Monday, 11 October 2010

Finally some leaf peeping

Checking out Noonmark and the Great range

Whiteface across Connery Pond
Between the ton of wet weather in September and a relative visiting for a couple of weeks I hadn't been able to get out for a hike since finishing the 46 on Grace at the end of August. I headed down Thursday to find a place to stay and drive around to do some leaf peeping. The weather was forecast to be sunny but cold. I found a cheap room just past Lake Placid and headed out to take some photos towards Whiteface. There are several viewpoints along the Ausable river that have great views on a clear day and good fall colors. I also hiked in the Connery Pond trail to see the view of Whiteface across the Pond. This approach to Whiteface is on my list for next year.

Mt VanHoevenberg
Friday morning I headed to the South Meadow road to hike up to Mt Van Hoevenberg. No cars parked at the trailhead. Sweet, as on Saturday there would be cars parked all along this road as the hordes descend to peep them beautiful leaves. The trail to Van Ho is flat and wet until it rises up the ridge to a sweet ledge. The colors were a little past peak and it seemed that reds in particular were missing but no complaints from me. This is a great hike views for effort wise. On the way back I had a small mistep when I attempted a triple jump manouvre to avoid a swampy spot. Mostly soaked but the camera was dry so all was good.

Cascade and Pitchoff from Owl's Head
After stopping to change clothes, I headed to the second leaf peeping stop of the day, Owl's Head. This is an awesome spot, about half way down the hill towards Keene. It is a short climb of about 400 feet to a nice pointy summit. Another great hike for views per effort. The view back towards the notch between Cascade and Pitchoff is a great one. The wind was really howling up there which must have worried the group of college students learning to rappel on a rock face near the summit. Not the best day to be doing that but a fine day to be leaf peeping!

Dix range
There was an overnight frost Friday night and it was noticeably colder. This would not deter the holiday weekend crowds. I got to the AMR trailhead at 9am and it was already full and overflowing onto route 73. I figured the best place to hide from the crowds was Round mountain so I headed up via the trail to Dix with the plan to return via the trail direct up Round. Round has a nice open summit with clear views west and slightly obscured views to the east (Giant). After a round of photo taking I headed back down via the steeper trail down the north side of Round. This is definitely the steeper of the two approaches. Round is a great hike and a nice quiet spot to aim for on a holiday weekend.

A good way to end the hiking season if I don't get out again before the snow flies!

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