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Found 24 results

  1. Craig

    Rocky Peak Ridge

    Rocky Peak is the 20th highest mountain in New York State, with an elevation of 4,420 ft. The length of the climb depends on which trail you take. From New Russia it is approximately 13.4 miles round trip, We went in from the Route 73 trailhead via the washbowl and it was 6.5 miles round trip, with 3527’ of elevation gain, plus the 700’ on the return to the trail junction with Giant Mountain for a total of 4227. This was a huge leg day for me, plus I had company. My friend Justin and I signed in at the trail register at 6 am under headlamp. The trail takes on a completely new perspective in this regard. The first part of this trail, up to the washbowl is sparsely marked and can be difficult to follow under headlamp, just need to pay attention to rock scraps and dirt. The switchbacks help with the 650 plus feet in elevation gain in just over half a mile. While climbing this peak, there are many spectacular views all along the way, the first being the ledge just before the washbowl. This view prominently presents the Great Range along with the northeastern side of the Dix Range. From the washbowl up it is a steady climb with several steep sections. The trail offers a variety of obstacles to navigate, boulder fields, switchbacks, ledges, slabs, blowdown, and mud. We arrived at the junction with the Rocky Peak ridge trail at 11 am. After a quick break, We were on our way to Rocky Peak. The trail drops around 700’ in .3 miles to the col. I probably spent more energy avoiding a fall than I did climbing up out of the col on our return. The drop in elevation can be discouraging, but the trail from the col up to the summit of Rocky Peak is a pleasant climb gaining around 600’ in just over a half-mile. We arrived at Rocky Peak at 1:30 pm. The summit was not what I had expected. Based on photos from other hikers. I was led to believe the summit was rocky and had a large cairn on it. While there were cairns and it was somewhat open and rocky, it just was not what I had expected. It was a pleasant surprise. The summit has a long, bare ridge, a result of a forest fire in the region in 1913. We laid down and relaxed in the sun on the summit enjoying the views; and even came close to falling asleep. After about a half-hour, we started our trek back. The climb back up to the trail junction was easier than the climb down. I took a quick break at the junction, while Justin tagged Giant (I previously had climbed Giant before). We made our way back down to the car arriving at 7 pm. We would have several people pass us today as we made our way up the mountain, we did not mind, we were hiking our own hike. It is nice to meet new people, especially those who enjoy and respect the great outdoors. One of those who passed us was a 78-year-old man; I believe he also mentioned this was his 104th time climbing this mountain, and he was number eight or nine on the Adirondack 46er Grid list. Respect. 7.2 miles round trip 4227’ elevation gain Start time 6 am End time at 7 pm
  2. Craig

    Phelps Mtn

    We had hiked this on February 21, 2004. It was Mark, Chris, Justin, Derek, and myself. It was an over cast day with snow flurries. I cannot remember what the temps were, but I don't recall being overly cold. The trail from the Loj was hard packed all the way to Marcy dam. When we had hiked this Marcy dam was still intact, it has since been destroyed by hurricane Irene, and the remnants removed. The Van Hoevenberg trail from the dam to the junction with the trail for Phelps was not as hard pack, and had fresh snow on it. This is a nice trail especially under snow pack since all the rocks and roots are covered. This is a nice relief with tired legs. The trail to Phelps is uneventful until you just start to come out of the trees where we were presented with a nice ledge of flow ice. We used crampons for this section. It does not take long to reach the summit which is basically a ledge with a view of Marcy. We did not have any views since it was all over cast with snow showers.
  3. Craig

    Wright Peak

    We had previously hiked this on April 8, 2004. It was a nice warm spring day, but still some snow and ice on the ground. It was Mark, Justin, Derek, and myself. The trail is a fairly easy trail that meanders upward, with not much for views for awhile. There is a nice waterfall that looks absolutely stunning when it is frozen. There were a few steeper sections just before the junction with the trail to wright Peak, and the trail that continues to Algonquin and beyond. There is remnants of a plan wreck on Wright along with a plaque that memorializes the crew that crashed on the summit. None of us had found it, nor seen any remnants from a plane. So, looks like we will climb it again and do a little more exploring.
  4. Craig

    Giant Mountain

    We arrived at the parking lot of route 73 at Chapel pond at 830am and signed into the trail head registry at 834am. It was just Derek and I on this warm November day. It was the day before Thanksgiving and there was no snow on the ground, today's high temperature was expected to be in the forties. This used to be unusual, but seems to be the norm now, weather wise. We meander our way up to the first lookout just below the washbowl and arrived at 09:19 am. We were passed by one hiker and her dog there, and soon passed her and the dog as they turned around before second lookout. Funny how that happens. We arrived at the fake summit at 1130 am, its not much further from here to the summit, but you can get discouraged with false summits, because if you do not know any better the summits are there, just being illusive. We started to come across ice from underground spring runoff, but managed around it. We had a very beautiful day, not a cloud in the sky. We had flushed several grouse between the cols which was really cool. We came out on the out cropping just below the summit, I had slipped and fell just below the junction for Rocky Peak, Crushing my finger and abrasion on lower right back, thankfully no broken bones since we had not seen any other hikers. We arrived at the junction for Rocky Peak at 1245 pm.and reached the summit of Giant at 1:00pm. Was surprised to find a hiker relaxing in the sun at the top, he had come in from New Russia, he was from Syracuse, nickname on the forums is Mastergrasshopper. We did not do Rocky Peak because we did not think we had enough time, not to mention energy since this was the first hike since early spring, not in shape. Arrived back at trail head to sign out at 4:40 pm.
  5. We arrived at the Ausable club trail head at 7am. It was just Derek, and I on this excursion. It was December 16, 2006 and we began our trudge up the Lake road. There is often complaints about this road, as it seems to go on and on and just seems like a monotonous trudge. I will say it is nice at the end of a hike to travel back down it as it really requires no thinking of where to plant your feet, unlike the trails where you have to step over rocks and roots. So basically you just put it in overdrive and motor down to the gate. If you are lucky you will see deer. The deer in here know they are safe and very relaxed. We arrived at the trail to Elk Pass at 8:16 am. Shortly after this junction we met up with an injured hiker that had a dislocated knee. She was in good spirits and was being helped by 3 other hikers in her party, they did not need our help so we continued on, that was around 11:00 am. There are sections of this trail that are steep, icy, a lot of rocks and roots. Just below the ridge trail junction you start to come out of the trees and are afforded some beautiful views. We got to the ridge trail junction at 11:55 am where we met up with a friendly Canadian solo hiker, it was afterwards that I would learn that this was the famous PinPin from the forums. We arrived at the summit of Nippletop at 12:18 pm, we again had very little views as it was over cast and snow squalls. It wasn't a total loss as the sun was begging to come out, and we did enjoy a few breaks in the clouds that provided limited views of the Lower Great Range. While we were enjoying the views we were joined by Cedarvale, Randomscooter, who both helped taking our pictures and provided some feedback on the trip over to Dial. Shortly after our visit we were off to summit Dial Mountain, what a wonder ridge walk it was over. It was all gradual rolling terrain, a nice jaunt. We arrived at Dial Summit at 2pm on nobody else around. It was very relaxing to enjoy the peace and quite. We didn't stay long, and were soon on our way over to Noonmark shoulder. This is where the trail goes and skirts Noonmark Mountain, and then drops down into the valley. We arrived back at the Lake road at 5pm, at 515pm we were signing out at the gate where we ran into the injured hiker and her party. Another fabulous day out with my son.
  6. Yesterday, 1ADAM12, NUMNUM, Son of NUMNUM, and a gentleman whom we shall fondly refer to as "Other Craig" set off from Elk Lake a early o'clock with the Dixes in our sights. As with any proper hike, one person started off the day with the sentence, "Oh $%!^, I forgot (insert critical piece of equipment here)." This time, it was my turn. I forgot my nice shiny orthotics. After about 4 seconds of contemplation, I said, "Whatever, my feet will just hurt." We set off and made pretty good time to herdpath, and were at the base of the slide shortly after sunrise. While the others flew up the slide, Adam and I took our time (and about 400 pictures). Since this was my first slide climb, I didn't want it to end. I was zig-zagging back and forth just to let it all sink in. For anyone who hasn't gotten to do the Macomb slide yet, do it. It is just plain awesome. As we progressed up the slide and back into the woods, we started noticing something off in the distance. All the really big peaks were completely covered in snow! We got off the slide, and all of a sudden, 3 inches of the fresh stuff! I believe I started dancing at this point and the first many snowballs of the day was thrown (Adam hitting me). At the summit of Macomb, we realized the level of cold and wind we would be seeing for the rest of the day. After a short time, we set of for Carson. We met up with a group from St. Lawrence U, and I was very nice to them figuring I'll get the opportunity to laugh when the hockey season rolls around. In the blink of an eye, we were at the base of the boulder field. Once again, climbing this field was a blast! We ducked into the trees and hit the summit. We then set off for Grace, where things started getting a little muddy, but not nearly as bad as it could be. When we got above the trees on Grace, the wind was whipping around, and we dried off in about 3 seconds. My feet started to hurt, but there was no way I was letting them get to me today. A little vitamin I, and I was ready to go! Back to Carson, and we made our way up and over Pough and on to Hough! This was by far the steepest climb of the day. It had a really nifty ledge shortly before the summit, and the rock at the top leaves you WAY over everything around you. We had been pondering whether or not to do Dix, and we made the final decision that we were losing too much light, and we were starting to run short on energy. We made our way back down to the Hough-n-Pough col and worked our way back down to the marked trail via Lillian Brook. We made it out shortly after sunset (yes we're slow and proud of it!) and all in all, it was an epic hike.
  7. Craig

    Dix Mt. via Round Pond

    We started around 7a.m. the hike around Round Pond is a pretty one, continuing up to the first trail junction is a nice warm up hike. From here to the leanto is a nice walk in the woods crossing a few brooks and streams, we arrived at leanto at 11am. After crossing North Fork(?) the hike up to the slide is moderate. After arriving at the slide for 12p.m we had a pick-a-nic basket with me and Boo Boo. After we crossed the base of the slide, the real work began. We arrived at the junction with red trail 1pm, summit 130pm. left summit at 2p.m. back at car 630pm. Trail was typical I guess, muddy in areas, running brook in others. No snow or ice on top. Gators a must, microspikes in case. I would have been VERY disappointed if I had taken the slide up, for no other reason than the thickness of the vegetation above, it would not have been enjoyeable bushwack over to the trail for me. The slide was free from snow and ice, but there was alot of water coming down it. It was a good day.
  8. Craig

    Colvin and Blake Peaks

    Decided to take the day off and try, for a third time at these peaks. My son was also off, from school, and I just needed a reason to not go to work. I had tried these peaks on two other occasions, both times I didn't make it pass the Nippletop/Colvin junction. That would not be the case today. We signed in at the gate house at 6:45am, there was only one other hiker that signed in ahead of us going to Armstrong/Upper Wolfjaw mountains. Gotta love the Lake road trek. Its really easy to navigate and there is usually a fair amount of wildlife to see right from the road. At the begining of the road where you sign in you will often see deer, then further up at the small dam on the left there is usually a bunch of rainbow trout in the pool. We arrived at the Gill Brook shortcut trail at 0800 and meander our way up the trail. This is a very pretty trail as it winds it way up to the junction if skirts the brook. Arrived the Nip/Colvin junction at 10am. From here is a fairly short jaunt to the summit of Colvin at 1130. Just below the summit is a tricky section that requires some stretching (at least for short people). We took a break on the summit, enjoyed the views and headed off to Blake. The trail over to Blake was worse than what I had expected and read about, seriously wish there was some ladders in there. From the col up to Blake summit was pretty steep also, what seemed most discouraging was the elevation loss, you think your hiking two mountains when in reality its 3. Colvin twice (once from each direction), and Blake. One of the most memorable moment of this hike was the two good Samaritans we ran into 3/4 the way up Blake. I was not feeling very well and asked them to stick with us until we all got back to the Nip/Colvin junction. They agreed and also helped me with my issues. This was kind of ironic since one of the other two hikers began having issues as well. We all agreed to stick together till we got back to the trailhead. It was a good day of team work, and we met some really cool hikers. We got back to the gate house at 6pm. Trails were in pretty good shape. Very little ice mostly on the north face sections, not enough to need microspikes, and this was predominately above 3500'.
  9. Craig

    Seymour Mtn

    My son and I hiked Seymour mountain yesterday after getting a late start. We arrived at the summer trail-head and signed in at 8:18. There was one other hiker ahead of us that we would not see until we were halfway up Seymour we met him coming down. We easily bare booted to the first large brook crossing where we put on our micro spikes due to ice covered rocks. From there we left them on to the summit just to save time. This proved to be a good decision as we ran into more and more flow ice as we gained in elevation. We eventually stopped to eat some lunch near where the trail comes up along side the slide. From this point until the final head-wall up on the ridge it was slow going, but not overly difficult. We eventually came out at the top near the slide, hopped up on the rock, from here it was basically a ridge walk over to the summit. We reached the summit at 1:50 pm, took pictures and had some snacks then headed back down and out at 2 pm. There was a serious amount of ice flow in the steep section along the slide, so much that we stopped ahead of it and switched out to our crampons to navigate going down that area, then eventually switched back to micro-spikes for the rest of the hike out, there was never a need for snowshoes. It is always worth the extra time to take some additional precautions and avoid unnecessary risk. There was only the one other hiker we seen all day. We signed out at 6:18 pm.
  10. Craig

    Gothics Mtn

    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'
  11. Derek and I headed out by the St Hubert's trail-head where it looked like spring was arriving quickly. we got my stuff together and headed down the road to the Adirondack Club at 8:20 AM. There were just patches of snow around, but brought crampons and micro-spikes. After signing in at the gate, we walked the 1.76 miles down Lake Road where things were looking more wintry. Here we crossed over the river by the Beaver Meadows Trail to the connection with the Wedge Brook Trail. I put on my micro-spikes further up the trail, just below the col between the Wolfjaws as the trail was finally covered in a hard packed snow with a light dusting on top. The trail had a nice steady grade up to the col between Upper and Lower Wolfjaw. The steep descent and ascent were as tiring as always and there were some icy spots, but I managed just fine with my micro-spikes. At the summit there were no views. We could faintly see Armstrong in the west. The wind was strong so we only stopped to switch to crampons before making our way up Armstrong. I only put the crampons on in expectation of the steep ascent to Armstrong, but I likely would have been OK with micro-spikes. We didn't see the ladder on the ascent so I assume it was still covered by the remaining snow. Armstrong was otherwise uneventful and we took a video and many pictures, we finally took off towards Gothics and reached the col. Conditions on Gothics looked windy and cold with whiteout conditions, much like what is was when we hiked it prior. so we only stayed a few minutes in the col before heading down the Beaver Meadows Falls trail. Descending I kept my crampons on till about halfway down, and enjoyed a few good butt slides down to the lake. There we started the long slog back down Lake Road all the way to the gate.
  12. We Bare-booted to herd path, then to base of climb. First 500' of climb are easier with micro-spikes than bare-boots. Next 500' is a toss up between micros and snowshoes. I noticed a down-bound snowshoe track from yesterday so put mine on. Above 3000' elevation I'd strongly suggest snowshoes. I didn't encounter the ice issues that folks on the 27th found. I believe the reason is because a light coating of snow overnight soaked into the wet ice surface and made it crusty on top. Good traction in snowshoes. Due to differential melting of the snow pack (denser snow in track melts slower than loose snow on sides of track) there are many areas where there is no trench whatsoever, so even a light coating of snow will erase the track and route finding will be required. Calkins Brook rock hop-able. (is that a word?) Coreys Road is glare ice in the vicinity of the gate, but it's flat there. After you get out of the pine grove the road becomes mostly gravel, with some icy spots mixed with gravel. Should be passable by any 4wd/awd vehicle, as well as most front wheel drive vehicles. Just don't send me the towing bill! Start Time: 7:37AM Start Elevation: 1764ft End Time: 7:02PM Max Elevation: 4381ft Duration: 11h35m Distance: 15.83 miles
  13. Craig

    Saddleback Mtn

    Derek had signed us in around 7:15am. It was an overcast day, which we knew from the previous days forecast which meant we expected little to no views from the summit. The temps for the day were supposed to be in the 40's, it was a good temperature to be hiking in. The trip from the garden parking lot is, or has become a monotonous march into Johns Brook Lodge, roughly 3 miles of gradual elevation gain over rolling terrain. We arrived at the rangers interior outpost around 9:20. We signed in and took a left over the foot bridge, taking us up what i assume at that point becomes the Ore Bed trail, left from there is the old South side trail, presently closed. The Ore Bed trail from this point up to the 5 way intersection is pure maddening. It is like walking on a cobblestone road, miserable. A good couple feet of snow would make all the difference in trail condition. The trail is all gradual uphill with a few stream crossings to just beyond the Ore Bed lean-to, from there it is still gradual except for a few steeper pitches. where it follows Ore Bed brook up to the slide. Just prior to coming out onto the slide we put on our micro-spikes, from that point to the summit they stayed on our feet. The ladder and trail above the ladder proved more and more icy as we gained in elevation. There were a few sections above the junction with the range trail that required some scuttling up rock and flow ice, but still manageable with micro-spikes. Up and over the false summit of Saddleback presented a nice short stretch of flat trail, then the final push to the summit. We arrived at the summit at 1:11pm with no views. Not a big deal as we anticipated this, and were still very happy to be out in the woods, on a peak. Just before we were getting ready to leave the clouds broke up a bit, not enough to reveal Basin's summit, but to see the col between Basin and Saddleback. On our return trip to the intersection with Gothics we enjoyed the views of Gothics, Pyramid, and Sawteeth. On our trip down we opted to put on our crampons. Going down in ice is a lot different than going up. To give us peace of mind we wore our crampons to the bottom of the slide to where the trail goes back into the woods. The Ore Bed trail stinks without snow cover, many rocks, like walking on cobble stones. On our way back we turned at the junction and went to JBL to get on a better trail. When we arrive at the 5 way intersection we opted to take a left and go to JBL and take a easier less rocky trail. We signed out and got back to the Garden parking lot under headlamp at 5:45pm, it was another wonderful adventure. Even though it was not a bluebird day we had a great time. We began our 46er adventure and were picky about the weather so we enjoyed each hike, but since we started this adventure in 2004, we have become less than picky with the weather, we are almost to the point of "just getting this list done". From the Garden parking lot, to the interior outpost to the South Side trail junction to Ore Bed trail to range trail to summit 12.42 miles round trip. 3205' of elevation gain. Roughly 10.20 hours.
  14. We originally wanted to get Marcy, Skylight, and Gray, but ran out of daylight and time for Gray. We started later than we would have liked, but 7:20am wasn't so bad. We had the whole day to ourselves to enjoy. This would be the first time hiking these two peaks, and it may not be the last as they are two very nice hikes. We took the Van Hoevenberg Trail to Marcy (the most popular route), also known as the VanHo Express. This was the first time since they re-routed the herd path to Tabletop so it was good to see where that went in. The trail was in pretty good shape and not much for ice. We hadn't had any significant snowfall for the year yet so the trail was still bare with some icy areas. From Indian falls turn off to the junction with the Phelps trail is some pretty neat trail, and the views of Marcy get better and better. As we went up we really had no issue until we got to a small section of flow ice that was made more comfortable when we put on our crampons. The summit of Marcy was a constant 20-30 mph wind from the west, to be expected I guess. We didn't stay long on the summit of Marcy before we headed down the back side of Marcy to Four Corners. We took a few minutes at the junction to fuel up and switch back over to microspikes for our quick jaunt up Skylight. In some regards it was just as windy on Skiylights open summit as well. So we quickly took our obligatory pictures, added our rocks to the pile, then headed back down to Four Corners. We quickly headed towards Gray Peak as we wanted to make a trio out of todays hike, but we could not discern the herd path to Gray, so we continued on down to Feldspar leanto. After a quick bite to eat, and drink we continued our trek up to Lake Arnold and made our way back out to the Loj. We reached the Loj at 7:50pm. On our hike we seen only 5 other people the whole day. We logged 14.6 miles round trip, 4,919 feet of elevation gain. I now have 10 remaining peaks, and Derek has 11. A great way to spend a Saturday. Derek said I did pretty good for being near 50.
  15. Craig

    Gray Peak

    We had a late start to our day, which did not deter us, other than we did not see as much as we wanted, we did meet our objective (Gray Peak). We signed in at the trail head at 8am on the dot. The sky was a beautiful blue, with not much of a cloud in sight. As the day wore on this would change and gradually the clouds would role in, but not sock in the summits. The trail was a hard crust of ice and some powder snow (less than an inch). This season has been horrible for snow accumulation. This makes hiking not as enjoyable in some regards. While the lack of snow does allow the ability to hike further with micro-spikes and not show shoes, it makes it hard on the feet wearing micro-spikes all day. We made good time to Marcy Dam, just under an hour for the 2.1 miles hike into it. We walked across the frozen Marcy pond and continued up avalanche pass trail to the Lake Arnold and Feldspar Brook trail. The trail was solid the entire way. Once we crossed over Uphill Brook we were able to continue in micro-spikes up to around 4000' in elevation. From this point we wore snowshoes with approximately 3-4 inches of snow. The accumulation gradually increased as we increased in elevation. Once we got to Lake Tear of the Cloud we took a lunch break and fueled up for our final push to the summit. We started searching for the herd path to Gray Peak. The path was elusive at first, but Derek soon picked up the remnants of it, and we were off. From the beginning of the herd path to the summit is a quick jaunt, about 5-600 ft in elevation. There are several views once above the tree line just before the ridge. We obviously enjoyed them as we proceeded upward. Soon we were on the ridge and wandered over to the true summit. We found about 6" of fresh snow on the summit. On our return trip we opted to go out over the lakes. This proved to be a good decision, that initially was based on our energy levels at the time. Walking over frozen lakes on the level is a lot easier than climbing back over lake Arnold and down, about 530' gain and 745' loss. Going down can be just as hard as going up. Going out over the lakes allowed us the reprieve of climbing, but also the exploration of the Mt. Redfield and Mt. Cliff herd paths that we will need to get. We signed out at 7:30pm. Start time: 8:00am End time: 7:30pm 16.05 miles RT 3528 feet of elevation gain. And then there were 9 remaining.
  16. Craig

    Phelps Mountain

    Phelps Mountain is named after Orson Schofield Phelps, also known as "Old Mountain Phelps," who created the first trail over Mount Marcy. According to “The History of the Adirondacks” by Alfred L. Donaldson, he was an early Adirondack guide from Keene Valley. He was not considered a great guide. In fact, he was not considered even a good guide. He became a local legend due to publicity by people such as writers Charles Dudley Warner and E. R. Wallace, and photographer Seneca Ray Stoddard. Phelps named many of the Adirondack High Peaks. I had hiked Phelps Mountain previously on two occasions, both were in the winter, and each time there were no views. I have wanted to go back on a nice day so I could enjoy the wonderful views the mountain has to offer. Today was that day, my first Adirondack High Peak since my surgery. I arrived at the Adirondack Loj just before 6 am. I had to get there so early in an effort to get a parking spot. The previous weekend proved fruitless as by that same time the lot was full and I was turned away. It is very difficult finding places to hike in the High Peaks during peak hiking season. I signed in and was on my way to Marcy Dam, it was 5:50 am. It was a brisk morning at 30 degrees. I had to don my hat and gloves for a bit to keep warm. The trail to Marcy Dam has not changed much in the last 15 years with the exception of the reroute just before the dam, and the dam itself the trail was rerouted downstream after the dam was destroyed by Hurricane Irene. The area has not looked the same since. The views this morning from Marcy Dam were wonderful under clear blue skies. There were many people starting to show up already. After a quick break and snack, I was soon on my way up the Van Hoevenburg Express. A misnomer for a name as I do not find it quick at all navigating the rocks of varying sizes. In the winter with all the rocks under snow cove, yeah it is quick then. In any event, it does not take long to reach the junction that takes you to Phelps Mountain. From here, the trail is a steady climb up. This is the first time for me climbing Phelps without the snowpack, so I was surprised at the amount of rock and scrambling that the trail has to offer. Today was definitely a leg day. There were two or three steep scrambles to go up before the trail eases up. As I continued, there were several spur trails off the main trail to lookouts. I eventually arrived at the last ledge that comprises of the summit shelf at 9:40 am. While I was not the first on the summit, I did enjoy it by myself for about a half-hour having a snack before more hikers showed up. I eventually started my way back down. Going down took me longer than going up, as I wanted to avoid falling. I passed several upbound hikers on my way down. It was a busy peak today. Returning to Marcy Dam I was surprised to find a Jeep near the outpost. I had never seen a vehicle there before. There were not very many people at the dam at this time. I would however pass several hikers making their way to the interior as I was on my way back to the Loj, eventually arriving at the parking lot at 1:50 pm. The elevation gain from the Adirondack Loj is 1,982 feet. This hike is dedicated to the nurses that cared for me at Johns Hopkins. Started: 5:50 AM Trip Time: 8:06:45 Dist. Traveled: 8.23 mi Average Speed: 1.01 mph Max. Speed: 4.37 mph Max. Elevation: 4148 ft
  17. We had started out at the Science Center at 6am. It was still dark so we used our head lamps, it was a nice and cool morning, at about 47 degrees. We got to the first lookout (Marble mtn?) just before the junction from the trail coming up from the Wilmington reservoir in time for the sunrise. I opted for this route and mountains because I was just getting back into hiking after having been operated on in April. I had two vertebrae in my neck fused due to a disc impingement on my spinal cord. The Doctor cleared me for day-pack hiking and this seemed like the best group of mountains to return on. We took a 15 minute break before heading up to Lookout Mt. We arrived at the junction with the trail to Esther Mt. at 9a.m. where we took another break before heading onto Whiteface, we opted to do Whiteface first because we thought we would need the most energy for that, as it turns out we were right. A little more than halfway from the trail junction we came across some construction that apparently Whiteface is doing. They have a couple excavators moving some big rocks for some reason. We arrived at the road wall at 9:50a.m.and followed it around to the left arriving up by the road shortly thereafter. We took a quick breather before climbing up the ridge trail to the summit of Whiteface Mt arriving at 10:20a.m. We lounged around on the rocks, had lunch and then walked the road back to the trail. We arrived on Esther Mt summit at 1:10pm and stayed until 2pm. We then left and arrived back at the junction at 2:40pm, took a break and then headed down the mountain to the science center. While on the way down we were met by two men, one of them was wearing stilts, I don't know why, thought it was very odd. We arrived back at the parking lot at 4:30pm. It took us 10.5 hrs to do this hike, not bad for being away from hiking for several months, it was difficult for me, as I was clearly out of shape!
  18. What a beautiful day we had, life is good! I had the privilege of hiking with HOL, and what an awesome person indeed. Our plans were to hike this via the Calkins Brook trail, go over to Seward, then back track to Donaldson, Emmons, and back to the Calkins Brook. We met at the trail head at 530 Friday morning, signed in and were off. The trail to Calkins Brook is a very nice walk in and especially nice on the way back out. We arrived at the cairn for CB around 630, took a quick break and were off. At around 23-2800 feet I started to get fatigued, I definitely wasn't in my mojo like I typically get into after getting warmed up. We discussed our options to either continue or turn around, we opted to play it by ear, push the fluids a bit more and take in some extra carbs, this improved a bit as we continued up, but was short lived. Around 2800 feet we started to run into snow and the further up we went the more accumulation, albeit maybe 3" at most. There is a fair amount of mud on the CB, and the trail over to Emmons. We got up on the ridge around 10:30, this is where we started to run into icy conditions, crampons would have been over kill, and for the most part we were able to chip the ice away from the rocks with our hiking poles. The only time we took out HOL micro spikes, was to compare them with my stable-icers, big difference and I will switch over, they are allot lighter, more aggressive, and I wont be walking around with loose screws :twisted: . When we got to the ridge we went to Donaldson for a break, ate, drank, and review our options, I admitted to HOL there is no way I can do the 3 today, HOL stated "we'll do what we can, we're just out for a walk in the woods", so I suggested D and E, then if things change maybe we could go over Seward and out the blueberry. Things did not change for me, I was having difficulty in the col going over to Emmons, it was a weird feeling that I had not experienced before, and I felt confident I wasn't bonking, but that's where the final decision was made, HOL agreed, we would bail out after going back to Donaldson. We ran into the most amount of icing in the area between D and E, again nothing that required crampons, but some strategically placed feet. We took a break on Emmons, took pics, chatted, and then went back to Donaldson. Again we had a snack, and water on Donaldson, soaking in the sun and the views, when a group of four from Buffalo came up from Seward, these were the only hikers we had seen all day. We left the summit of Donaldson at 1:30ish? We enjoyed our hike down the CB, nice trail for going down, easy on the knees. We got back to the cars at 5pm, said our goodbyes and were off. I stopped at the emergency room to get checked out, and after a sleepless night and many test from heart to thoracic, nothing wrong was found, which is great news, but leaves me wondering, maybe I was bonking with different symptoms.... I'll post pics later, Nancy it was a blast, correct me if anything is wrong, I purposely left out the "I hear voices comment..."
  19. Craig

    Lower Wolfjaw

    We arrived at the Garden parking lot to find it almost empty. I went and paid for our parking and returned to the truck for our stretches, made our last minute checks to make sure we had everything we needed, signed in at the register and around 1pm off we went toward JBL. My son, Derek and I set out for Johns Brook Lodge in hopes of spending the night in a lean to, but prepared to use our tents. We met several people coming out from having a few nights stay. We arrived at JBL around 5pm, and soon went to see the caretaker and get a lean to because our friends Mark, Chris, and Justin were going to come in later that night and the next day, our luck there were some available. We stayed in the Goodwin lean-to which is in an awesome spot, we placed a glow stick on a branch by the trail leading down to the lean-to so Mark and Chris could find the one we were in. It would be about 9:30pm when they arrived, and Justin was to hike in the next morning. The lean-to was awesome with the brook roaring nearby. We heard nothing all night, in fact it was almost 9:30 or 10am by the time we woke up, we over slept! Our plan was to do both Wolfjaws that day, but now it did not look so good. We left for Lower Wolfjaw at 11:40am from the Goodwin lean-to. It was a misty day, it was like being in the clouds, no views and a constant drizzle the entire day, it made for some cool hiking, but no views at all. We arrived at the Wolfjaw lean-to at 12:40pm, and this is where we had our lunch. This looked like a nice lean-to, I would like to stay at this lean-to when we go back to do Upper Wolf jaw, Armstrong, and Gothics. We arrived at the junction at 1:42pm; we had met a hiker coming down just before this junction and asked him about the time frame for both Lower and Upper Wolf jaws. He said he did not think we had enough time to do both, especially within the daylight. We had headlamps and were prepared to walk out in the dark, but prefer not to do this. We opted to only do the one, so we picked Lower Wolfjaw. We climbed our way and arrived the Lower Wolfjaw summit at 2:40pm, not a view in site, we were socked into the clouds but took what pictures we could. We had a snack and packed up to head back. We arrived back at Goodwin lean-to at 5pm. Our guest met us there and we all hiked out together arriving at the Garden parking area at 7:30pm.
  20. Craig

    Sawteeth Mtn

    On Father's day, my dad, son Derek, brother Rick, and I set out to hike Sawteeth mountain.We arrived at the Lower Ausable parking lot after dropping off Derek and Dad at the beginning of the road. We were at the trail head at 6:41am and were off on our hike. I had picked this hike for Fathers day because my father and brother had never done a high peak, so I figured this would be a fairly easy one, in that you start out with a long walk before actual climbing comes into play. This was nice for me also because it gave us all time to slowly warm up. We arrived at the lower Ausable lake (dam) at 8:50am, we all had a drink and shed some cloths then continued on up the trail. When we arrived at the water fall I was truly amazed. This was a very relaxing and beautiful site. I could have easily taken a nap here, and enjoyed the sounds the waterfall made. We were about halfway up from the lake when I turned around and looked down at my Dad and brother, both completely out of breath and Derek and I were hardly breathing. My dad stopped and said "gees, you guess aren't even huffing", Derek and I looked at each other and at the same time and asked if he wanted us to slow down. We arrived at the junction with the trail that goes left to Sawteeth and right towards Pyramid at 11:30am. I thought we were making good time, and I also thought this would be a nice place to pitch a tent if it was legal; it was a nice place with nice views. We took some pictures and had a few sips of water and continued our final push up to Sawteeth. The summit of Sawteeth was reached at 12:30pm; we all enjoyed our rest, had lunch and took many pictures. There was another man at the peak that took a picture of all of us, this we have framed in all of our houses, dad placed his in the family room of his house, how appropriate. We arrived at the trail head at 4:52pm and were out of woods, it was a beautiful day.
  21. On April 17, 2005 we set out to hike these two peaks, on a very nice day. This was another great day of hiking. Its funny how some days we describe as "epic" and others were just great hikes. This was one of those "epic" day hikes as we all felt strong all day. The 4 of us hiked these two beauties on a weekday, which has many advantages compared to a weekend. We would not see another soul until we returned back to Algonquin from Iroquois peak. Unfortunately I cannot remember the exact start time, or ending time, but I do know it was done entirely in daylight hours. The trail is well traveled and is a popular hike, so naturally it sees a lot of traffic. It is a steady uphill once you get past the junction where the trail goes to left and heads towards Whales tale. Continuing right to follow the main trail it is a steady climb that has a few areas with views to rest. The area where the trail crosses in front of the falls of the MacIntyre brook is really a nice area for a break with some pretty views. From here on it is a steady climb and a few areas to scramble up. The next stop for us was at the junction with the trail to Wright Peak. This area seems like a popular area for a break. Just past this a bit after you round the corner as you head to Algonquin you come across a short steep section where, at the top you start to rise up out of the tree line. It was perfect weather to be above treeline and on that ridge. Once we arrived at the summit of Algonquin we could see our next destination, Boundary and ultimately Iroquois Peak. The trip over to Iroquois was pretty uneventful, and before we knew it we were there. This could be a dicey area when the weather changes. But that goes for anytime you are above treeline. The return trip was uneventful as well, and before we knew it we were back on the flats headed out. It was a great day with great friends.
  22. We arrived at the garden around 7:00am, paid for our parking, did our stretches and signed in; it was my son Derek, and I. We were on the trail for Big Slide by 7:15am. We took the trail over the Brothers; I really liked this approach, with the many outlooks along the way it gave a lot of inspiration. We arrived the first Brother around 8:50am I was surprised at all the nooks and crannies along the way, we passed a huge outcropping that looks as if people use it as a shelter. The one thing I did notice was this trail seemed to be in the sun a lot along the way, this would be a big problem for someone who may not have taken enough water, albeit there were several areas to get water along the way once you crossed over the last brother. Another really neat area was the col between the last brother and the ascent of Big Slide, it was like out of the movies, and all I could think of was the scene from The Never Ending Story, with all the thick densely packed trees, and the canopy, very neat. The trail really did not get steep until the junction to JBL; from then on it was the steepest it's been. The last obstacle was the huge slippery rock just before the summit, this provided a lot of entertainment watching people trying to hurdle this to get to the summit, some would go straight up it only to slide back down, the smart ones went to the left. Once we got over it we officially arrived at the summit of Big Slide at 11:15, enjoyed our lunch and took some pictures before the clouds rolled in, there was a fair amount of fog or clouds rolling by that day. We left for the Garden around 12:00, this time we went straight down to JBL and then to the trail out to the Garden, we met a lot of people on this trail. I preferred the trail via the Brothers, a lot more views, this was a nice hike. While I couldn't find pictures of my initial visit to Big Slide, I did have some froma return visit with great friends.
  23. Craig

    Colden Mtn.

    On Saturday Sept 4, 2004 we set out to climb Mount Colden. Our original intent was to stay at the Marcy Brook lean-to, however we could not due to prior commitments. Our climbing companions (Mark and Chris) had hiked into that lean-to the previous day and spent the night, we met up with them this morning. We left my apartment in Peru at 430am, it was my son Derek, our friend Justin, and I. We arrived at the ADK Loj parking lot at 6am, did our stretching and set off for Marcy Dam. It was an overcast morning of heavy fog, it was kind of cool looking. We arrived at Marcy Dam at 7am, we were met by a few hungry hikers cooking their breakfast. We donned some bug dope and took a few pictures that turned out awesome because of the mist in the air; it looked like halos around our heads, kind of ironic, anyway. We signed into the interior and continued towards Marcy Brook lean-to, I honestly do not care for this lean-to, you are front and center to the trail, no privacy, but I guess it would serve the purpose for a tired hiker. We arrived at the lean-to at 8am and awoke our sleeping party (Mark and Chris), they actually heard us coming as we were laughing to loudly after waking up the wrong people at the Kagel lean-to. The Kagel lean-to is a really nice on the river, private too. After a quick bite, and breakfast, we set off towards Lake Arnold at about 9am. I liked this trail; it's a nice gradual accent which is good for warming up. I continued to get warm, and not from the days sun. I started to feel feverish around Lake Arnold, and it got progressively worse. By the time we hit the second false peak I was in a full blown fever, shivering like crazy. At this point I should have turned around. We arrived at the summit of Colden at 1pm, sat around had lunch, took pictures, and waited for the "light to change", as this peak was packed with people, seems like there was about 20 of us up there, no room for solitary serenity. The views of Algonquin, Iroquois, Wright were awesome, seems like a nicer view from Colden, compared to looking from Iroquois, or Algonquin. I was the only one on the peak fully dressed, with coat and pants, everyone else was in shorts and tees. I couldn't regulate my fever, I was feeling bad, and I even had my friends blocking the wind for me. I'm not sure what time we left the summit, but we returned back to the Marcy Brook lean-to at 7pm, had a quick bite and set off for the Adirondack Loj, arriving at 910pm. I awoke Sunday morning and made a trip to the emergency room where I was diagnosed with pneumonia, and spent the next week kicking that, I am still surprised how quick it came on.
  24. Craig

    Cascade & Porter Mtns

    On February 1, 2004, Derek and I set out to hike these two mountains. Unlike the first attempt we were prepared to hike our first of the 46 high peaks. It was a beautiful day with clear skies and temperatures expected to be in the low 30's. It certainly made for a beautiful day. We started on the trail at 7:45am on a very hard packed trail. We had taken a few breaks along the way. At the intersection with the trail to Porter we decided to go over to Porter mountain first. We had hoped to be the first on the summit, as there is always something nice about being first on the summit for the day, I'm not sure why. That didn't matter because we were eventually passed by a gentlemen about 10 minutes before the summit. His name was Tony, and he was originally from England. He had traveled that day up from Ithaca. He stated he was already a 46er, and was working on his winter round of the 46. We had a break on Porter, enjoyed the views and then set off to climb Cascade. We reached Cascade summit at 12:50pm stayed for about an hour then headed back down. We were back at the car for 3pm feeling energized, it was awesome. Submitted to Historian 2/18/04
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