I have heard many good things about doing Allen mountain in the winter. Biggest being that the hike up Allen Brook is not a slippery mess of moss and slime. I was looking forward to doing this hike in the winter to see how much better it can be. I also have never come in from the south on the East River trail, so those couple miles would be new to me.
Day started out in the dark. Headlamps on for all, and we start hiking. Within minutes, we cross the bridge over the Hudson River, and not long after we reach lake Jimmy. It was frozen, but being dark, we couldn't really tell, so we went around it on the partly broken trail. I lead hear and did more trail breaking. That's exhausing. Next time, I will do it without so much focus on speed as it tired me out way too early into a 20 mile hike. From there, the hike to the opalescent river was unremarkable. When we got to the river, we had to route find to find a crossing. It was precarious, but we were able to jump over a short break in the ice, then scramble up the bank and bushwack our way back to the trail. It was in this section that I think I aggravated an old injury.... pulled groin muscles. About 2 miles later, it caught up with me. I lost my speed, and I was starting to be in pain. I told the others to go on and I'll be turning back in a bit.
I hiked on another mile or so, turned around about 6.5 miles of the 10 in. This was like 4 hours into the hike. I took the next 6 hours to hobble out. Allen injured me once again. I will do him in the winter though, just not this year.