Lake George

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

Saturday, December 20, 2014

TR Mountain & Whales Tail Mountain - 12/20/14

What a great weather day to be hiking in the Adirondack High Peaks Wilderness.   It was cold (5 degrees at 9 AM), but warmed nicely to 20 degrees.  There was no wind and there was a nice Adirondack blue sky.  Leesa, Rev and I all went out today to enjoy it.  

I knew the weather was supposed to be nice.  I chose to take us to TR Mountain (3820').  This mountain was just named in the 1990's by New York Governor George Pataki.  The TR, of course, stands for Teddy Roosevelt, who was a NY governor at one point before becoming president of the United States.

We approached TR from the Van Hoevenberg Trail; the popular trail to Mount Marcy.  It was an easy hike on a well packed trail.   

Rev heading up the Van Hoevenberg trail  

After we crossed Phelps Brook from left to right, we began climbing the steeper portion of the trail. As the trail began to level out, just prior to Indian Falls, we were due east of TR Mountain.  It was just 1/4 mile away.

Leesa chose to stay on the trail and take a hot chocolate break.  Today was her first day of the season back on snowshoes, and she was a little tired.  Rev and I bushwhacked our way to the top of TR.  The snow wasn't too bad to break trail on.  There was a substantial crust which aided our efforts.  There were a couple tiny clearings at the top and I found the one with the orange ribbon on the tree.  It appeared to be the highest spot and presumably was the summit.  There was no view at this point, but we had passed a viewpoint at the eastern edge of the summit ridge that offered views of Mount Marcy and Mount Haystack.  

The summit of TR Mountain!

Early season ice

I radioed Leesa to tell her I found the summit.  Soon I was back down on the trail with her.  We took the cutover trail to the Lake Arnold Trail.  I had planned on also climbing Mount Colden today, but we didn't start until 9 AM, and Leesa didn't want to push it on her first snowshoe of the season.

We stopped at the frozen Indian Falls and enjoyed some nice views from there. 

The Macintyre Range from Indian Falls

Mount Colden on the left, and the Macintyre Range on the right 

TR Mountain on the right

A closer look at Algonguin

TR Mountain

Leesa amd Rev at Indian Falls

Some worn out looking signs...

Back at the Lake Arnold trail, we dropped back down past Avalanche Camp down to Marcy Dam.
Leesa suggested we take the Whale's Tail Trail back.  It is a ski trail, but we stayed off to the side with our snowshoes.  Only one skier track was on the eastern side of Whale's Tail pass.

Leesa at Marcy Dam with Mount Colden in the background 

Whales Tail Mountain

Up at the top of the pass, I decided to climb Whale's Tale Mountain.  It was a steep but easy climb on snow that had some crust.  Once on the summit ridge, it was entirely different.  I was only .1 miles from the summit, but I was breaking through spruce traps up to my thighs in snow.  I didn't want Leesa to get to far ahead of me (since I had the car keys) so I decided to save Whale's Tail for another day.

I did get some nice pictures though of Mount Colden and Mount Marcy from the false summit of Whales Tail Mountain.

Mount Colden from Whales Tail Mountain

Mount Colden 

Mount Marcy in the distance, just left of center.  Mount Colden on the right.

A zoom view of Mount Marcy from Whales Tail Mountain 

I cruised back to the Whales Tail Trail and caught up to Leesa at the intersection with the Algonquin Trail.  From there we returned to the High Peaks Information Center to complete our day.

Hike Stats:
Hike Distance:  10.6 miles
Hike Time:  5.5 hours
Total Vertical Gain:  ~ 2600' 

Our route for the day (Click image to enlarge) 

The route on the National Geographic topo map 

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