Derek, Mark, Adam, myself, and a friend of Adams set out to hike Gothics. All 3 off us needed it for some list (regular or winter season), or another.
We parked at the traditional Saint Hubert's parking lot, where we began our hike around 5am and hiked up to the Ausable Club gate. The Ausable Club allows hikers and outdoor enthusiast access to the peaks through their property (no dogs or bicycles allowed). This is an agreement in place with New York State. It is a fortunate agreement because it allows closer access to several high peaks of the Adirondacks. Without this access there would be a lot longer approaches to several peaks.
The infamous Lake Road walk is always described as a slog. I too have learned not to like it, but I have to tell you, at the end of a long day hiking, its nice to not have to worry about where you place your feet, you just chug along down the road, it allows you to make some time.
We took the Beaver Meadows Falls trail up to the col between Gothics and Armstrong. It has a steady steep climb to it, but you make some pretty good time and gain a lot of elevation in the process. Its a typical Adirondack climb, with some really cool features along the way, one of which is when you cross over the slide up above, and the ladder down near the falls. The slide crossing is at a point (maybe halfway to the col) where you can look up towards the summit of Gothics, and down the slide (with Noonmark Mtn summit I believe in the distance) and marvel at the power of mother nature. I'm not sure when the slide was created, but definitely a result of copious amounts of water.
The climb up is fairly benign until you get just below the col, where there is a short section that is a bit unnerving. You are exposed to the cliff, and the feeling is you could slide off the mountain, if it wasn't for a few trees.
Once in the col its basically a ridge walk up to the summit of Gothics. On our day it was pretty windy and all overcast skies, so we had zero views. It was a bit unnerving going up the cornice as it was loaded with snow. Not knowing if you were on solid ground, or on a snow drift with almost zero visibility.
We arrived at the summit around 2pm, which was really non-climactic as there were no views. With that in mind we turned around after a quick summit photo session, and scooted back down to the col for shelter out of the direct wind.
This is a trip we hope to make again when the weather is better. This mountain has fantastic views, on a clear day.
We were back at the car around 6pm.
Round trip 10.2 miles
Elevation gain 3299'