Lake George

Lake George
Lake George - from Tongue Mtn Range - 11/11/2011

Monday, July 4, 2016

Palmer Pond Hill - Hoffman Notch Wilderness - 7/4/16

For an Independence Day hike I chose a place that I was almost certain would have no other visitors on this day.  In fact, the hill I chose doesn't even have a name.  I call it Palmer Pond Hill since it lies immediately south of Palmer Pond.  If you haven't heard of Palmer Pond, it is immediately west of I87 Exit 29.

The best way to get to this unnamed hill, however, is to take an old jeep road off Route 9 in North Hudson west to the Schroon River.  At the river, you have to wade across.  It was calf deep or less on this day.  The next thing to do is find the culvert under I87 designed for walking; it takes a little effort since it sees very little use.   I've done this bushwhack before so I knew where to look for the culvert.    

The walking culvert in North Hudson.

Once through the culvert Leesa and I turned north for a short distance to get to the base of the ridge that leads west up to the top of the hill.  The climb is beautiful, but it does have two very steep parts, one at the base of the ridge, and one just before the summit.

The ridge is graced with a red pine forest and lots of ledges and rock to scramble up or around.

An early look SW to Schroon Lake.

A zoom view of Schroon Lake.

A good look at the southern portion of the Dix Range.

This hike is only 5.2 miles roundtrip, but allow 4-5 hours for this trip.  You can perhaps do it faster, but you won't want to.  The summit is a beautiful open rock promenade that faces west.  Views are expansive, from Schroon Lake to the SW, all the way to high peaks to the north.

Leesa had not been to this fascinating summit before, hence my selection of this location for our Independence Day hike.  The breezes and views were as great as my first visit here.  We stayed on top much longer than we normally stay on a summit.
One of the ledges near the summit. 

Another view of  Schroon Lake.

The Adirondack Buffalo Company is in the distance.

On the way out the Schroon River crossing was nice on the feet.

The Schroon River

I imagine I'll be back to this place again in the future.  It's high on my list of short bushwhack destinations.

Hike Stats:
Hike Distance:  5.2 miles
Hike Time:  4.5 hours
Total Vertical Gain:  ~1500'

The Route.

The route on the NG topo.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Ampersand Mountain - High Peaks Wilderness - 6/27/16

I had plans to hike the Sewards with my son Zack today.  We met at 9 AM at the Seward trailhead and it was raining.  We talked for a minute and decided we didn't want to take a chance on hiking a full day in the rain.  The forecast had predicted cloudy until 4 PM and then the possibility of a thunderstorm.  The forecast was obviously wrong and we considered what to do.  We decided to climb Ampersand Mountain, even though we had both climbed it before.  It was nearby, less than 3 miles each way, and it's a fantastic mountain.  Perhaps we'd see some interesting weather skies.

The rain stopped as soon as we were underway.  The rain shells came off immediately and things looked promising.  I thought the bugs would come out, but they did not.  Ampersand gets continually steeper as you climb and stone steps have been placed on most of the upper half of the trail to prevent the steep trail from eroding away.

I got loaded my pack with lots of liquid, in anticipation of climbing the Sewards, and I forgot to unload it prior to Ampersand, so I was carrying lots of unnecessary weight.  In any case, Zack forged ahead of me and I did my best to keep up.

Just before the summit, a guy passed us doing a trail run.  Also at that time it began to rain again.  We put our rainshells back on and left our packs under the trees at the treeline.  It was quite windy and the rain was blowing sideways.  There was still some visibility which was fortunate.  We bounded around the summit with our dogs and reminded ourselves how good this summit is. 

You can't really tell in the pictures below, but it continued to rain the whole time we were on the summit.    


Rain clouds blowing through.

Zack hanging onto his hat.  The trail runner is heading back down. 

Rev is getting a drink in a summit pool.

More threatening clouds.

Rev was not a fan of the wind.

A summit memorial to Walter Channing Rice.

After leaving the summit, the rain of course stopped and we took off our rainshells for the descent.  We saw quite few people; perhaps 10 or 12 people climbing while we made our way down.

Back at the car we took the 0.6 mile walk to Middle Saranac Lake.  Lulu splashed in the water while Rev stayed on the beach, except for wading in to get a drink.

Thanks Zack for meeting me in Saranac Lake for a hike.  I hope we can get out together again soon.

Hike Stats:
Hike Distance:  5.2 miles
HIke Time:  2 hours, 45 minutes
Vertical Gain:  ~1820'

+ 1.2 miles to Middle Saranac Lake and back

The route