June 30, 2018
The Adirondack Great Range
The “Great Range” spans a number of beloved high peaks in the central Adirondacks. The official definition of the range varies. But it typically includes Skylight, Marcy, Haystack, Basin, Saddleback, Gothics, Armstrong, and Upper and Lower Wolfjaw.
Continue reading “The Great Range of the Adirondacks”
June 29, 2018, The Garden trailhead
I arrived at the Garden Trailhead around 5 am. A heatwave had reached the Adirondacks and this June Friday would prove super hot and humid. The small and sought-after Garden trailhead has gained a bit of infamy. But I was relieved to discover a few free spots when I arrived.
Continue reading “Big Slide (and Yard Mountain)”
October 7, 2017, Round Pond
Elk Lake and the Dix Range
In the Fall of 2017, I undertook my second backpacking adventure in the Adirondack high peaks. The plan was to case the Dix Range, five peaks within the former Dix Mountain Wilderness area. (The area has since been absorbed into the High Peaks Wilderness).
The Elk Lake trailhead provides the most convenient approach to the Dix Range. A private resort owns Elk Lake itself, providing trails exclusive to their overnight guests. That said, they operate under a conservation easement that allows the public to hike across the land on select major trails. Even these trails close during big game hunting season from roughly mid-October to the end of November. From Elk Lake, ambitious hikers can bag all five peaks in a single day.
Continue reading “The Dix Range”
October 6, 2017, Mt Van Hoevenberg Trailhead
They say life is more about the journey than the destination, and that’s obviously true of the quest for 46 high peaks. But as I push on to climbing more of the Adirondacks’ tallest mountains, I really am struck at all the weird places it’s brought me and all the interesting things I’ve seen. My trip up Cascade and Porter certainly provides an example of that.
The “normal” trailhead for Cascade is right off route 73 just after the stunning drive towards Lake Placid along Upper and Lower Cascade Lakes. And from that trailhead, it’s roughly 1.6 miles directly up the slopes of Cascade to its bare rock summit. This unusually easy access to a high peak with a gorgeous view makes Cascade one of the most popular hikes in the region.
To summarize: short trail from the roadside. Gorgeous views. Crowded summit.
But my experience with Cascade and Porter would involve none of those things.
Continue reading “Cascade and Porter”
July 21, 2017, Adirondak Loj
Out of my comfort zone
My very first Adirondack 46er adventure began around 7:00 am, in the parking lot at Heart Lake. It would be a weekend of many firsts. Most obviously, it was my first pair of high peaks: Skylight and Marcy. But beyond that, it would be my first time backpacking and backcountry camping. In fact, it would be my first time pitching a tent in the woods. I’d been “car camping” exactly once before.
Continue reading “Marcy, Skylight, Haystack, and Gray”