Lake Road still had a dusting of snow, and turning up the Weld Trail I realized that I probably could have brought snowshoes. There was easily 4″-8″ of snow all the way up to the junction with Sawteeth, and there was 8″-12″ up to the summit.
My plan was ambitious, so I stayed overnight at the interior Johns Brook Lodge (JBL), cutting 7 miles round trip to and from the car. Seeing no morning rain, I started on a loop over Gothics and Sawteeth to Haystack via the Warden’s Camp.
It’s rare enough to enjoy long, difficult, multi-peak hikes; it’s rarer still to hike one with a friend and mentor. To then hike seldom-used trails in the Adirondacks with beautiful weather made it a near perfect day.
Back in 2012, we hiked Sawteeth in conjunction with Gothics in our first Adirondack traverse. Gothics was the star of that hike, with its (in)famous cable route and sprawling vistas. Sawteeth was a half-mile out-and-back-again tacked on somewhat as an afterthought.