Tuesday, December 16, 2014

November a time to run, a time to climb and a time for deep introspection & brooding...

New York, to that tall skyline I come.....

No place is more diverse from the mountains I so love, than the bustling metropolis of New York City.
You cannot help but feel the energy, diversity and intensity of the big city, especially after having lived in sleepy Utica and it's burbs for so long.

Even more so when you're there and an event like the NYC Marathon is going on.  After running this event twice,  I love NYC, but I know I have to look for smaller less congested venues to run. NYC with over 50,000 runners this year(just over 40,000 last year) and several million on-lookers and support staff takes a lot out of you. It was a marathon just getting to the start line after all the travelling the day before and getting up at 3am to make sure to get to the start line on-time.  I felt it was so big an event,  you feel like you become just another number. Just another face flashing by, only to be erased by a mind numbing another runner, and another, and another....Anyway, it is a great event, and I certainly don't want to take anything away from the amazing job that the NY Road Runners and the City of New York did pulling this race off, or from those hoping to run this race.

"And my words won't make a dime's worth a difference, so here's to you New York" `Simon & Garfunkel

In a quieter moment a view of Lady Liberty

The Big City from this little "Bug's" eye view

thanks to marathon photo for this nice capture

the "Big Apple" from Jersey City and the new World Trade Center

a memory of 9-11

A Somber November on Chimney Mt (near Indian Lake-Adirondacks, NY  & West Kill Mts., Catskills, NY)

November can be a cold, brooding and colorless month. So, I find the best remedy is to get outside into nature for a run or a climb. A few weeks after running NY I was afforded the opportunity decompress and to visit charming and cavernous little Chimney Mountain.

 What we thought would be a "shake-out" winter climb in the snow, saw almost the opposite. Although there was an occasional trace of snow, the trail and mountain were very dry and easy to navigate. So, it gave us extra time to explore and stick our heads in a few caves.

A few weeks later on Thanksgiving weekend we headed for the Catskills and West Kill Mountain. We enjoy the Cats but they are different and a little more "well worn" it seems than the Adirondacks. Anyway, there was a good enough amount of snow to utilize crampons but nothing to write home about. I've captioned the photos so I won't bore you anymore with laborious details about the climb, etc. My thought here was to share some of the contrast of a "wood-chucks" experiences in November in NYC and the mountains of Upstate, NY.  ~Cheers
View from summit of Chimney Mt

The "Chimney" on Chimney Mt
wanna race me?
view from Chimney Mt
Farm near Chimney Mt and antique tractor

Diamond Notch Falls on way to West Kill Mt, Catskills, NY

A "zen" moment on West Kill Mt

Nothing more cleansing than a grinding climb in the cold

the nice panorama from just below the sumnmit of West Kill Mountain

found the summit marker after walking by it a couple times

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Fred's House

Fred's House
Time was, the light in Fred's house across the lake was always on. Now it is dark.
In summer,  Fred's laughter resonated over the water as he shared a laugh with friends. Now it is quiet.
At Christmas, we could see Fred through his living room window, smiling and waving from his rocking chair. He would give us a big thumbs up for the lights we put up on a small wild spruce we had growing on our front lawn at Christmas. Now there is only the silhouette of his rocking chair.

Fred's Place, Piseco, NY

Time is elusive, and time can be unkind.
For now, I will reminisce, and court a memory or two.
A memory where Fred's living room  light shines, and his laughter is loud and clear.
A place where we are happily decorating the spruce tree with brilliant christmas lights, and we can see Fred across the lake bathed in the amber glow of his living room waving to us.  Fred has a big smile on his face and he gives us a big thumbs up.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

The Enchanting Skylight Mountain, Gray Mt., The Opalescent, Lake Tear Of The Clouds & Flowed Lands in Fall

View from the Flowed Lands

The mystical Flowed Lands
at the 4-Corners

The beauty and power of the Opalescent

View of Marcy from Gray Mt

Lake Tear of the Clouds & Marcy

View of Marcy from Skylight

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Snowy Mountain via the Griffin Brook Slide

Doing a little catchup on my posts. Here is a little hike we took up the front of Snowy Mt(@3,900ft) around Labor Day.

Theres nothing like feeling your way around a dense-thick and scraggly forest, and then up the side of a 3900ft Adirondack mountain  to teach you a little humility. Our goal this day was  to climb Griffin Brook Slide along the side of Snowy Mountain, then work our way to the familiar summit and ranger tower atop. Nolan and I had done a winter hike last winter up Snowy along the marked trail, so we were some what familiar with Snowy. But today would be a good old fashioned bush-wack with no trails. Throw in all the bugs, the brush, dense forest canopy, blow-down, rocks, spruce thickets and heat and the moment we discovered Griffin Brook slide through an opening in the forest canopy (bear with me as I update ths post this week....thanks-Pat!)

Friday, August 15, 2014

Tahawas, Ghost Town of Adirondac-MacIntyre, Flowed Land & Marshall

view from Mt Marshall
What started out as just another hike and high peaks mountain climb, turned out to be a most interesting history lesson on the the 10,000 acre Tahawas Tract. The New York State Adirondack Park Agency and the Open Space Institute acquired the Tahawas Tract in 2003. The tracts mining history dated back over 170 years when the early founders discovered iron. Mining operations fizzled out in 1857 because of an impurity in the iron and lumbering and game hunting became the primary uses of the Tahawas until mining resumed in 1940. During the non-mining years the beauty of this area even attracted Teddy Roosevelt, who ironically was climbing Mount Marcy when he found out that President McKinley had been shot and he would soon be president. The villages of Tahawas and Adirondac (also known as MacIntrye) sprung up around the various operations, and you can only see caved in buildings now. Although there has been some effort to maintain in 2003 the area because of it's historical significance, even the blast furnace seems to have been neglected as of late.
Strange silo along CR25. Found out later was most likely used to burn scrap wood.

The blast furnace along  CR25 in Essex County near the trailhead. Restored in 2003, showing signs of neglect

Although we immensely enjoyed the beauty and serenity of this area of the high peaks we were also able to get a better historical perspective of the area we traversed and some of the sights we saw that day. I won't bore you with anymore history as there is plenty out there on the net if you are interested. Although the 14+ mile hike-climb was a bit of a grind going up Mount Marshall, it was well worth it as the beauty of this area (especially the Flowed Land) is spectacular.

view of the Flowed Land and in the distance Avalanche Pass
directions! near the Flowed Land
Going up Mount Marshall, the most difficult part of climb. Much natural obstacles, cris-crossing of creek and trying to stay on herd path.
nearing the top of Marshall we were afforded some nice views of neighboring Iroquois Mt
Henderson Memorial
nice view of Mt Colvin from Flowed Land
Nolan and I atop Mt Marshall No 33/46 08.09.14

Thursday, July 31, 2014

The Solitude Of TLake & TLake Falls and the Southern Adirondacks, NY

 The trail entrance to T Lake is located on Piseco Lake Road adjacent to the third state camp site on Piseco Lake. When you see the sign which is kinda hidden by the trees in summer, pull into the grassy area and you'll find a small parking area. Around 3.5 miles you'll find a nice lean to if you want to do some camping, but there is little in the way of views from the lean to so you'll probably want to bushwack T Lake a little, or go the extra few miles to the falls.
T Lake and it's remoteness add to it's pristine beauty. This day I only saw a party of three whom I don't believe made it as far as the lake as they were travelling this rugged trail without maps, had a young child, and little water that I could see. Although they had some of those sippy straws. 

Just after (half-mile or so) T Lake and down the now unmarked trail to T Lake Falls, you see this "lesser" falls and a beautiful grassy vly to the right.  After the lean to at TLake there are no trail markers, and the DEC prefers that you don't go any further. I have heard that rangers will cite you but that sounds a little melodramatic. Whether the ranger dropped the trees that now block the old trail past T Lake, or whether it is blow-down or what ever, I could not tell. But the trail is blocked in several places. There is a s herd path of sorts past T Lake,  but it is easy to get off trail if you're not careful. If that happens, just keep the lake, the vly, stream and falls to your right and you'll get there.

The warning sign was down so I replaced it, and then took a moment to think about and remember those  including Eric Lemieux who died tragically on these falls.
At the very top of T Lake Falls....very grown in here and fair warning to those who venture here to stay off the rocks as they are mossy and very slippery!
T Lake Falls is basically a sheer rock 300-600 ft wall face on the side of a mountain, with patches of scrub and trees  except where the falls has basically blown away anything through the years that has tried to root and grow there. The falls is disputed to be the highest in New York State. Disputed, because it is not a sheer drop falls like Niagara. 

Hanging along the rock edge and scrub tree line about half way down to get these as close to full length photos as you probably can get without being in a plane or helicopter
After T Lake I wanted to go around Eagle Bluffs to Twin Lakes, but timed out on this trip having told my family I would return by a certain time. So, I scrambled back up the T Lakes cliffs and headed back down the 5 miles or so the way I had come. The trip back was very quiet and saw no one else on the trail, although there was a nice strong breeze this day blowing through the trees.

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

June bugs & such.......

The bridge crossing on the Lower Ausable Lake
Rock cliffs on Saddleback Mountain
June was an unusually busy month that saw us in the high peaks region 3 times, and the off weeks spent in the Southern Adirondacks. We covered much ground, mainly because of the favorable weather conditions and the unexpected lack of rain and bugs. The official bug of the Adirondacks the black fly, were around at times as well as deer flies, but no where near other years when you tried to wave off black clouds of the little biting devils.

Resting on Saddleback Mtn
Anyway, no doubt that Nolan and I find that our "hearts are in the clouds" and especially look forward to our visits and time in the Adirondacks of New York State. I really find the high peaks breath taking and most enjoyable, although it seems at times to be a lot more people than the more pristine and sedate back woods areas of the Southern Adirondack region. I am finding that I really prefer the winter climbs in the peaks when there are fewer climbers, and more peace and solice amongst clouds and the mountain summits.

atop Haystack Mtn
Enjoy some of my favorite photos from our June climbs of Adirondack high peaks Dix, South Dix, East Dix, Macomb, Basin, Saddleback, Haystack, Colvin & Blake as well as our bushwack of Big Marsh Mountain and a hike to Hamilton Lean to from Piseco.

Staircase coming off Saddleback Mtn

View of Indian Head

View from Indian Head Ausable Lake

trail to Indian Head

View from Colvin  Mt

View from Blake Mt

Nolan on Indian Head

me atop Indian Head

back up Colvin Mt after Blake

Bushwacking up Big Marsh Mtn

the classic Dix Mtn profile

view of Dix from the Beckhorn

Dix Mtn

Dix Mtn

East Dix

Macomb Mtn
the early bird catches the worm. One of the benefits to getting an early start to climb the peaks is we get to enjoy magnificent sunrises (and sunsets) over beautiful Adirondack areas we might normally ever see. Here on our way to climb a few weeks ago we stopped to enjoy coffee and a sunrise over Loon Lake, a pair of woodies and their home in the foreground?

A view of Irondequoit Mtn from Big Marsh Mtn

atop Big Marsh Mtn (we think) was so heavily wooded and thick we weren't 100% sure....are you ever?

a beautiful parting shot from Dix Mtn