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jeenyus
07-24-2004, 10:18 PM
What would be the recomended order to do LWJ, UWJ, Armstrong, Gothics, and Sawteeth from JBL? I'm planing on doing this hike in a couple weeks or so.

Redd
07-25-2004, 03:46 AM
I traversed the great range a few years back starting down in the valley between St. Huberts and Keane Valley...heading all the way up to Haystack.

IMHO, I think you may prefer the trek up to LWJ, UWJ, Armstrong, Gothics, and then heading down. The most vertical gain and loss initially would be between LWJ and UWJ, with less steep sections between UWJ, Armstrong and Gothics. Add to that the west side of Gothics is steep, with large cables in place along the long slabs of rock.

KZKlimber
07-25-2004, 08:44 AM
The cables were removed last summer.

Mark
07-25-2004, 09:40 AM
Is Sawteeth officially part of the Great Range?

If you do LWJ, UWJ, Armstrong and Gothics, you can do Sawteeth after Gothics, returning back to JBL via Ore Bed Brook. However, this adds about 2.3 miles and another 1500 feet of climbing to an already loing day.

[edit: oops - Sawteeth is 4000+ ft.]

jeenyus
07-25-2004, 10:37 AM
Well I've already done LWJ, UWJ, Armstrong, and Gothics but i havent done Sawteeth. I'm just doing this hike so my uncle and cousin can get those first four. And i was just wondering the best order to include Sawteeth into the hike.

Mark
07-25-2004, 11:52 AM
In that case, hike LWJ, UWJ, Armstrong, and Gothics. When you get to the left turn onto the trail over to Sawteeth, ask yourself and your group if they want to do 3.2 miles and 2300 feet of descent just to get back to JBL or if they want to do 5.5 miles, 1500 feet of climbing and 3800 feet of descent to include Sawteeth.

When I did this a few years back, we were considering adding a jog up to Saddleback. When we got to the col in between Gothics and Saddleback, we were beat and decided to bail out down Ore Bed Brook. Even with that, it was still a long trek back to camp. (We were staying at the Lower Wolf Jaw lean toos.)

As you probably already know, even if "all" you do is the 4 summits, it's still one of the best hikes in the High Peaks!

Silverback
07-25-2004, 12:50 PM
I would take the road from St. Huberts to the Weld trail (stop at Rainbow Falls, it is only five minutes over), do Sawteeth (1/2 mile from the col) come back over Pyramid to Gothics. From there it is 35 minutes to Armstrong, probably less than one hour to Upper Wolfjaw, then another hour plus to Lower Wolfjaw. Come back down the Wedge Brook trail.

The road is an easy warmup hike in, the Weld trail is in great shape, and you would get the pyschological advantage of starting the mountains from the furthest point, and then heading "home" over the Lower Range. Plus, if you have to bail out early, you have climbed the tougher mountains and they can return to do the easier ones.

Jay H
07-25-2004, 05:42 PM
What my friend and I did a 3 night backpack, we started at St. Huberts and the AMR property, hiked up the Wedge Brook trail, hiked out and back to Lower Wolfjaw then down to the leanto towards JBL. (half day). The next day, we went up and over UWJ, Armstrong, Gothics, Saddleback and Basin and stayed at the nice new leanto at Slant Rock. After that we slack packed and did Marcy, Skylight and Haystack, picking up our packs at Slant Rack and hiking to Bushnell falls leanto. Then the next day, we simply went out via the garden past JBL and did a road walk to the Roostercomb packing lot and up and over Roostercomb back down to AMR property.....

Very nice, great views. Probably not the fastest way to do it but I thought going through AMR would be nice since I've never hiked from there before my trip..

Jay

ALGonquin Bob
07-25-2004, 07:43 PM
Sawteeth has an altitude of 4134 feet (depending which book, and which survey you read). If you are returning to the Johns Brook Lodge after the hike, Sawteeth is a bit out of the way, as you would need to go back up over Gothics again to return to JBL. If you do this as a long day hike from Rt. 73, you can descend to the AMR's Lake Road, and back out to St. Hubert's.

If you really want to do all those in one day, I would suggest starting at St. Hubert's on the Lake Road, then do the Wolfjaws, Armstrong, Gothics and Sawteeth. Descend via the Weld Trail (don't miss Rainbow Falls) from the Sawteeth-Gothics col. Hiking out after sunset, if necessary, on the Lake Road is easy.

percious
07-26-2004, 08:58 AM
Personally, I would do Gothics first, leaving LWJ for last. I did this traverse in a morning last year, I also threw in Saddleback. It is typically easier to head UP the steep parts, and DOWN the more even grades. I have decended Gothics 2x in different weather conditions, definately easier to go up. Consider adding Saddleback (if you dont already have it) instead of sawteeth. You can run and get the Saddle, while your buddies catch their breath in the beautiful col if you like. Just remember to bring plenty of water, there isnt much up there on the range.

-percious

Mark
07-26-2004, 09:49 AM
Good point, percious. I descended the steep backside of Gothics back when the cables were still in place. This would be easier going up rather than down. Are all of the cables gone, or just some?

stoopid
07-26-2004, 10:17 AM
Originally posted by Mark
Good point, percious. I descended the steep backside of Gothics back when the cables were still in place. This would be easier going up rather than down. Are all of the cables gone, or just some?

All the cables are gone, and I was told by some skilled hikers that it's a bear going down Gothics from that side...

percious
07-26-2004, 10:21 AM
Yes, all the cables are gone. Good riddens. Have you attempted saddleback yet?

-percious

lumberzac
07-26-2004, 10:22 AM
Originally posted by stoopid


All the cables are gone, and I was told by some skilled hikers that it's a bear going down Gothics from that side...

That way down Gothics is tricky. I just did the range this weekend and found that section down Gothics was more difficult than coming down the scramble on Saddleback heading toward Basin.

BTW someone tied a section of cable to one of the bolts.

stoopid
07-26-2004, 10:45 AM
Originally posted by lumberzac
I just did the range this weekend and found that section down Gothics was more difficult than coming down the scramble on Saddleback heading toward Basin.

Once done with that Saddleback scramble I thought how nearly impossible it would be to safely descend that... so I can't imagine how hard the gothics descent must be with a full pack!

JimB
07-26-2004, 09:28 PM
I agree with Silverback. This way you get the awesome views from Pyramid and you miss the whole cable section. You also have a few bail out points back to the lake road.

jeenyus
08-14-2004, 06:00 PM
oh well this hike ended up not happening do to weather but we ended up doing Big Slide from JBL and it poared. we passed a group on the way up and they said when they reached the summit they couldnt see anything adn 10 min after they got up there it cleared up and suprisingly the same thing happed when we got up there so it was a good thing to skip the longer hike

Neil
08-15-2004, 09:37 AM
I guess since the hike never took place this is a bit academic but...I would recommend going up the Scenic trail from Lower Ausable Lake then over Pyramid to the Great Range. As already pointed out there's lots of bail out trails.

Bob H
08-15-2004, 07:18 PM
Absolutely do Gothics via Pyramid! The view of Gothics from Pyramid is one of the best in the 'dacks. The run up Sawteeth from the col is pretty easy. After Gothics you can bail or do Armstrong and then bail; or do UWJ and then bail; or, if you are very strong, do LWJ too, and then bail. Any combo of the above is a great day. Good luck.

Bob H.