Sunday, September 27, 2015

Big Slide Mountain (NY, USA) - 4,199 ft (1,280 m)

On September 27th, 2015 we were hiking yet another Adirondack 46er, Big Slide Mountain. I must say this was one of my favourite hikes of the Adirondacks so far. On the way to the top you have so many viewpoints like no other mountain in the Adk (at least of all the 30 mountains I have hiked so far). In addition, the weather was absolutely stunning.

We were 5 people in the car and left Montreal in the morning. There is the Garden parking lot just at the trail head (orange dot on the map). However, this parking lot costs 7$ and fills up pretty fast in the morning. There is a 5$ p.P. shuttle that drives to the trailhead from the Marcy Airfield 2.5miles north of Keene Valley. We made use of this option as the parking was full. Keep in mind that the shuttle only operates between 7am - 7pm. Check this site for more info on the shuttle.

We started our hike rather late at 9:35am. We decided on hiking Big Slide in a loop by heading straight up to the top and then back over the less steep but longer path to lower Ausable Lake. Once descended, you just need to follow the Lake Road back to the trail head. The start of the hike was very strenuous as it went up steeply from the start on. But you are constantly rewarded by stunning view over Gothic, Marcy, Giant and the Dix Range in the far back. We reached the top of Big Slide by 12:15pm and enjoyed the view for almost 1 hr before heading back. We were back at the trail head by 5pm.

Here our stats: 
Total time: 6 hrs 24 min
Distance: 15.5 km
Elevation gain: 1,440 m

This was our group this time. For one person hiked it's first peak in the Adirondacks on that day!

Andreas, our photographer ;-) He always carries his big camera so that we have nice photos.

 On the top of Big Slide Mountain.

 What a beautiful trail. 

We might have did it again. Texas Steak Roadhouse after a long hiking day ;-)

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Colvin, Blake, Nippletop and Dial (NY,USA) - 4 more 46er peaks

Agenda for Sept 20th, 2015:

Mount Colvin - 4,080 ft (1,240 m )
Blake Peak - 3,970 ft (1,210 m)
Nippletop - 4,610 ft (1,405 m)
Dial Mountain - 4,003 ft (1,220 m)

On the second day of our weekend hike, it was time for 4 more 46er peaks: Colvin, Blake, Nippletop and Dial Mountain. The day before we had successfully hike Street and Nye Mountain, read here. We pitched our tents in Keene Valley by the Roaring Brooke waterfalls. Very nice camping spot, 5min walk from the car and with access to water from the waterfalls.

We moved our car from the Roaring Brook Trail parking lot across the street to the Ausable Club Road parking lot. It's a big parking lot with toilets. From there we started our full day hike at 6:20am. The first 1/2 mile of the trail goes along the private road to the Ausable Golf Club, from there you hike for about 1.8 miles (3 km) on a private gravel road until you reach the 'real' trail path. On our agenda today was to hike all the way along the valley and Gill Brook to ascend the first peak of the day, Colvin. The trail towards Mt. Colvin was very steep and had some rocky steep sections in it. For some parts, you had to get hold onto a rope or trees along the way. We reached Mt. Colvin at 9:30am. The view was very nice. From there you go further along the same trail to head over to Blake Mountain. Basically only people who want to hike all 46er take this strenuous detour to Blake, as there is no view at all. At 11 am, we made it to Blake Mountain and were back at Colvin by 12:20 pm. All in all, coming from Colvin, Blake was an almost 3 hr detour.

From Colvin you have to descend 300 m down before ascending the highest of todays four peaks, Nippletop. The climbing time was about 1,5 hrs. It is hard, but there are no difficult sections, it just goes up ;-) At 3pm (8 hrs 40 min into our hike), we finally reach Nippletop mountain and the view was just amazing. You could see North towards Gothic, Marcy and Colvin (which looked pretty small and far away). From Nippletop, a 4 hr long descend was ahead of us. On the way, you quickly hike Dial Mountain (reached the top at 3:45 pm), before descending back to the private gravel trail road. For the last hour, we had to use our headlamps as it was getting dark. We were quite slow on the descend, as my knees were hurting a lot. By 7:12 pm, we were back at the car. YAY! 6 more 46er peaks in one weekend, what a success!

Here our stats: 
Hiking time: 12 hrs 55 min
Distance: 30.1 km
Elevation gain: 3,313 m

View from Nippletop. The great range is in the far back (Gothic, Saddleback,...). The tiny mountain just below is Mt. Colvin, the one we just hiked.

Panorama view from Nippletop

View Northwest from Nippletop into the valley and Lower Ausable lake. 
Giant mountain is visible in the far right back. 

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Street and Nye Mountain (NY, USA) - 4,150 ft (1,265 m) and 3,890 ft (1,185 m)

On September 19th 2015, we packed our hiking equipment and went on another trip to the Adirondacks. We left Montreal on Saturday morning at 7:30pm and headed straight to the Adirondack LoJ at Heart lake. On our agenda was Nye and Street Mountain, nr. 45 and nr. 31 on the Adirondack 46er list. The trail is not maintained but can be found easily. We had a Garmin eTrex 20x with us for tracking and checking the trail. We had to park our car near the overflow parking lot 1 mile from the visitor center.

At 10:20am we started our hike towards Street mountain. The trail rocky and follows along a river bed. After 9km and 3hrs of hiking, we were on top of Street mountain. The view at the top is not breathtaking as the mountain is covered in trees. After a short 20min decent, we hiked up another 15min to the top of Nye mountain. This was our 18th and 19th peak in the Adirondack mountains, 'only' 27 more peaks to complete the list. The decent was fairly easy and we completed the whole 18.3 km (11.4 miles) hike within 7hrs including roughly 1hr of breaks.

Our hike on the next day started in the Keene Valley. Therefore, we drove from the Adk LoJ to Keene Valley to set up our camp by the Roaring Brooke waterfalls. We pitched our tents at like 8pm when it started to rain. Fortunately, the campground is covered with tree which keep you protected a bit. On the second day, we hiked four more 46er peaks, read here.