Monday, May 13, 2013
....Well at least for the time being. Gotta cover up those tender plants as we're expecting a frost this evening so you never know in this part of the country for sure until at least after Memorial Day. Just so you know that I haven't permanently turned into the "High Peaks Drifter", I posted a few of my (non-Adirondack) spring-time images to share with you. The garden at home is coming along nicely, and the Mohawk valley is alive with spring-time color, so no doubt I'll be posting more very soon! Restored schoolhouse near Town of Paris,NY Farmstead near Sauquoit,NY "It's wabbit season!" Solitary Red Tulip Full Moon Over Whitestown,NY Bluets Near sunset in field near Whitestown, NY Birch Tree in Spring
Monday, April 29, 2013
No doubt that Nolan I have gotten the "peak climbing bug". After being warned by ADK and some well traveled peak baggers about the trials and travails of hiking the mountains in early spring, Nolan and I checked the trail reports and decided to give it a go, to notch our fourth Adirondack High Peak. We headed north for the just under 3 hour drive which I do not seem to mind. There is much beautiful scenery on Rt 8 & 87, and the anticipation of the climb ahead, seems to keep boredom in check. We arrived in the village of Keene around 9:30am and pulled into the "Garden" trail-head ($7/parking fee, 60 car limit)in the charming Village of Keene, around 9:45am. We signed in, and Nolan and I were immediately struck by how dry the trail was. We easily crossed a small creek about a half-mile in. Trail conditions in the first half of the trek were dry and excellent, and because it was still early spring in the Adirondacks there were no nasty black flies yet. We made it to the first mountains; "The Brothers" where we taken aback by the stunning views especially the 360 degree view on Brother 2. Scrambling over the gorgeous stone faces atop the Brothers peaks was truly one of the highlights of this mountain climb. After coming off the Brothers, we encountered the last remnants of snow and ice (a few inches up to a foot deep) on the dark (North) side of Big Slide Mt and the side of Brothers in the shade of Big Slide. So we slipped on the cramp-ons and pushed ahead to make the final push to the summit....more to come.
Monday, April 15, 2013
A beautiful late winter day (March 30, 2013 which is spring in most parts of the US)to make the ascent of Giant Mountain. After exploring the lower falls about 3/4 mi from trailhead, we found the falls was 99% frozen and covered in snow, so Nolan and I detoured back and started the 3.5 mile ascent of the 4,600 plus foot, Giant Mt. The trail is a steady 20-45 degree incline most of the way with inclines becoming even more dramatic as you near the summit. The conditions were spring like and slushy at the base to midpoint, and slippery along many sections because of returning hikers who slide down longer sections of downhill. Amazingly at the top there was upwards of 2 or 3 feet in sections......I'll finish this post soon, just wanted to start this and get some photos up. ~Thanks-Pat
Monday, April 08, 2013
Image: Turn of century postcard of TLake Falls I'll share since this elusive view has eluded me twice now. Deciding to sleep in a little and do a closer "easier" hike, I talked Nolan into doing TLake with me. I missed seeing the complete falls on my trail run in early September, and thought it might be easier to bushwack our way down the steep incline to the base of the falls to get a good photo that way. Unsure of the conditions we set out for Piseco Lake Road and the closest trail head to TLake. Nobody had been on trail for a week or so, and with approx. 2 foot of snow base, the 7+mile trek proved to be a little more gruelling than my solo trail run here to check out the falls, late last summer. The trail-head parking at the campsite Many challenging hills and valleys to climb and detours to bushwack through. T Lake lean to and a fresh pair of socks, water, snack and equipment adjustment check. I decided not to risk bringing Nolan to the top of the falls area, due to the extreme danger in going over the edge. Especially as icy and uncertain the conditions at the falls in winter might be. At least 2 people have died here going over the edge, and there are even newspaper clippings and warnings posted on the trees to discourage the "curious cat" syndrome. I figure the next attempt will be the unmarked trail (5mile) from Mountain Home Rd., perhaps in late summer or early fall, to capture and experience this elusive image of Adirondack beauty. After we returned to the trailhead parking, we ventured out onto Piseco Lake which was still frozen, and we're treated to beautiful and expansive views of Piseco and surrounding mountains including being under the shadow of Piseco Mountain which we had just hiked for several miles around
Monday, March 11, 2013
Was a spectacular late winter day to make the ascent of Snowy Mountain. Snowy Mountain is higher (3,950ft) than some of the 46 High Peaks, but is not officially one of them, although it is listed in the 100 High Peaks list. Nolan and I decided that given the weather was so favorable, (sunny 35-40 degrees, no wind) that it really doesn't get better than this, so we saddled up and headed north. Snowy Mountains trail head is just a few miles from the Village of Indian Lake. We got there around 11:30 (we were the last ones to head up on the register) and headed up in boots and on Yak-trax. This was a mistake because the conditions were better suited to snowshoes, especially about 1 mile from the summit when the snow got deeper and powdery, as opposed to the wet firm packed base the first few miles. Most of the 10 or so other trekkers on this day were coming down when we approached the last mile of the ascent. There were four people and one dog at the summit, and no one at the ranger tower about a 1/4 mile from the summit. So, Nolan and I had the whole sun-drenched mountain to ourselves for a while. There was no wind so except for an occasional plane flying over Indian Lake, so it was beautiful and absolutely quiet. It took us just under 3 hours to make the ascent, but we were able to make the descent in about 1.5 hours even with photo ops and bathroom breaks. We signed out around 4:30, and promptly headed to Charlie John's store in Speculator to grab some chocolate milk and beef jerky. No doubt that this adventure will always be favorably and forever etched in Nolans and my memory.
Wednesday, February 20, 2013
Almost on a whim, Nolan and I decided to get a taste of winter climbing in preparation for taking on the Adirondack 46 high peaks. Blue Mountain is not an official "high peak" but we wanted to see what it was like climbing in winter conditions, as this seems to be the more elitist and hard core way to accomplish the 46er odyssey. We selected Blue Mountain because there seemed to be enough of a base to snowshoe up, and by all weather accounts it was going to be a fairly comfortable 20 degrees and sunny that day. And finally because it was a "manageable" 4 mile ascent/descent. What started as a 4-miler turned into a 10 miler on snowshoes. After arriving at the trail head which is about a quarter mile up from the Adirondack Museum in Blue Lake, we rigged up the shoes and headed out around 12:30. We headed down the Tirrell Pond Trail which was a gradually ascending moderate climb for around 3 miles. We turned back just before Tirrell Pond after discovering we would be taking a chance by trying to use a private service road up the back way of the mountain. To make sure to leave enough time to get up Blue Mtn we headed back down Tirrell Pond trail and to the trail head, so we could get up the mountains summit and back down by dark (around 5:30). By around 2:45 we were headed up the trail towards Blue Mountains summit..... I'll post more details