From here there was a good view on the frozen waterfall. Later in winter it is common to see ice climbers climbing up the waterfall. A scary undertaking if you ask me but I made a mental note to come back with camera and all in a few weeks. It amazes me that fast falling water can freeze.
Halfway I had a fun chat about animal tracks in the snow. Being a city boy I have no idea what prints belong to what animal; they could all be wolves as far as I’m concerned. My dad’s efforts notwithstanding – he grew up on farms – I’m also not very good with flora. I recognize oaks, tulips and roses and that’s about it. Oh, and Christmas trees, especially if they have lights in them.
More photos from the hike in the gallery.