I had recently hiked the three Santanoni mountains in June, at the time remarking on how wet it was. Earlier this month, the drought had dried up even the wettest of trails; the thunderstorms that preceded this hike brought them back to their soaked and muddy glory. The lead-in trail to Bradley Pond was, unimaginably, even wetter than in June.
These three peaks are normally two long days, but with enough will they make a single inspiring, exhausting, rewarding one.
With the exception of the naked trail runner, apparently 9AM was the time to start Peekamoose Mountain.
The Catskills seemed like a good option for distance and vertical, and additionally there are two over-4,000′ peaks which are part of the New England “115” peaks. (The 46 Adirondack peaks are part of that list, too, along with 48 in the White Mountains, 14 peaks in Maine and 5 in Vermont.) I chose to start with Slide Mountain, the highest point in the Catskills and an easy climb.
Winter is over, both meteorologically and officially for the 46ers, so Kathy and I toted around Keene Valley and Keene (New York) enjoying our last day here.
After a successful hike to Big Slide and with continuing cool temperatures and sunshine, I had hoped to take Kathy on a more wintry hike. We packed the snowshoes, hoped for a white fluffy trail and headed up two of the lower Great Range, Armstrong and Upper WolfJaw Mountains.
The summit was glorious — brilliant sunshine, no wind, and panoramic views. We stayed a half hour but could have spent all afternoon. What a glorious summit for Kathy’s first winter 46!
Some of the scenery this past week was breathtaking, and photos can’t really do it justice. On a couple occasions I took out my phone and snapped a few panoramic photos which perhaps show a bit more of the views.
Joe was great to hike with, just as I’d assumed, the route was as interesting as I’d imagined, and I did better than both he and I expected. For five consecutive days of hiking, accumulating 87 miles and 27,000 vertical feet, I couldn’t have asked for a better day.
On climbing Gray Peak, I have now officially climbed all 46 Adirondack High Peaks twice. This beautiful, warm, frustrating, wonderful day was a perfect way to accomplish it.
The re-routed trail to TableTop sits very nearly at the top of Indian Falls, which I knew crossed over to Mount Colden…so I decided to keep going.
I met a new friend and breakfast and convinced him to hike Street & Nye, mainly due to the cool weather being the last good chance for a bit before the El Niño warms things up.
This hike was gigantic. 27 miles — more than a full marathon. Way more than 6,000 vertical feet gained. Four summits. Just under 14 hours.
There are perfect days for hiking. This, unfortunately, was not one of them. In fact, it was the opposite of a perfect day for hiking.