Sunday, 11 October 2015

ADK leaf peeping - Round 2 (much better)

A week made a big difference in the foliage. I got out for a couple of the best fall hikes I have had in a long while. Temperatures were cool but warm enough and skies were clear and sunny with clouds building in the afternoons.

  • I went for a late afternoon stroll up to Big Crow. Cloud cover obscured the views but BC is always worth the effort even if the views aren't the best. The highlight of the hike was meeting a local celebrity who was out for his regular afternoon walk over Big and Little Crow (must be nice to have this loop as part of your back yard).
  • On Wednesday I hiked Noonmark from the AMR property. Noonmark has everything that is great about Adirondack hikes: exceptional views (Great Range, Dix and Nippletop ranges as well as Giant and Rocky Peak ridge) and fun scrambles near the summit. This was probably the best of my many hikes up Noonmark.
  • On Thursday I opted for an obvious fall hike, the Brothers. Usually one hikes the Brothers on the way to Big Slide. The many ledges on First and Second Brother are probably the best place to see fall foliage in the Adirondacks. I got as far as Second Brother before finding a comfortable spot to relax and enjoy the view. I thought about continuing on to Big Slide (most of the rest of the hike is in the woods) or staying put to enjoy the views. I opted to stay and my decision was confirmed slightly thereafter as I spotted a smiley-face cloud formation in the east over Hurricane mountain.

Labels: , , , , ,

Monday, 5 October 2015

ADK Leaf Peeping - Round 1

The autumn colors have been late coming this year. I guess this is the down side to having plenty of dry sunny weather well into September. I went for a couple of days of hikes last week to take in some colors. The weather wasn't the best (frosty temps and skies mostly overcast) but it is always great to be out for a fall hike. I enjoyed a loop over Giant's Nubble from the Roaring Brook trail although I would recommend the Ridge trail for views when hiking to Giant itself. I really enjoyed the new trail from route 9N to Hurricane mountain. It has an awesome view that combines the views of it's lower neighbors like Big Crow, Baxter etc. The trail is soft underfoot and a gentle slope until a short scramble at the summit. A crew were finishing work on the fire tower as I arrived. Hurricane will be a great option for a snowshoe hike this winter!

Labels: , , , , ,

Saturday, 19 September 2015

Sunny day on Mt Colden

I'm not sure if we are into Indian Summer yet but it certainly was a beautiful sunny day on Thursday as I headed out for a hike up the Lake Arnold route to Mt Colden. As I passed Marcy Dam there was a work crew starting the process of taking apart the remnants of the dam. It will be interesting to see how the area above the dam changes as time goes forward. The Lake Arnold trail was as usual rocky and steep. It is clear that trail crews have done a lot of work on the Morgan Porter trail. It starts out wet and muddy in the area around Lake Arnold but there are numerous sections where bog bridging has been installed as well as a few staircases. The north summit is a great spot to take photos of either Marcy and the Great range in one direction and Algonquin and the MacIntyre range in the other. On the trail over to the actual (south) summit there are yet more bog bridges and one big staircase. Back on the north summit enjoying a sub for lunch a hiker arrived saying he had hiked up via the Trap Dike. I think he would be the first person I have encountered on a summit who was smoking a cigarette.

It was a spectacular day to be out hiking for mid September. A big thank you to the trail crew for all the work done on Mt Colden!

Labels: , , ,

Sunday, 6 September 2015

Mt Isolation

Next on my list was Mt Isolation. I decided to go via Rocky Branch, Isolation and the Davis Path. Contrary to its reputation as more stream than hiking trail, I really enjoyed this hike. A long dry spell meant that the wet sections were much less wet and the river crossings were easy rock hops. I can attest that there is an active spider population in the area. I was assuming that I might have this trail and peak to myself on a Tuesday in September but I did a lot of the hike with a hiker from Mass. who was finishing the 4000 footers. At the summit, we encountered groups coming via Glen Boulder and even a couple who had stayed the night at Lake of the Clouds hut. I'm glad this was the clearest weather day of the trip as Mt Isolation has a unique view of the southern Presidentials and an open summit to take it all in. A much easier hike than I was anticipating and I'm thinking that this would be a great snowshoe hike when the conditions are right!

Labels: , , , , ,

Whiteface and Passaconaway

Back to the White mountains for a few days to continue working on the list of 4000 footers. Today's goal was to hike Whiteface and Passconaway from the trailhead at Ferncroft. This involved an hours drive from the motel in Gorham to a charming small town. The parking area and the start of the trails are on private land but the locals are generous and friendly (and if you want to become a local, a prominent house near the trailhead is currently for sale). I took the Blueberry Ledge trail to Whiteface. It features some fun steep scrambling as it approaches the summit ridge (the summit itself is a bump in the middle of the ridge). The Rollins trail over to Mt Passaconaway involves a gradual loss of about 900 feet. The Dicey's Mill trail approach to Mt Passaconaway starts with some switchbacks and a short steep section near the top to remind you that you are ascending a mountain. No real views other than a big boulder from which you can see the Tripyramids to the west. The Dicey's Mill trail back to the parking area is now a favorite of mine as it was fairly soft and a gentle slope so you could walk without having to concentrate on each step. Not a lot in the way of views on this hike but a pleasure regardless!

Labels: , , ,

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Indian Falls two times

I went for a hike last Saturday from the Adirondack LOJ, usually not the greatest idea due to the crowds. I got an early start and opted to hike Tabletop, figuring it was the least popular destination along the Van Ho highway. The real views on this hike are from Indian Falls (just past the Tabletop herd path) so I headed there for a break before hiking up Tabletop. The herd path is pretty wet but it improves as you get higher up. The Tabletop summit view is definitely better in the winter when the snow-pack allows you to walk on top of the trees for a better angle of the Great range. Back down for a lunch stop at Indian Falls and a chat with some hikers who were filtering the water with a product that I will soon be adding to my pack. The view at Indian Falls is certainly worth a stop any time one is in the neighborhood! For some reason it always leaves me thinking I should hike to Algonquin again! I decided to return via the crossover trail to avoid the crowds. A good choice as I only encountered hikers at either end. The crowds were out in force near Avalanche camp ("Have you seen any available tent sites?"). A great weather day to be out and surprisingly quiet hike considering!

Labels: , , ,

Sunday, 9 August 2015

Dix loop from Elk Lake

Last Friday I did a loop hike over Dix mountain from Elk Lake. I went up via Hunter's Pass and descended the Beckhorn trail. I think I chose to do this hike in the correct direction (for me). The Hunter's Pass trail is plenty steep and scrambly before it joins the trail from route 73 but there were no show-stoppers. There were a few short sections at the top of the Beckhorn trail that I would have had trouble ascending without some help. Of course, with an assist from gravity there was no problem descending!!

The summit view is great although there were low clouds that filled inbuilding while I was stopped for lunch. There was also a cool effect of clouds (like fog) blowing up from the east side of the ridge. I had thought of adding Hough to the hike but made a wrong (right) turn on the Beckhorn. Oh well, I guess I will have to visit the rest of the range at a later date!

Labels: , , ,