Lake George

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

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Bailey Hill (3054') - Hoffman Notch Wilderness - 1/11/15

Bailey Hill in the Hoffman Notch Wilderness Area has been calling my name for awhile.  It's probably the closest named peak to my house that I had not climbed.  Today I was getting a late start, so I decided to stay close to home and climb Bailey.

The easiest approach is from the Loch Muller trailhead and that's where I parked.  It was 10 degrees at the start and overcast.  I followed the Bailey Pond Trail for the 1st .85 miles to Bailey Pond.  Once past the pond, the trail becomes a herd path on an old road.  The herd path leads to Marion Pond, but that was going to be my second destination, time permitting.

Bailey Pond
At the 1.7 mile mark, the herd path makes a sharp left and begins to climb the steep slope that guards Marion Pond.  At the top of the slope, the herd path turns left again, leading to Marion Pond.  This was my jump off point to turn right and begin my bushwhack north to Bailey Hill.  My plan was to head almost due north, keeping the ledge on my right.  I was 2.2 miles into the hike at this point.  It turns out that it was another 2.2 miles to the summit.

My plan worked well.  The forest was quite open and mostly hardwoods.  I didn't come across any blowdown or thick spruce, for which I'm always grateful!  Near the summit the forest changed to spruce, but they were larger spruce spaced nicely.  I didn't even get snow covered.

A quiet open spruce forest near the summit of Bailey

At the start, there had been about 3" of powder snow on top of a hard crust.  At the summit, the powder had increased to about 6".  I wore snowshoes the entire hike, and they worked well.

From the northern edge of the summit cone I could see through hardwood the high peaks.  This view would be blocked by leaves in the summertime.  

I had Rev wear her coat to stay warm.  She hates it though!  She runs away when I try to put it on her.  

I believe this is Sand Pond Mountain to the northeast.

This large glacial erratic lies almost exactly at the summit
From the summit it continued west to a lower false summit.  I was searching for the best spot to get views looking north and I succeded, although the best views were near the true summit.  

A large birch near the summit

Zoom view of Mount Haystack, 14 miles to the north 

Mount Marcy

This was a small col between the summit (on the right) and a lower false summit (on the left)  

It was almost 2 PM when I was leaving the summit.  I was doubting I'd have time to get over to Marion Pond, but by retracing my steps and flying down the the hill, I got to Marion Pond by 3 PM.   

Hayes Mountain to the south as I was descending Bailey Hill

One of two rowboats that still exist at Marion Pond

Marion Pond

Panorama of Marion Pond

Of course since it was 3 PM when I reached Marion Pond, I just stayed for a couple minutes before heading back to Loch Muller.  It was a nice quiet day in the woods.  I climbed a new peak and Rev is now laying on the couch in front of the fireplace with her paws stretched out.  It must have been a good day.

Hike Stats:
Hike Distance:  11 miles
Hike Time:  6 hours
Total Vertical Gain:  ~ 1950'  

The route (click image to enlarge)

The route (click image to enlarge) 

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