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Thread: Adirondack Insanity 6/25 - 6/26

  1. #1
    Senior Member albee's Avatar
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    Adirondack Insanity 6/25 - 6/26

    Well, file this one under "Don't try this one at home."

    The following trip report contains material that should not be read by people of sound mind. You just wouldn't understand it. I don't. Heck, I'm typing this and I don't even know what I was thinking when I headed out to the Adirondacks for the first time this past weekend.

    Well, actually, here's what I was thinking: I finished my 48 in NH, so now what? Well, there's 46 in NY and that doesn't seem too bad, right? Heck, it's only a 6 hour drive from Southeastern NH. If Ted Keizer can do them all in 4 days or whatever, then I can probably bag them all over the course of 4 long weekends spread out over the summer, right? At least I'd have some sunshine for a change this weekend....

    The story begins on Friday morning. I got up early, excited at not having to work on a weekday for the first time in who-knows-how-long. I packed and headed for NY at 8:30 AM. After a layover in Hanover to visit a former student-athlete of mine at Dartmouth, I finally made it to the base of Giant Mountain just off of Rt 87 in NY at 3:15. I was supposed to meet Rich, my friend and hiking partner for the weekend, in Lake Placid at 4:30, but he was running really late as usual. So I started with a quick warm-up jaunt over Giant. 1:26 up, 48 mins down. Not too shabby. I was feeling good and blowing by people on the way up and down. Got some great views of what I'd soon be undertaking from the Nubble. Very impressive vista.

    Anyway, Rich shows up at 9 PM, 4.5 hours late, and we drop a car in Keene Valley and travel back over to the Adirondack Loj for a late hike-in and set up camp. Finally got to camp at 11:15 and were in our tents by midnight. Darn chirping birds woke us up at 5:30 and we got up and headed out by 7:30. After wandering around tring to find the Whale's Tail Trail, we finally officially started at 8:00 AM. After a long, arduous climb up to Wright, we dropped our packs at the spur trail and headed up. The summit caretakers seemed surprised to see us but were exceedingly friendly. Hung out for a bit and headed for Algonquin. If you've never been to the 'daks, it is tough. It seemed like almost every summit had about 1000' of elevation gain (or loss) for every mile we'd have to travel. Anyway, hit Algonquin, waded through sharp branches and scratchy trees to Iroquois, and down a knee-pummeling trail to Lake Colden.

    Took a decent lunch break after a quick dunking in the lake. When we headed along the trail towards the Opalescent Trail, we came across a lovely French-Canadian woman sitting in her white underwear on the trail along the water. I was more embarassed than she was. Her semi-translated comment was "Oh don't worry, its just like a bathing suit. It is a good thing to do!" Kinda made my day. Little would I know that I should have stayed there since the weather warmed up and I would end up bonking worse than I ever have a little later in the day (and even worse the next day!).

    We passed on the Mt Colden Trail because I'm not a total masochist. Headed up along the Opalescent Brook, where I desperately wanted to jump the 8' off the suspension bridge into the most beautifully refreshing-looking pool of mountain streamwater. There was another great looking swimming hole at the foot of a waterfall a little later on. Unfortunatlely, Rich didn't want to waste too much time so we bypassed these opportunities and slogged on ahead. Somewhere along the way I bonked hard, and had to take a nap for an hour at the Feldspar lean-to. I got up and we made our way to Marcy. Once again, stashed the packs and headed up to have the summit all to ourselves at 6:45 at night. Headed over to Skylight and had the place to ourselves there, too. Eerie. As we headed down to our campsight at Panther Gorge, we passed a French-Canadian girl of about college age heading up towards the four-corner junction at 7:45 PM. An odd time to be heading uphill. She was breathing pretty hard, but after asking her if she felt alright and if she would make it, all she could offer was an embarassed grin as she stammered, "um, uh, I'm... French." Kinda made us laugh. Hope she made it wherever she was going.

    Slept pretty soundly that night. I took a little dip in the river by the gorge to wash off the day's sweat. Headed out in the morning for the 13.6 mile Great Range traverse. Ugh. Started bonking on the trip up Haystack, which was ONLY 1800 vertical feet in 1.4 miles. I was surprised at how many semi-technical rock-climbs I would encounter during the day, which is especially hard with a 25 lb overnight pack on. Somehow I made it over Haystack, where we had the most amazing views of the weekend. From there we hit Basin, Saddleback, Gothics (wow - heck of a rockclimb going up from the SW side!) Armstrong, Upper Wolfjaw, and Lower Wolfjaw. Although everything after Gothincs was starting to get blurry. I think I stepped on a hedgehog somewhere on the 5 mile hike out. Oh, and there was a great stream for refilling water with 1.5 miles left. Made it to the Roostercomb trailhead and kissed the ground.

    In the immortal words of Dierks Bentley, "What was I thinkin'?" Weekend recap: 13 4000'ers, 33 to go. I can't wait to do that again. Just not on consecutive 85+ degree days! I'm liking the Adirondacks, they're tough but rewarding. The Whites will seem easier when I'm done.

    ...Al

  2. #2
    Senior Member TMax's Avatar
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    Most excellant trip report... I got overheated and exhausted just reading it! Unfortunately, the "don't try this at home" approach doesn't work with this crowd. More than likely you'll get a dozen or so of us who will have to go out and try to repeat it...and then some!
    TMax
    Going where the wind don't blow so strange
    Maybe off on some high cold mountain range.
    Robert Hunter

    www.tmax-n-topo.com

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