Sunday, January 23, 2011

"The ADK Firetower Challenge" - suspended until spring

We will continue the ADK Firetower Challenge in the spring - April, we think. Roger is in Florida doing a book on the trails in the Ocala National Forest. Kate is back teaching 6th graders at some undisclosed school district in New York, freezing.
But you can follow all of our activities, books and antics at: whenever you like.

Red Hill Firetower - 12/11/10

In the Catskill Preserve on a December day we trekked up the mountain on 6 inches of fresh powdered snow. According to the check-in log, no one had been up the mountain for several days. So we were alone with silence and new fallen snow and no tracks to follow. But the trail was as well marked with yellow markers as any we have seen.
We found any number of animal tracks from voles to chipmunks to what we think, were bear tracks - from the night before – we hoped.
Overall, it was a fantastic day of peace, solitude and nature!

Kane Mountain 11/06/10

It got us breathing hard, even on this relatively short trail. (Remember, we’re out here to have fun?)
Wow! We read estimates on this trail from .4 miles to 1.8 miles. If you hike it up and down, you will have covered about 1.5 miles by our readings.
Ascent : Our GPS read the parking area at 1,675 feet, and the summit at 2173 feet. That’s an ascent of roughly 500 feet over .75 miles. Go for it, but take your time. It's a "heart starter."
We found the firetower and the old Observers Cabin pictured here.

Black Mountain Firetower 10/10/10

Hey, we should have played the Lottery with these numbers on 10/10/10. That's when we climbed Black Mountain. That is the highest mountain in the Lake George Region. We climbed about 2.5 miles up from about 1247 feet to the summit at 2645 feet. Great view of Lake George. It was a little hazy, but here is what the view was from the summit.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Spruce Mountain 10/09/10

1.1 miles up at a steady climb. 2.2 miles round trip.

We GPS’d the base at 1018 feet, and the summit at 2044 feet. That’s an ascent of 1026 feet over 1.1 miles.

What we saw:
This was a steady ascent through mixed wood forests. On a Fall afternoon, we were surprised at how little wildlife or birds we saw or heard. ???? But, that 73 foot high fire tower is impressive. You can’t climb it, but you can explore the cliff area and just imagine what those forest rangers could see from their view on high.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Hadley Mountain Firetower - 9/26/10

Not far from where I live in Glens Falls, NY is Hadley Mountain. So it was the first one we climbed on September 26, 2010. It's about a 2 mile hike to an elevation of about 1530 feet. It was hazy at the top and we couldn't get a good photo of the wonderful view; but you can see for miles, with almost NO civilization in sight. Great! So you'll have to settle for the photo of the firetower itself. It was a great little hike and we bagged our first firetower mountain in The Challenge.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

The ADK Firetower Challenge!

Firetowers in the last century were constructed to identify small wildfires, before they became major wildfires in the Adirondack and Catskill Mountains of New York. 23 of those firetowers remain in the Adirondack Park. Five remain in the Catskill Park. By definition, they are all atop mountains and overlook other mountains.

The ADK Firetower Mountain Challenge is sponsored by the Saratoga/Glens Falls Chapter of the Adirondack Mountain Club. To meet their challenge you must climb 18 of the 23 Adirondack firetower mountains and all 5 of the remaining Catskill Park Mountains. We'll be writing a guidebook after we meet this firetower challenge. But we'll keep you updated, via this Blog, on our activities as we progress.

Please subscribe and join us on this fun trek!