View Full Version : views from the top?

08-29-2004, 01:12 PM
I did 9 peaks my first 3 years and had clear views on all of them. The last 2 years I have done 13 peaks and have had no views on 6 of them. I plan my days carefully to coincide with good wheather, but by the time I get to summit it is socked in with clouds. I did 5 peaks this last week and had clear skies on my first one (dial). 55 minutes later by the time I got to nippletop it was all clouds, not a break in the cloud for 45 minutes. 2 days later I was heading up mcomb slide, i got halfway up and stopped for a breather. I looked around and clear skies. By the time I was 2/3's up the clouds came rushing in. I had enough time to snap a picture of Elk lake and Nippletop. When I arived at the summit Elk lake was disappering. All the way to Grace and back no views. 4 peaks out of 5 I did not even unholster my camera. Both times the summit disappered within 5 minutes of me summiting, like someone upstairs had a remote control. I have done the 5 Dix peaks in the last 2 years and have not taken a single pictue. As I mentioned earlier, Nippletop was the other peak with no views. All in the same area. Has anyone else had this problem with these particular peaks?
Is there some kind of wheather system in there? Next year I think I will take my vacation in last september to beat this humidity and get some clear skies.

08-29-2004, 01:24 PM
I think there's an old saying that goes:

Some days you just can't do any business.

Sounds like you ran nto a string of days like that this year. Mrs. G. and I were in that area, end of July, and found the weather "iffy." But I think that had more to do with general conditions in the region just at that time than with the mountains surrounding Elk Lake.

Your experience makes a strong argument for adjusting our heads to enjoy the total experience of being in and on those mountains for its own sake, rather than just for the nice views. Sweet views might be thought of as the icing on an already great cake!


Mike D.
08-29-2004, 02:05 PM
I have to agree that sometimes it isn just the long views but the ones right in front of you. Last year we were doing the baldfaces in the whites, it was drizzling and socked in but we looked around and saw that the all around us the colors of the flowers seemed almost magnified by the weather , and that we still had spectacular views, only right in front of our faces. Even though i had hiked in the rain many times before, it made me remember that it IS the total experience, you just have to remember to look for it. just a thought,:D Mike D.

Doc McPeak
08-29-2004, 02:33 PM
The gods smiled on me for my first round of the 46.

46 for 46 with sweet views!

Of course in New Hampshire I'm running at just about the opposite! Hopefully that takes a turn in my upcoming trip...

08-29-2004, 02:45 PM
to have views on inclement weather days.

My husband managed to have 5 peaks with views out of the first 41 peaks he did working toward his first round.

And that was only because we did the entire Dix Range on a sunny day - the rest of the days varied from heavy fog to torrential rain or snow.

So we came to the conclusion that sometimes the best view is right in front of you! ;)

08-29-2004, 07:14 PM
"If you don't like the weather in the Adirondack--just wait 5 minutes". That's the saying I like.

08-29-2004, 07:21 PM
We recently did Seward in a torrential downpour after summiting Seymour with limited cloud openings. Many of the 'peeks' I've had were of the inside of a cloud. My philosophy is that I am there to experience all that the mountains have to offer. When you are at 4400+ ft and all of the plants are broken, twisted, stunted and struggling it seems natural to be experiencing the forces that brought it all about.

08-29-2004, 07:59 PM
>>The last 2 years I have done 13 peaks and have had no views on 6 of them.<<
that's 3.5 with views and 3 without per year - you are getting views on more than half of them - that's not too bad!

when the weather looks lousy, don't stop hiking... you may end up with a hike that you can talk about - - - my canister removal hike of the santannoni range is my raniest - rained hard all day - on the way back we were knee deep in water on the trail (not a crossing, the creek ran parallel to the trail), there was water hitting rocks and shooting straight up into the air - - - you could also head to some of the "viewless" 4000 footers on a rainy day so you won't miss anything.

08-29-2004, 08:36 PM
I usually write off good views during the summer, unless there has beena sharp front go thru the whites, its inevitably hazy. Late fall and winter usually are the best views.

08-29-2004, 08:40 PM
Clouds hitting a summit remind me of the first time I took one of my son's up Marcy. I think he was 6 or 7 at the time.

As we got above the treeline, and views started oening up, I noticed some huge clouds heading towards us.

"Hurry up, Jean-Philippe", I said. "There are clouds coming at us."

The kid ran! He ran FAST. When I got to the summit, it was socked in, and JP had a real dissapointed face. I told him not to worry, that the clouds might move away.

He told me that he didn't care about the views. I asked him what the problem was. He waved his arms around as if trying to catch something.

"See the clouds? I can't catch it. I wanted to get some, put it in my pocket, and bring it home to my friends."

Yep, clouds hitting the summit can be disappointing for all kinds of reasons.

08-29-2004, 09:51 PM
Originally posted by JimB
My philosophy is that I am there to experience all that the mountains have to offer.


Clouds are cool, lowlands are cool, mountains are cool, even the views are cool.

08-30-2004, 08:01 AM
you get what you get. then pray to get some more some day.

08-30-2004, 08:41 AM
2 out of 22 peaks have been socked in. On whiteface, we entered whiteout conditions, which seemed appropriate. At least it was warmer then -30. On Giant, The summit was socked in when we got there. Luckily, we climbed an unusual slide, so we had views of VT all the way up, it was spectacular. We descended to RPR, which had magnificent views. Too bad we forgot our camera that day.


08-30-2004, 09:28 AM
Cloudy, rainy days just give you a good excuse for coming back, and make the great views so much sweeter. When the views aren't great you often see things right in front iof you that you might otherwise have missed. On the other hand (http://community.webshots.com/photo/112856108/112858812ipvaqW)

Mad Townie
08-30-2004, 09:31 AM
Little Bigelow, because of its position and topography, often presents viewers on other peaks with an interesting scene of clouds moving up its flat side and over its flat top. Really cool to watch!

Yesterday, Boulderdash and I got to see it happen right in front of us. As we walked along the up-and-down ridge, we came to a spot where the clouds were rising, then whipping through a little notch just a few feet in front of us. It was one of those moments. :cool:

08-30-2004, 10:27 AM
You mean like this?:)

08-30-2004, 10:42 AM
It's all good!
A few weeks ago while doing the Dixes I had great views from Macomb, Carson, and Grace. By the time I got to Hough it was pouring and rained all the way to Dix. The guy I was hiking with just had to trust me that it has a great view he will need to come back for. By the time we were down the Beckhorn the sun was out again! On Friday while walking towards Elk Pass we decided to climb Colvin instead of Dial and Nip thinking that the low clouds which we could see over the summit of Nippletop might spare us a view from the smaller summit of Colvin. Our views from Colvin were limited to looking down on the lakes with all surrounding peaks blocked by clouds. We decided to climb Indian Head on the way down and were treated to the great views from Fish Hawk cliffs and Indian Head, a place we wouldn't have gone had we climbed Nippletop and gone over Dial.
No views doesn't ruin a trip just gives a good reason to return. Still looking for a view from Basin!

08-30-2004, 06:33 PM
Ah Pete, reading this story again makes my day!

Last year, I even told it to my students to show them how the perspective can change from one person to another.

Nice answer:)

08-31-2004, 10:11 AM
"I've looked at clouds ftom both sides now,
From up and down,
And still somehow.
It's cloud's illusions I recall.
I really don't know clouds at all."

Hikers really have a different image when they hear Joni Mitchell's song.

08-31-2004, 08:10 PM
Thanks-- now I've got that damn song stuck in my head.