Lake George

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

Sunday, May 26, 2013

The Nubble - Giant Mountain Wilderness Area - 5/26/13

Saturday brought a foot of snow to many of the Adirondack High Peaks.  All the hikers were talking about it.  It's funny how hiker's get.  Everyone wanted to head for the snow.  Non-hikers don't get it.  They just shake there heads.  The weekend is ruined!
I of course share the hiker mindset.  It doesn't matter that is May 26th.  Snow is snow, and I'll take it when I can get it.  Leesa is coming around to the same way of thinking.  We woke up this morning and headed for the closest snow.  For us that was Keene Valley in the High Peaks.  Leesa also wanted to get a look at Roaring Brook Falls after all the rain of the last couple days.  It would be easy to kill two birds with one stone.
Lots of water on Roaring Brook Falls

As we arrived in Keene Valley, we noted the lack of cars.  Round Pond had none, Chapel Pond had 6, Rooster Comb and 5 and Roaring Brook Falls had 6.  That's not a lot for Memorial Day weekend.  If it had been warm and sunny, all the parking lots would have been filled by mid morning.

We parked at Roaring Brook Falls on Route 73 in Keene Valley.  It was 45 degrees Fahrenheit with off and on light rain.  We went to the base of the falls first.  Lots of water.  We've been there in the dry season when there is just a trickle.  Not so now.  It was great to look at.
Next we headed for the Nubble.  I've climbed Giant many, many times, but I've never swung over to the Nubble, a side trail to a lower bump on the shoulder of Giant.  I've heard good things about it, but just hadn't done it.  I had also never taken a good look at the small pond called the Giant's Washbowl, so we would see some new things today.
We climbed the Roaring Brook Trail, hiking up past the top of the falls.  Soon we got to the split in the trail where we wanted to fork right for the Nubble instead of continuing up Giant Mountain.  No snow on the ground yet.  Lots of water in the trail.  Our boots were wet pretty quickly.
As we climbed the trail to the Nubble, we hit the snow line at about 2200'.  We found it exciting to be hiking in fresh snow at the end of May.  Call us crazy.  

Nearing the Nubble

The summit of the Nubble is at an elevation of about 2750'.    There was about 3" of snow at that point.  We had some visibility when we first arrived, though it was starting to snow.  We could see the lower part of the Great Range (the Wolfjaws), as well as Round and Noonmark Mountains.  We could see the Ausable Club down below in St. Huberts. 

Looking at the cliffs above Chapel Pond

All that changed in a hurry.  Bands of snow came in that quickly took away our visibility.  We got pelted with snow and sleet.  Our dog Rev looked at us as if she were wondering why we were here.  It was fun. 

Round Mountain foreground, Noonmark in the background... before we lost our visibility

Leesa, all smiles in the snow

Round Mountain foreground, Wolfjaws in the background 

The weather scene changed minute by minute

We stayed on top for awhile just grinning and enjoying the blowing snow.  Occasionally we had a glimpse of the Giant Mountain ridge line, but it was mostly shrouded in the snow squall.

Mike and Rev

No more views of St. Huberts below
Eventually we moved on and headed for the trail to Giant's Washbowl.  This pond is at about 2300' and it was like a different world.  All wet with very little snow.  The pond is quite large but the water level was high a parts of the trail which skirts the edge of the pond were underwater.

A beaver dam just above Giant's Washbowl
On our way back to the car we ran into a Forest Ranger who was checking the water crossings and going past the designated campsites.  He wasn't headed up into the snow.  He came out at the trail head shortly after we did. 
Still 45 degrees back at the car with on and off rain once again.  We were quite soaked but it didn't matter.  We had a fun through it all.
Hike Stats:
Hike Distance:  ~ 5 miles
Hike Time: 4 hours
Total Vertical Gain:  ~ 1700'   


  1. Thanks so much for these great photos! Our house is at the foot of Giant Mt., so we know this area well. Good to see Roaring Brook so full of water!

  2. What a great place for you to live! Thanks for reading.

  3. What an awesome opportunity for photography mixing snow with the fresh, green, verdant landscape!

  4. I like the pics, especially Round and Noonmark. We were on Noonmark Summit at about 11 am that same morning. Altough it was very windy on the Noonmark Summit. It looked enjoyable over there on the Nubble. We have hiked Giant and RPR. The Nubble is on our non 46 list this season.

    1. Thanks. It was quite a day. Yes do take a trip to the Nubble. It is worthwhile for sure.