Tuesday, 29 May 2007

Hurricane and the fog

Hurricane mountain fire tower
Saturday Mark and I drove down to the Adirondacks for a season starter hike. We were looking for something shortish to get the legs accustomed to hiking again. Also a shorter hike means we can avoid getting up at the crack of dawn for the drive down from Ottawa. Hurricane mountain was the perfect choice. We chose the trailhead on rte 9n, two and a half miles and 2000 feet elevation gain. The summit is wide open with space for lots of people and views in all directions.

We arrived at the trailhead around 10:30. The trail is typical for the Adirondacks, mostly in the woods, rocky, rooty, muddy and wet in places and sometimes quite steep. It was well maintained with enough rocks and corduroy (wooden pieces put in mud as steps) to make it through the muddy spots and some boardwalks across the swampy areas. There was one very impressive beaver dam that was an equally impressive feat of engineering! After two hours we emerged on the top. An awesome view of Vermont and Lake Champlain in the east, Whiteface to the north, most of the high peaks to the west but closest and also unique was the view of the Giant mountain - Rocky Peak ridgeline to the south.

We spent about two hours up there, relaxing, enjoying the view and taking some pics. It was hazy to begin with but after about an hour an almost foglike, cloudlike haze started to dominate the western horizon. Gradually it made its way east until by the time we left you couldn't see any of the peaks except Giant and RPR and even they were starting to disapear. No idea what this phenomenon was although we got a vague smell of smoke (hard to believe if it was from the wildfires from Georgia/South Carolina??).

All in all a great first hike of the season and a peak I highly recommend.