Lake George

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

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Slide Mountain (3584') - Sentinel Range Wilderness - 12/7/14

Today's adventure was a bushwhack hike up Slide Mountain (3584') in the Sentinel Range Wilderness.  The peak lies immediately northwest of Cascade Pass and Pitchoff Mountain in the Town of North Elba.  

Our choice of access points was from the end of Alstead Hill Road (Keene, NY), which is also the location of the beautiful Adirondack Rock and River Guide Service facility.   We will be staying there in the future!  The place has an excellent reputation.  Their Guide's Building has 6 B&B style rooms.

The farmhouse at Rock & River


View east from the end of Alstead Hill Road


The Climbers Lodge at Rock & River


The Guide's House... and B&B guest rooms


We parked at the road's end and set up on foot on the Old Mountain Road, which in the winter plays host to a portion of the Jackrabbit Ski Trail.  It is a wonderful area to XC ski, but there is not enough snow there yet.


The Old Mountain Road starts at the end of Alstead Hill Road and in the winter is home to the Jackrabbit Ski Trail


Old Mountain Road is an official ski trail

Approximately 3/4 mile from the start we crossed a wide bridge and this was our turn off point.  We veered right and followed the left side of the drainage that comes down from the Slide Mountain/Black Mountain col.  There is the remains of an old trail at this location and there is still a 
disc marking the location of a designated campsite.  In the same vicinity are some nice water pools and small waterfalls. 


A partially frozen falls


Summer swimming hole?


We followed the drainage for a distance, then we turned to head NW in a direct line for the summit.   There had been a couple inches of snow at the start of the hike and a crunchy surface due to recent rains, but as we climbed, we got into about 6 inches of fluffy snow above 2700' elevation.  The woods were also mostly hardwood to that point.  As is often the case, softwoods began to take over the the summit.  We were quite surprised when we stumbled upon the remains of an old hunters camp at a spot that didn't seem to hold any unique value to place a shelter there.


A hunters shelter from perhaps a few years ago


The hiking wasn't as bad as this looks, but it was a little thicker on the summit ridge

We topped the summit ridge near the southern terminus, so we went to that point first to look for views.  We found a few viewpoints that offered filtered view towards Lake Placid.
  

View from the southern terminus of the ridge 





The Lake Placid ski jumps are just left of center


Lake Placid and McKenzie Mountain




We then started to head north on the ridge towards the true summit.  Leesa decided to wait at a nice sunny point on the ridge while I made my way to the top.  The tree density had gotten thicker and she didn't feel like following me through the snowy spruce.  I agreed to hit the top and retrace my steps to her within 20-30 minutes, which is about how long it took me.

The true summit wasn't obvious due to the terrain, but I climbed a couple bumps until I found a red ribbon and a misplaced red "foot trail" disc and the true summit.  There were no views at this location.  


The true summit



Note the red ribbon and disc in the tree 







When I got back to Leesa it was 2 PM.  We made quick work of the descent by following our tracks back down the way we had come and managed to get back to the car before 4.  Just after we starting driving we saw  Barred Owl perched on the power line, but the sky was a little dark to get a good photo.  


An Barred Owl watched us as we headed out


Hike Stats:
Hike Distance:  6 miles
Hike Time:  5 hours
Total Vertical Gain:  ~ 1800'


The route (click image to enlarge)



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