Iterations of this hike have been planned and scrapped since July, with the latest one a proposed Colvin-Blake-Nippletop-Dial hike. The previous day’s over-hiking scrapped the 4-peak plan in favor of a more modest straight up-and-back over these two, allowing if nothing else an extra hour of sleep.
We had been dunked in mud, trod underwater, stopped-and-re-started, rushed off a peak, re-routed, drenched in a passing thunderstorm, and hiked over 18 miles & 5,000+ vertical feet. We wouldn’t have changed a thing.
We had already completed two hikes which to us were special – our one-way traverse of Gothics & Sawteeth and our first “unmaintained” hike up Street & Nye. After making them both easily, our new 46er mentors gave us a new challenge, for a secret passage up the back of Phelps Mountain.
On two of our rest days, we had nice intermittent cloud cover making for dramatic infrared shots. The last shot is the view of Hurricane Mountain from our rental, and you can see the fire tower in the distance.
Despite our unpreparedness in pretty much all aspects, we made it to the summit. It was breathtaking. 4,627-foot Giant dominates the Keene valley to the east of the Great Range, offering spectacular sweeping views.