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Thread: ADK 46 Complete!

  1. #1
    Senior Member dom15931's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Western PA

    Exclamation ADK 46 Complete!

    Hi everyone,

    I am excited to have pulled off a much tougher finish than my recent NH 48 over Memorial Day.

    The ADK ending was much more of a tall order.

    I stood at 37/46, but intended to do 3 additional peaks again to help my friend rack his numbers to the low 40's.

    The peaks needed were:



    Dial (plus Nippltop, Colvin, Blake redo...with a side trip to Indian Head)


    The Santi's were done starting at 4pm Friday June 27. We we take the Santanoni Express to Santanoni, then snag Donaldson at dusk. The route up was not too muddy and the bugs here were of moderate inconvenience. We really like this direct route to the summit as it was easy to follow and straightforward. We had the trail to ourselves. The traverse over to Donaldson was easy w/ some mud but the views were excellent with the evening sun and shadows cast over the other high peaks. I was stunned by just how much I liked this view. It may be my favorite as you get a monster view of the Mac's and Marcy looks so prominent from this angle, not just a bump in the high area. Panther's summit was an easy bag and right at twilight. Couchsachraga looked very interesting from here. We set up a minimal camp (two hammock tents) at the col between Times Square and Couchsachraga.

    The following morning we bagged Couchsachraga with easy and headed out. Again we had great weather and the views south and west were both new and interesting. Descending from Times Square may be my least favorite decent in the ADK. I don't know if it was really that bad or the fact that the bugs were now biting and the nets were out. It was just one muddy mess after another the whole way to the marked trail. We got our at a decent hour shortly after noon and drove to a campground up near Lake Placid for the night. We'd need the rest as the Sewards were up the next day.

    Originally we planned to hike into the Blueberry Lean-to and crash there after bagging Seymour, then get the other three the next day. Not the case. With good weather and a break we left the lean-to at 2:15pm knowing we'd be descending in the dark. Ahhh....finally. The Sewie's. "The compass only points up and down" I'd heard said. There is some truth to this. The tougher reality is its a long hike in on a rough trail with a lot of gain and two mountains you have to go back over just to get to three from this approach. Then you are still left with a single full climb of Seymour and a long hike out. We enjoyed climbing Seward, but my gosh the bugs were really bad in this area. The false summit en route to Donaldson may be the finest falsie in all the Dacks. Donaldson's summit tag is really high in the trees at the outcrop summit (similar to Nippletop). We didn't even notice it until the way back, but I wanted to give it due diligence. Emmons may be the easiest by far of the three, but the comfort is little knowing what you have to go back over and then descend. By the time we made it back to the summit of Seward the sun was gone. Surprisingly the trip down Seward wasn't that bad at night. Here's were it goes a bit bad for me. we rested near the base of the slide right where the second-growth timber becomes obvious. I forgot my DSLR camera here and would not realize it until I was another 50% of the way down the mountain only then minutes from the final stream crossing. I was so frantic when leaving Chad to wait that I moved so quickly I returned in 56 minutes camera in hand, and my knees knew it. I would not sleep, with eating and making a fire to keep the bugs down until the time when people are getting kicked out of bars. And I would be up at 5:30 and sore.

    I was nervous starting Seymour. I couldn't sleep, I was tired, and sore. Chad had blisters on his toes from bug bites he got! Damn. An additional several hours of rest, albeit awake (I think we left around 10am) served us well. Once moving it wasn't that bad. Seymour was a nice peak for a day light this. Straightforward, short, and steep. The weather was in and out at the top, the bugs were bad, but between we had some great views of clouds whipping over, under, in, and around the summits. The walk out wasn't as dreadful as I expected. It took us two hours from the lean-to and we were done by 6. It was "Halftime" That included a nice sleep in a good motel in Saranac Lake and a leisurely next day...a day off!

    Tuesday was our day of rest. We swam in Chapel Pond, did laundry, and checked out the base of roaring brook falls. We decided to stay at the Keene Valley Hostel for the remaining 3 nights just to keep cost down and have a kitchen to cook in rather than depend on getting back and finding a place to eat.

    We got up Wednesday and hit the bricks. We hit the trail at 7:30. Chad used Moleskins on his feet for the blisters and they worked like magic. Today was the toughest in a sense. Dial via Bear Den, Nippletop, Colvin-Blake-Colvin, and Indian Head for a bonus. It took us about 14 hours to complete this. We had views from all summits but had a brief burst from a storm that hit the Great Range on the summit of Nippletop. It kinda just missed us. I knew the Colvin-Blake-Colvin trek was going to be tough, but it gave Chad another two summits he needed. Plus the bugs were not bad in this range. The view from Indiana head in the eveneing was great. I had been told by several over the years to check this out and I can see why. We quickly headed out the road. Here I was 45/46. I thought.

    One left: Allen. The lonesome mountain. The pink slime. The bluemuda. It was only on this trip that I learned the roundtrip mileage was somewhere in the Owl's Head neighborhood in the Whites. We got a late start to recover and get some good sleep. It was close to noon by the time we started. There was what seemed to be a newer bridge across the Hudson and a new "ford" location on the Opalescent. Bring water shoes, crocs, etc for this crossing as you will get wet. Routefinding was easy, but don't walk off in the wrong direction without a compass/GPS. The hike in is odd, more like Pennsylvania to me than the ADK. Signs of mining, etc and no great forests. Trails are all old roads. At least we had good weather. We made it to the heardpath at 3 or so from taking a lunch break and chilling out after crossing the river. The good luck with the weather ran out. At about 3:45 pm a series of thunderstorms would persist for over two hours, letting up only a few hundred vertical feet from the summit. The pink slime was tricky, slippery as described and just made for a slow trek both up and then down what was otherwise an easy but increasing steep slide/wash route. The clouds moved above the summits when we gained the ridgeline. At 6:12 pm I stood at the summit. It felt great. 46/46. I now had the NH48 completed, the two in the Catskills, the 5 in VT, and Katahdin in Maine.

    The 115 is within the reach of one more trip and all in Maine.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Jay H's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Pittsfield, MA
    Congrats, that's a lot of hiking, saving all the long ones for last. You'll enjoy Maine!

    You must go and you must ramble
    Through every briar and bramble
    Till your life is in a shambles
    Maybe then you will know
    -"You Must Go" - John Hiatt

  3. #3
    Member Greenmountaingoat's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Essex VT

  4. #4
    Senior Member dailey7779's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Congrats! Thanks for sharing your quest to finish the 46. Enjoy your 115 completion!


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