Lake George

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

Monday, October 31, 2011

Pitchoff Mountain - 10/30/11

On Saturday, the folks at The Mountaineer had told us another good rocky summit to climb was Pitchoff Mountain in Keene, NY.  We didn't waste any time in deciding that it would be the hike for Sunday.  The loop hike was 4.5 miles with a 2.6 mile walk on the road back to the car (the road piece was a nice walk past the Cascade Lakes but very windy through the notch and no shoulder on the road to walk on).

We started at 10:15 at the western end (the trail began directly across the street from the trail to Cascade Mountain).

Hike Time:  4 hrs 45 minutes (plus 45 minute hike back on road)
Hike Distance: 4.5 miles
Trailhead Elevation:  2250'
Summit Elevation: 3488'
Total Vertical Gained:  1788' (plus road gain)

Trailhead sign

An early viewpoint

1st look at the western viewpoint

View towards Cascade and the slide

Leesa checking out her footing on an early section of downhill

Don't miss this view to the west!  Go all the way out to the point

After an hour, we reached the sign directing us to the 1st viewpoint.  Be sure to check it out.  It is the best viewpoint on the ridge and is awesome!  A great short hike would be to just hike from the road to this point and return.

Looking west towards North Elba

Mount Van Hoevenberg Luge Run can be seen in the distance on the right.

The red berries were quite a contract to the blue sky and the snow

The last viewpoint from the eastern end of the ridge
The descent from the eastern end of the ridge to the road looked quite steep on the map, but it turned out to be not so bad.  The trail led down through some birches and along a stream and wasn't so difficult after all.

The welcome to Keene sign beside Cascade Lake

Our journey highlighted in blue

This hike capped a fine weekend of hiking.  Both day were cold (right around freezing), but the wind wasn't too bad, the sun was out and the views were perfect.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Noonmark and Round Mountains - 10/29/11

Sometimes the highest peaks aren't always the best.  We found that out once again today.  We got an early start on Saturday to hike Noonmark and Round Mountains in Keene, NY.  We were on the trail by 8:15.  The sun was out early, but a Nor'easter storm was coming up the coast and was expected to bring clouds and possibly some snow by afternoon.  It was cold, probably 25-30 degrees when we started, and it didn't get above 35.  We parked in Saint Huberts.  

Hike Time:  6 hrs 15 minutes
Hike Distance:  6.6 miles
Total Elevation Gain:  3030 feet
Summit Elevations:  Noonmark 3556', Round 3088'
Trailhead Elevation:  1300'

Our route highlighted in blue 

Trailhead sign

We hike the loop counterclockwise starting up the Stimson Trail to Noonmark Mountain

There were 2 ladders as you get higher on the Stimson Trail
It would have been helpful to have on the micro spikes near the top of Noonmark.  There was a fair amount of ice to negotiate.

View from the summit
We were on the summit of Noonmark about 10:15 and had nice sunshine.

Looking towards Dix Mountain

The Summit of Noonmark Mountain

We took the Felix Adler trail down from Noonmark and this was the sign pointing back up

Intersection of the Felix Adler trail with the Dix trail and Round Pond Trail

A high tech sign near the intersection of the Dix Trail with the Round Mountain trail

A 2nd sign in the same area

It's still October, but you wouldn't know it

The summit of Round Mountain
At around 12:30, we were on the summit of Round Mountain and the sky was becoming overcast.

Dix Mountain on the left, Dial on the right

You can't really tell from the pictures, but Round Mountain has a fantastic summit and it takes quite a while to explore it.  Lots of rocky nooks.

Leesa watching for ice.  It was a little tricky in spots

I call these ice flowers... but there is probably a technical term for them

Much more fall like as we got closer to the bottom

Both of these summits are great for exploration, and for views from rocky summits.  They are also relatively easy to climb and we did the loop with both of them in a half day.  If you're hiking with younger kids, you can hike one or the other.  The rewards are great from both.

A bonus on this hike is that the trailhead is near the Noonmark Diner, a local landmark and a must after climbing Noonmark Mountain!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Glen Lake from French Mountain Ledge -10/16/11

Living in Queensbury near Glen Lake, just south of Lake George NY, I wanted to see what the lake looked like from the air. You can't get a good look at Glen Lake from Prospect Mountain, but there had to be a way from French Mountain.
As you look north from the lake, you can see ledges on the south face of French Mountain. I pulled up a map and saved the coordinates of the approximate location of the ledge. I had been nearby when I had hiked French Mountain to see Bear Pond, but had not located the ledge.
I parked on Route 149, just east of Route 9, at the intersection with the Warren County bike path, and walked north one half mile to the blue diamond trail on the right side. I took the trail heading east. I did a little wandering around, as there are several old jeep roads in the area.

I came across an old billboard for Great Escape Amusement Park. The sign is now abandoned and overgrown. It looked like it was all hand painted and not wallpapered on like signs are now.

An abandoned sign for Great Escape... now overgrown in the woods

I continued on the French Mountain jeep road heading east, past the west facing ledge.

Jeep trail on French Mountain

 As I got closer to the south facing ledge I was looking for, I left the trail and headed towards my coordinates.

Arriving near the ledge

The ledge turned out to be a really nice spot with a great view to the south, SE and SW.
Glen Lake!

Luzerne Mountains in the background

The clouds were quite interesting on this day, and were quickly changing, providing all kinds of different lighting as I looked down on the lake.

Round trip the hike was about 8 miles, but it was quite easy.  I'll be sure to do this hike again in the different seasons.