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Donaldson and Emmons Mtns

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..."

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

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. Pictures

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

Algonquin and Iroquois Peaks

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. Pictures

Craig

Craig

Big Slide via The Brothers

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. Pictures

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

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. Pictures

Craig

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.  

Craig

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.

Craig

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 Pictures

Craig

Craig

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