Lake George

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

Saturday, January 4, 2020

Knob Lock Mountain - Giant Mountain Wilderness - 1/4/2020

It's been quite a while since I've put up a blog post, but I'll get this new year started right.  Today was promising to be a rainy day in the Lake George area, but a couple inches of snow was forecast further north.  Rev and I were anxious to get out of the rain and into the snow, so we headed north to Elizabethtown to pay a 3rd visit to Knob Lock Mountain in the Giant Mountain Wilderness.

For those that aren't familiar with Knob Lock, it lies almost due south of Hurricane Mountain, perhaps a couple miles.  Route 9N divides the valley between the two mountains.  Knob Lock is on the south side of Route 9N.  The summit views are fantastic on a clear day. 

You can park in the parking lot that is used for hikers taking the trail to Owl Head Lookout.  That's where we started our adventure for the day.  It was snowing lightly and visibility was poor but snow is better than rain.

We went a short distance on the hiking trail, then veered west towards the ridge line that leads to Knob Lock.  

A 1st look at Owl Head Lookout

I hadn't thought to wear my winter hiking pants since the temperature was in the low 30's, but it would have been a good idea.  As I got on the ridge and began pushing my way through the snowy pines and spruce, my pants quickly soaked as they not water proof or even water resistant.  I didn't have any real concern due to the shortness of this hike.  I remained warm since I was moving. 

This looks like more than a deer scrape.  Perhaps a moose, but is is low to the ground.

There was some visibility while climbing.  The snowfall alternated between light and moderate and at times I could see the nearby hills.

Nice spot here...

Rev started the day in her tattered orange coat, but at some point on the way down it was lost in the woods in the thick brush. 

Seems like every clearing had a glacial erratic.

Visibility unfortunately got worse as we continued to climb.  The snow was picking up.  On the ledges it was a little slick with just a couple inches of snow on top of ice.  We made sure to stay out of harms way. 

Heading for the summit (in the background)

As expected, the summit was socked in due the continuing snow.  No summit view on this day.  Rev didn't mind, she was having a great time.  I didn't mind either.  Kind of peaceful.

... and the view was gone...

I had some hot chocolate, which always tastes good to me in the snow.  A sandwich and treats for Rev and we were on our way down.  I didn't want to stop for long in wet clothes.

The summit

I decided to drop off the ridge early on the way down and take a more direct line.  I'm not sure it saved me any time.  It was thicker than the ascent route and I did a lot of clawing... even though I was going downhill.  Once back in the hardwoods, things improved greatly!

The woods down low off the ridge are bushwhack friendly.

Pretty snow on all the tree limbs.

All in all, I enjoyed the adventure.  A winter bushwhack is not for everyone, but it's for me.  Rev didn't mind either.

Trip Stats
Total Distance:  4.8 miles
Total Time:  4 hours
Total Vertical Gain:  ~2000'

The route

The route on the Nat Geo map

1 comment:

  1. Hi Mike!
    I really enjoy your reports! Can’t believe we still haven’t met. Knob Lock is very close to our new place which really isn’t so new anymore. KL does have a well cared for trail that makes a nice loop with this route! Send me a message ingeaiken ✌️😃