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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.  

Craig

Craig

Whiteface & Esther Mtns.

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! Pictures

Craig

Craig

Weston Mountain

I Didn't make my destination, but did have a great 5.12 mile hike in the woods. One person had gone in ahead after the last storm. Since then everything softened and froze making for not so pleasant snowshoeing.
The start of the trail crosses a small footbridge before hiking along a very easy to follow and well developed trail. The trail is mostly flat to the Hurricane Mountain Trail junction that veers to the right at just over a mile from the start. There is a nice lean-to located in this area to the left.

The trail continue flat for a bit before starting a steady climb that passes through a mixed forest. The trail eventually eases as you get closer to the south side of Lost Pond at 1.8 mi. where there is an excellent viewing area, just off the trail to the right. The trail continues along the left side of the pond over slightly difficult terrain before reaching the north side at the lean-to. This was a far as i managed to go based on the post holes left from a previous hiker.
 

Craig

Craig

Vanderwhacker Mountain

I found this to be a very nice hike. It was nothing that I had expected, I compared that to what I had read anyways. Its like reading a book, forming your own vision in your mind, then watching the movie in a theater, based on some others imagination.

The trail is a soft gradual hike, from trail head to the summit it is a 2.5 mile trip, 5 miles round trip. The climb is so gradual that you do not realize the climb is just under 1700" of elevation gain. The mountain itself is at 3386' of elevation. There isn't a lot of climbing until you reach the cabin, from there to the summit, just under 1.5 miles is where you gain your elevation.

The trail crisscrosses a few waterways, which are either covered with a foot bridge, or rock hop-able. Just before the ridge there is a nice switchback that helps easy the climb as well. Which I will assume is fairly new as it is not defined on the maps I have seen. There were a few other areas where the trail has been re-routed.

I left the trail-head at 8:30 and arrived at the summit around 1030, we took out time. The dogs did very well, and this is a dog friendly climb.

The dirt road into the trail-head is in fairly good shape, with a few pot holes. I had brought my truck because I had read that it was a rough road, and a car may have trouble (with clearance) getting into the trail-head. I didn't see where there would be any issues, so long as someone takes their time and watches where they go.

A real gem.
 

Craig

Craig

Upper Wolfjaw and Armstrong Mtns

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.

Craig

Craig

Tongue Mountain

Tongue mountain range, Lake George
November 6, 2011

Brain and Cindy had invited me along on this hike. At the time I hadn't done a lot of hiking in the Lake George area, so this was all new to me.

We went in at the Clay Meadows parking lot, that was near beside a small quarry pool. From the trail head we hiked straight up to the center of the mountain’s spine. From that trail junction, we went south over French Point which has some awesome views from its open ledge. We continued on towards Montalm Point, however we decided to drop down before First Peaks and bushwhack to the trail along Northwest Bay and take the trail back out to the trail head and parking area.

This is a hike I want to do again.

It was around 4 miles for the loop
Just under 1000' of elevation gain.

Craig

Craig

Tabletop Mtn

We left the apartment at 4:45am so as to get a good head start. We arrived at the ADK Loj parking lot at around 6:50 am, there were a few cars already there, and in fact it looked like they had all spent the night in the woods somewhere because of the frost on the windshields. We did our stretches, signed in and headed off for Marcy Dam. It was a cool morning with lots of frozen mud holes along the way. The air was nice and crisp; I love this time of the day.We arrived Marcy dam at 7:50am to enjoy beautiful views as the sun came up. We signed into the interior outpost and set off for Table top. We had to take the foot bridge over from Marcy Dam, not because of high water, but due to ice covered rocks, dealing with this would be our biggest hazard throughout the day, at least until it warmed up enough to melt. We arrived at the junction with the Phelps Trail at 8:50am, had a short break with drinks and snacks and continued onto Tabletop.The trail up to Table Top was an adventure, it was a small brook all the way up, some frozen and some thawed if it was in the sun. The short col just before the summit was kind of neat, a place I would like to camp but unable to due to the regulation. We arrived at the summit of Tabletop at 11:45am and enjoyed our lunch and took some picks, unfortunately not very good views, but again enjoyed the clean crisp air along with the sweet smell of balsam, awesome. As we headed back to the main trail one of us managed to have a boot fall apart at the sole and I inadvertently poked a hole in my eardrum with a twig (I was going backwards through a section and when I turned to look down for a foot placement I had a twig enter my ear). We arrived back at the Vanhovenberg trail at 1:45pm and passed the Phelps trail at 2:45. Arriving at Marcy dam at 3:45, with not a soul in site. We continued on to the Loj arriving at 4:30pm. Table top was an enjoyable hike, short and without views, but got us in the woods for the day. Pictures

Craig

Craig

Street and Nye Mtns.

We arrived at the Adirondack Loj around 8am. Today (Friday April 14, 2006) would by Mark, Derek, and myself hiking Street and Nye. We arrived to the trail head sign in at 820, and meandered our way down to Indian Brook, where we finally found a safe place to cross at 10:05. We made our way up to the junction arriving at 1:40pm after dealing with a fair amount of blow down along the way. It was a short jaunt over to Nye summit arriving at 2:00pm, with no views. After a quick photo session we headed back to the junction arriving at 2:20pm. We were soon on our way to Street. This summit seemed to be a bit illusive, and a few surprises as we had a little bit of trouble staying on the trail, blow down, and the spruce traps were a bit of a challenge. We arrived at the summit of Street at 3:50pm, took some photos, snacked and rested for our walk out. We arrived back at the junction at 4:20pm and continued on down to Indian Brook, arriving at 6:30pm. Did not see a single soul the whole trip. Pictures

Craig

Craig

St. Regis Mountain

May 7, 2014

A beautiful day to be in the woods, and it was well over due. A 6.6 mile round trip through some open hardwoods, and some spectacular views.

Saint Regis is reportedly a popular mountain, but today there wasn't much traffic when I started. This hike is much like the hike to Scarface, a gradual increase with a short difficult section towards the end, but neither are overly difficult. I guess this is what makes these hikes popular. The trail is easy enough to follow up and over rolling hills through a mix of soft and hardwoods. Towards the end of the trail you will come to a sharp right, at which point the climbing really begins, for only about a 1/4 mile. This section is almost like a chute as you go up between crags, ultimately coming out to a gradual incline before coming out to the somewhat bare summit and tower. You'll be greeted with fantastic views of surrounding lakes and mountains.

To get to the trail-head you'll head westerly off Route 30 in Paul Smiths, immediately north of the entrance to Paul Smiths College on the left is Keese Mills Rd. From there travel 2.5 miles to the parking area which is on the left. By foot, cross over the bridge and follow the access road to the trail-head that's a short distance on the right.

The fire tower has recently been renovated.

St Regis has an elevation of 2,874 feet.
The hike itself has an approximate gain of 1,250 feet.
I clocked 4.9 miles round trip.
 

Craig

Craig

St. Regis Mountain

A beautiful day to be in the woods, and it was well over due. A 6.6 mile round trip through some open hardwoods, and some spectacular views.

St. Regis mountain. is reportedly a popular mountain, but today there wasn't much traffic when I started. This hike is much like the hike to Scarface, a gradual increase with a short difficult section towards the end, but neither are overly difficult. I guess this is what makes these hikes popular. The trail is easy enough to follow up and over rolling hills through a mix of soft and hardwoods. Towards the end of the trail you will come to a sharp right, at which point the climbing really begins, for only about a 1/4 mile. This section is almost like a chute as you go up between crags, ultimately coming out to a gradual incline before coming out to the somewhat bare summit and tower. You'll be greeted with fantastic views of surrounding lakes and mountains.

To get to the trail-head you'll head westerly off Route 30 in Paul Smiths, immediately north of the entrance to Paul Smiths College on the left is Keese Mills Rd. From there travel 2.5 miles to the parking area which is on the left. By foot, cross over the bridge and follow the access road to the trail-head that's a short distance on the right.

The fire tower has recently been renovated.

St Regis has an elevation of 2,874 feet.
The hike itself has an approximate gain of 1,250 feet.
I clocked 4.9 miles round trip.

For winter season with Derek.
   

Craig

Craig

Spruce Mountain

Well, I figured since I couldn't make the meet up hike on January 16th with a group from ADK Fire Tower page, and I really didn't want to get out of a nice warm bed on the 15th, today was the day to do something.

I have been working some odd shifts at work this week and it has allowed me time off during the week to hike with my son, who was also off today as well, so it was a win-win situation.

The trail-head to Spruce Mt. was easy enough to get to. Its about a 2.5 hour ride from Plattsburgh. The forecast was for overcast to partly cloudy today, with little to no breeze. The temps were expected to be around 40 degrees, which is crazy for January weather.

The trail was a hard pack all the way to the top. We gave the snowshoes a free ride and wore micro-spikes the entire way with no issues, I suspect that will change as this week is going to be unusually warm for this time of year.

The trail was easy to follow, and was an easy incline the entire way. We left the truck at 10:30 and took our time, arriving at noon.

A quick 30 minutes and we were back at the truck.  

Craig

Craig

Split Rock Wilderness Area

November 26, 2011

This was another nice outing. There are various trails, we took Lewis Clearing Bay trail, and went to Snake Den overlook. These trails were moderate grade and easy to follow.

Essex, NY

Map

Craig

Craig

Snow Mountain

What a beautiful day for a hike, blue sky and perfect temperatures. This whole weekend has been fantastic weather.

I had heard about this hike from Scott (Winterwarlock) on more than one occasion. He mentioned it offered some wonderful views, and was a really nice short hike. So today I set out to hike Snow mountain, and see for myself what he described. He didn't disappoint.

As I said previously, it was a picture perfect day to spend in the woods. The temperatures were cooler, down from the previous 2 weeks where we were in the upper 80's for several days. This morning temps were 38 degrees, and when I finished it was 62. Mother nature has turned the page, and now the temps are more seasonal.

When I arrived at the trail-head on Route 73, just south of the Noonmark Diner, I was met with an almost full parking lot. This surprised me as I half expected to not see it this full, on a Sunday. Although, I also noticed the parking areas for Hurricane Mt and Baxter Mt were also full. I guess everyone was taking advantage of the weather.

This would be my first hike this season with my winter pack, I was curious how I would do. I left the car at 9am and signed in. Based on those who signed in before me, nobody was heading to Snow. Rooster Comb and the Great Range were a many's destination, what a pleasant surprise! The trail follows along what used to be a small body of water near the high school. Presently it is almost dried up. Not sure if it has been drained for a reason, or if it has really been that dry. Just beyond the pond the trail crosses over a footbridge and then begins the uphill climb navigating through switchbacks up to the first junction at around .7 miles, at which then branches on to Snow Mt to the left, or continue straight to Roostercomb and beyond to the Great Range.

The trail was pretty dry and easy to follow, any brooks I did cross over were either dried up, or low. The hike was pretty easy, gradual incline, with a few short sections that were steeper.
The next trail junctions at 1.1 miles with a spur trail back to Rooster Comb, or turns left towards Snow mountain and Saint Huberts. The Flume brook was low, but provided a great spot for the pups to get a drink. From here it was a short .3 to the junction that takes you to Snow mountain to the left, or continue on to Saint Huberts. From this point the remaining .5 miles to the summit of Snow mountain navigating through a short rock scramble just below the summit. Once above the scramble its partial-open and fairly flat with views in almost every direction. I arrived at the summit around 11am, and had the summit to myself for about 30 minutes.

Start time was 9am
Distance: 2.4 mi. to summit
4.8 miles round trip
Average speed was 1.2 miles
Arrived back at the car 1:05pm

Craig

Craig

Silver Lake Mountain

This is a nice little hike at .9 miles to the summit. Deciding later in the day to hike this turned out to be a good option. The trail surprisingly was well drained and somewhat dry, given the recent rains we have had. It seems like there has been some trail work done, at least it seemed that way compared to my last visit several years ago to this mountain. The trailhead is on the left about a half mile south of the Douglas Campground on the Silver Lake road. It is a small trail head and not much room for parking. I arrived around 230pm and there were 4 cars in the lot, room for one more (me), and that is about it. With the way the shoulders are on the main road (Silver Lake Road), not very practical to park on the side of the road. Its a short walk to the trail head register, from there it begins a gradual uphill for about a half mile before it gets a little steeper for the last .4 miles to the summit. The trail is made up of rocks (mostly buried under freshly fallen leaves),  roots (wet and slippery), and areas of ledge and bedrock which provides nice traction. There are several lookouts to take advantage of as you climb. I was surprised with the amount of people out this late in the day, and on a Sunday at that. We (the dogs and I) would have company all day. Glad to finally get back out on the trails.

Craig

Craig

Short Job Mountain

I've done this hike twice. I didn't even know about it until I had hiked it with Snickers and Bushwhacker one day (Thank you!). It is a nice little gem deep in the High Peaks, nestled near Johns Brook Lodge. If you find yourself in the area, and realize you just don't feel like a high peak but want to hike something, this would be that hike.
Its a little hike to get to, to begin with. From the garden parking lot its about 3 miles to Johns Brook lodge. From there its a short jaunt of about .5 miles, off the Ore Bed trail.
There are a few steep sections that can be tricky in the summer, but it is short lived before it turns into a short ridge walk to the summit that offers limited views of Armstrong/Upper Wold Jaw mountains.

The first time I had hiked this was February 9, 2014, with Cindy and Brian.
I eventually hiked it again with my son.

Its about 8.5 miles round trip, a nice little jaunt.
 

Craig

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.  

Craig

Craig

Seward, Donaldson, and Emmons Mtns

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

Craig

Craig

Scarface Mountain

The first half of this trail follows old roads over relatively flat terrain through coniferous forest and past rippling brooks. Eventually the trail begins a steady climb. Side trails lead to an open ledge with views overlooking Oseetah Lake and the Saranac Lake chain. The other views on the trail require some bushwhacking, and the summit itself does not offer a view.

This wraps up my winter Saranac Lake 6 list. It was 16 degrees when we left the truck with little to no wind. Perfect hiking temps. We seen about 12 other people on the trail, one of which was a troll. He asked if I was from the upper peninsula (seen my license plate), I told him I was, then he pointed to the center of his open hand and said "I'm a troll, from Vanderbilt." I thought that was neat.

Distance: 6.8 miles RT (10.9 km)
Ascent: 1480 (451 m)
Elevation: 3054 (931 m)
 

Craig

Craig

Scarface Mountain

The first half of this trail follows old roads over relatively flat terrain through coniferous forest and past rippling brooks. It is a very nice hike overall, crisscrossing over brooks and eventually gradually beginning a short steady climb just below the first and only ledge with views. Side trails lead to an open ledge with views overlooking Oseetah Lake and the Saranac Lake chain. The other views on the trail require some bushwhacking off the trail once up on the ridge. This hike is probably to me the best in the Adirondacks (so far) that offers a beautiful ridge walk that meanders to the summit, and the summit itself does not offer a view, but is a very tranquil summit.

This is a wonder snowshoe in the winter as well. The only tricky area is the scramble just below the open ledge, which can be covered with flow ice which may require various types of traction depending on the conditions.

Distance: 6.8 miles RT (10.9 km)
Ascent: 1480 (451 m)
Elevation: 3054 (931 m)

Craig

Craig

Sawyer Mountain

A great little hike for a beginner, young family, or for me that hasn't been out hiking since December. The hike is only about 1.1 miles to the summit. It took me longer to drive to the trail head than it did to hike the round trip of 2.2 miles. I arrived at the trail head around 8:30am. I would have the trail to myself for the hike. One of the benefits of hiking in the middle of the week. There wasn't anyone at Blue Mountain trail head either when I passed by. I grabbed my pack, let the pups out, signed in, and we were off. The trail is an easy climb, one of the easiest summits in the Adirondacks, and fairly dry. There were a couple areas that were muddy, but easy enough to rock hop through. It was a mix of hardwoods and sparse fir trees the entire way. It must be a cool hike in the summer with the canopy of leaves overhead. I was thinking this mountain can be pretty busy with hikers in the summer months based on its proximity to nearby campgrounds and vacation rentals. That and the small parking area at the trail head could pose a problem with parking. As I progressed up the trail I found towards the top ridge there are partial views from ledges on the left near the summit. A short whack over to a small lookout provided some views. Back to the trail and past the wooded summit was the described rock ledge with a nice overlook that provided some decent views, and a swarm of hungry black flies. The trail head is located between Indian Lake and Blue Mountain Lake on the west side of Route 28, the parking is well marked. It is a short distance south of Lake Durant campground. I did a brief search on the history of Sawyer mountain and had trouble finding much on it, other than what appears is that it is part of a recreational easement with New York State. On my way back home I took a spin into the Lake Durant Campground. I grabbed a map and drove around checking out the campsites. This is a nice campground that has several nice sites, many of which are on the lake itself.

Craig

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. Pictures

Craig

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.     December 4, 2015

Craig

Craig

Round Mountain

I had started this hike a bit late about 10 AM. I initially was going to do an out and back from the parking lot area in St. Huberts. This would eventually change and I decided to hike it clockwise. Shortly after signing in, the trail immediately starts the climb up eventually easing to a gradual climb through a mix of hard and soft woods. I kept seeing fresh deer tracks along the way, obviously pushing the deer as I gradually made my way up to a point around 2600 feet where she finally revealed herself. She was about 30 yards away, and I tried to make a video of her, but it turned out very grainy.   The climbing gets steeper at this point and along the way you start to see nice views of Giant mountain becoming more and more prominent. At one point I  came out of the woods to an open ledge that was like an amphitheater seating to the Giant of the valley. From this point the trail led back into the woods which was made up of pine and cedar trees. This area was moderately steep, but easy climbing with a good base below my feet.  There were areas with ice below the snow, but the ever changing temperatures before made for some nice traction. I had put on my snowshoes just after signing in, for no other reason than to take advantage of the televators, micro-spikes would have worked fine in lower elevations, but at around 2600 feet snowshoes were needed  with 4-6 inches of powder. As I continues up I ran into a head-wall at about 2800 feet, which has some really cool looking ice-flow coming off of it. My pictures really did not do it justice. In another 100 feet of elevation I thought I had reached the partially open summit, only to realize I had a bit more hiking to do. With a quick down and up in elevation I was finally at the summit and the spectacular views of the Lower Great range, Dix and Hough mountains, along with Giant, and Noonmark mountain.   After about a half hour on the summit I dropped down to the Dix trail making my way back to the dirt road that leads to the Ausable Inn road, eventually signing out at the Round Mountain register.   I did not see  another soul all day which was quite surprising. I had expected at the least to meet traffic coming up to Round from the Dix trail. I guess it is true, Round mountain sees very little traffic.   I did this hike clockwise from St Hubert's parking area.   Two areas of blow-down. Elevation: 3100 ft
Ascent: 1820 ft
Distance: 4.9 miles  

Craig

Craig

Rooster Comb Mountain

Almost a year since my last hike. Life sure did get in the way of my fun time.

This is a nice little hike with some very impressive views up the Johns Brook valley. It's not a high peak at 2762 ft., but it is a rewarding hike.
The trail starts at the parking lot south of Noonmark Diner off route 73, and begins on the flat skirting a small pond. From there is is a gradual climb through pines and then hardwoods. From the junction to hedgehog Mt it is a short hike to the open ledge of Hedge Hog.

Craig

Craig

Rattlesnake Mountain

This trail head is elusive as it is not marked with a sign, nor is there a register to sign in at. Living so close to this trail I had taken time earlier in the year to scout out where exactly the trail head was. I prefer to know where I am going on the day of a hike, than have to take the time looking around for it (wasting time) that morning.

I did find some information on the hike online at lakechamplainregion.com. This was helpful and was a good starting point for locating the parking area, as it is directly across the street from 4525 Route 22, which is just north of Willsboro, and south of the Highlands Rd.

This is a pretty neat hike following an old jeep trail, up to a certain point. From the point it veers off the jeep trail, the trail itself from this point is craggy as you climb up along to the mostly open ridge. I found the trail easy enough to follow as it is not a marked trail. The hike is all gradual with a brief section that gets moderately steep for a short period.

Brought all 3 dogs today, and they had no issues.

We started at 7:28am from the parking lot taking our time to let the dogs run and play, we averaged around 1.5 mph. Arrived at the summit at 8:23am for a brief visit as the black flies were out in force. After a quick visit and photo opportunity we returned to the truck at 9:16.

Our total trip was an hour and 48 minutes,  

Craig

Craig

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