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Karel
08-27-2004, 10:54 AM
Hey all! Been going to this site for a while now and finally decided to register.

I've been going to the Adirondacks for many years now (mostly for skiing) but in the last 5 years or so, my wife and I have started to get more into hiking.

I'm looking for a little advice on Giant. We want to do it this weekend (I know Labor day crowds). We want to start early (like 6:30 am) and go from Chapel Pond, up the Ridge trail, over to Rocky Peak Ridge and down to Rt. 9 in New Russia.

Here are my questions:

1. Heard that this is a beautiful hike. Has anyone here done it that can confirm?

2. How "hard" is it? I'm thinking it will be easier to do it West-East as it will be mostly downhill from Rocky Peak Ridge. True? So far, we've done Algonquin, Cascade, Porter, Big Slide and about 1/2 dozen "smaller" peaks. The longest we've done in the Adirondacks was the Algonquin loop down through Avalanche Pass (12 miles) and while we were pretty tired, overall we felt good after the hike. I'm thinking we should be able to manage this Giant thru-hike, no? By the way, we've done hikes (although nothing more than 5 or 10 miles) all around the world - Alps, Tatras, Rockies, Maine, Vermont, etc. so we're not THAT new to hiking. FYI - we're in our early 30's.

3. We don't have 2 cars so we're planning on hitchhiking from New Russia back to our car at the trailhead by Chapel Pond. Advisable? Should/could we call a cab instead? I figure a guy and a girl on a holiday weekend in the afternoon should have no problem getting a ride for 10 miles. What do you guys think?

Thanks a lot in advance!!!!

percious
08-27-2004, 11:12 AM
1. I can confirm. This hike is the most beautiful I have seen. RPR is #1 on my list. Endless Alpine, and a pond to boot. Make sure you water up at the pond, because there is no water after that. Bring a pump if you can, pond water can be scummy.

2. If you can handle ALG you can handle this one. the 8 miles from Giant to the road is pretty tough with the ups and downs, but sounds like you will be there early in the day, with no curfew, and there are blueberries all the way home. Be mindful of the bear (scat).

3. I never hitched in the 'dax. Probably not a bad idea, but I don't condone it. I have hitched a few times in VT, found it to be a fun thing to do, that was before I was married and had a kid though.

Go for it. I hope you have a great trip.

-percious

Karel
08-27-2004, 11:21 AM
Originally posted by percious
1. I can confirm. This hike is the most beautiful I have seen. RPR is #1 on my list. Endless Alpine, and a pond to boot. Make sure you water up at the pond, because there is no water after that. Bring a pump if you can, pond water can be scummy.

2. If you can handle ALG you can handle this one. the 8 miles from Giant to the road is pretty tough with the ups and downs, but sounds like you will be there early in the day, with no curfew, and there are blueberries all the way home. Be mindful of the bear (scat).

3. I never hitched in the 'dax. Probably not a bad idea, but I don't condone it. I have hitched a few times in VT, found it to be a fun thing to do, that was before I was married and had a kid though.

Go for it. I hope you have a great trip.

-percious

Thanks percious!

So it isn't mostly all downhill from Rocky Peak Ridge to the road? How much climbing is there?

percious
08-27-2004, 11:45 AM
Dont get me wrong. There is some climbing. I forget how much, but I do know that we opted out of the last hill. We started on 9N in the morning, went up the NE side of Giant (there is a spectacular slide there). Total miles for the day was 15, we did it in 10 1/2 hours. That said, my view of the hike out might be slanted, but I thought it was a shlep.

-percious

beverly
08-27-2004, 12:04 PM
It's a long way from Rocky to New Russia - 6.7 miles, with climbs over Bald, Mason and Blueberry Cobbles. Although it's not a lot of vertical after Rocky, the uphills on the way to New Russia seem to go on and on and on. I've done it both ways and prefer the East to West, although there is more vertical that way (The New Russia trailhead is a lot lower than the Rte. 73 trailhead).

There will be crowds, but not Labor Day crowds - that's a week away!:D

It is a hard hike, but you can't beat the views as you are out in the open for 5 miles. Given the forecast for this weekend of thunderstorms - it may be better to save this hike for a better day.

Karel
08-27-2004, 12:44 PM
Originally posted by beverly
It's a long way from Rocky to New Russia - 6.7 miles, with climbs over Bald, Mason and Blueberry Cobbles. Although it's not a lot of vertical after Rocky, the uphills on the way to New Russia seem to go on and on and on. I've done it both ways and prefer the East to West, although there is more vertical that way (The New Russia trailhead is a lot lower than the Rte. 73 trailhead).

There will be crowds, but not Labor Day crowds - that's a week away!:D

It is a hard hike, but you can't beat the views as you are out in the open for 5 miles. Given the forecast for this weekend of thunderstorms - it may be better to save this hike for a better day.

Thanks Beverly!

Wow, looking at a map you would think there are virtually no uphills from Rocky to New Russia. I though that after a pretty tough climb to Giant and RPR, it would be smooth sailing to the road. Guess not huh?

And I meant next weakend. So I will be there for Labor Day. :p

TCD
08-27-2004, 12:51 PM
Karel,

Take a look at the "Giant - RPR through hike" thread a little further down for more info.

I agree with Beverly; I prefer this hike in the East to West direction. But either way is great.

I would never condone hitchhiking, especially with female party members. But if you plan to hitch, you're more likely to find a hiker to give you a ride at Chapel Pond then at New Russia.

Another fun appraoch (if you are going East to West) would be to stash a bike and helmet at Chapel Pond, and then roll down and get your car at the end of the day. Almost all downhill from Chapel Pond to New Russia; probably ride it in about 45 minutes.

Regarding water, there is also usually filterable water in the Giant RPR col.

Have fun!

masshysteria
08-27-2004, 01:48 PM
It is a gorgeous run in any direction. I think I would prefer going W to E, only because the real elevation gain is the first thing you do from Chapel Pond. Coming from the east, you're going to have to climb the east face of Giant, after the 6 or so miles of uphill from New Russia. That baby is steep.

No matter which way you go, take one of the side trails out to the slide on the east face of Giant. I'm not saying you have to go out onto the slab, but you can, and it's a beaut!

By the way, weren't the ashes of a famous person scattered over Marie Louise Pond?

Karel
08-27-2004, 02:52 PM
Originally posted by masshysteria
It is a gorgeous run in any direction. I think I would prefer going W to E, only because the real elevation gain is the first thing you do from Chapel Pond. Coming from the east, you're going to have to climb the east face of Giant, after the 6 or so miles of uphill from New Russia. That baby is steep.

No matter which way you go, take one of the side trails out to the slide on the east face of Giant. I'm not saying you have to go out onto the slab, but you can, and it's a beaut!

By the way, weren't the ashes of a famous person scattered over Marie Louise Pond?

Yeah, that's what I thought, doing it W to E would be A LOT easier. But some of you guys are scaring me by saying that's it's still a very tough hike to New Russia.

Rik
08-28-2004, 08:12 AM
As already said this is beautiful hike either direction. The good thing about starting with Giant is that when you leave that summit you will also leave much of the crowd. And if you go early you might be ahead of the crowds. Last year I did this on Columbus day weekend and there was about 70 people on the summit of Giant and much weaving through people on the way down to Chapel Pond. We actually hadn't planned on traversing but were offered a ride while on Rocky Peak Ridge. A generous offer since there was two of us with two dogs.

Pete_Hickey
08-28-2004, 07:32 PM
If you have a bicycle, hide it in the woods near Chapel Pond. Then drive to New Russia, and hike from there. When done, get on the bicycle, and it is almost entirely downhill getting back to yoru car. I've done this several times. It'll be a lot faster than hitchhiking... well, at least fro someone who looks like me it's faster.

One word of caution.. In the dark the New Russia tailhead is hard to find. If the batteries die on your bike, you'll have quite a job finding your car. I speak from experience.

Rivet
08-29-2004, 09:00 AM
Originally posted by Rik
As already said this is beautiful hike either direction. The good thing about starting with Giant is that when you leave that summit you will also leave much of the crowd. And if you go early you might be ahead of the crowds. Last year I did this on Columbus day weekend and there was about 70 people on the summit of Giant and much weaving through people on the way down to Chapel Pond. We actually hadn't planned on traversing but were offered a ride while on Rocky Peak Ridge. A generous offer since there was two of us with two dogs.

I climbed this last year on Columbus Day weekend as well. There were tons of hikers on the trail. It was an unusually warm day.

There were also plenty of newbies out - some of whom were late in getting out of the woods. (There was a trooper car and ranger at the New Russia trailhead when we got out.)