***This is a revised description.***
We're going to take advantage of MLK Day weekend to do a four-day trip to the ADKs and get some winter peak-bagging credit!
Friday morning, we'll meet up at Grosvenor at 8am, and head north on the tollway, reaching Lake Placid in the afternoon. We'll be driving this route (http://goo.gl/maps/LCL9f), so sadly, there will be no luxurious meals at Lake Placid. We'll get as close to Elk Lake as we can, but the latest intelligence suggests that will be the gate at Clear Pond. We should be able to be ready to walk in at about sunset.
Then follows about 4.3 miles of snow-shoeing in to reach our base camp. I'm going to recommend snow shoes and not skis because I think the snow shoes will be handy on Saturday and Sunday, while the skis will not be (terrain is too vertical). If you bring skis, you may need the shoes too.
We'll have a full moon for these miles, so it could be quite beautiful. We'll reach the designated campsite and shelter at the base of the Macomb slide, and pitch for the night.
Saturday, we'll wake and be climbing at dawn for Macomb. This climb could be quite tough, but from Macomb's summit, it is supposed to be a fairly easy walk on herd paths to get South Dix and East Dix. Triumphant, we'll return to base camp.
Sunday, we'll climb for Dix via the Beckhorn, then backtrack for Hough. If somehow, we conclude that Macomb is un-climbable, for us, via the slide, we can work our way along this ridge to get it.
Obviously, we'll be thinking about and discussing the best routes until we do them.
My gut instinct tells me that we'll have two full days of light mountaineering to get these five peaks. If we did manage to get them fast, we'd go to do another route on Sunday-Monday, maybe Giant-Rocky Ridge Peak (which I walked in July).
So, snow shoes are REQUIRED. The DEC is saying that crampons are needed on the summits. I will be reading trip reports to see if people are summitting in micro-spikes or snow shoes. If people have true crampons, bring them. Same for ice axes. I have both, as well as a new pair of mountaineering boots to try out.
If you do not own crampons, real ones, it might be time to ask around to borrow a pair.
The average temperature in Lake Placid on 1/17 is a high of 27* and a low of 5*. In the mountains we will very likely be facing temps below zero. You will need to have gear that you feel confident with in these temperatures.