Lake George

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

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Gothics & Armstrong Mountains (attempt) - 3/11/12

Our plan today (Sunday) was to climb Gothics and Armstrong Mountains.  It was a beautiful day, with warm temperatures, blue sky, and no wind.  We got a little bit of a late start ( the phone alarm didn't adjust for daylight savings time).  In any case, we were on the trail at 8:30, excited about the chance to claim 2 more winter ADK 46 peaks.

We made good progress on the first 2.5 miles from the parking lot out the Lake Road to where the trail diverges and begins to climb.

Squirrel watching us as we began our ascent from the Lake Road

I think this guy was cheering us on as we made our way up the trail. 

After .6 miles of hiking, once leaving the Lake Road, we reached Beaver Meadow Falls.  Note how much ice was on the falls in the morning compared to the subsequent picture from the afternoon.

Beaver Meadow Falls (morning)

Afternoon... note how much ice fell off!

Signs at Beaver Meadow Falls
Hurricane Irene really altered many slides in the Adirondacks and the one we passed was no exception.  It is now like a wide open highway.  It would be great skiing here under the right conditions. 

Trail crosses this slide at 3100' (slide enlarged by Hurricane Irene)

Looking uphill at same slide

Amazing strength!

We continued onward and upward until we were just shy of the col between Gothics and Armstrong where the trail splits.  It took us 3 hours and 20 minutes to reach this point.  Just before the col the trail hooks clockwise around the summit cone of Armstrong.  At that point, the trail is very narrow and slopes slightly downward towards a massive cliff that drops to Cascade Brook.

We attempted to make our way through, but the snow was soft and unstable.  Leesa and I were on our MSR Ligntning Ascent snowshoes which grip well, but the whole snow mass couldn't be trusted.  In the warm weather, the snow was melting and the whole layer could slide underfoot.  We had microspikes also, but we didn't have ice crampons or ice axes.  If the snow mass gave way, there was a chance we would have gone into a slide and gone over the cliff.  Certain points had no trees to arrest our fall.

We were at 4330', and were just shy of the col.  From the col, it would have been an easy summit to Armstrong and Gothics was only .6 miles away.  Safety comes first however, and I decided it wasn't worth the risk.  We turned back at that point.  It was still a great day in the sunshine, and the views were great.  The winter summits will have to wait. 

The descent was no problem,  and we were back to the car by 4:30.

Great view of Gothics from where we turned around (at 4330')

Bridge at Beaver Meadow Brook (rebuilt 1999)


Beaver Meadow Brook


Hike Statistics (from our actual summit attempt)

Hike Distance:  9 miles
Hike Time:  8 hours
Total Vertical Gain:  3100'
Highest Elevation Obtained:  4330'
Parking Lot Elevation:  1300'

Our route shown in blue

1 comment:

  1. The 60 foot Beaver Meadow Falls is reached by a beautiful hike of about 3 miles, requiring about an hour and forty minutes. It is best appreciated as part of the "Waterfalls Hike". I enjoyed this hike before my ny to niagara falls bus tour. This hike provide an impressive view of a 25 foot, powerful waterfalls where you can watch best sight of nature.