With a 2500 foot ascent over 4.7 miles, this proved to be one difficult and tiring mountain to climb. Although potentially hazardous at times along steep ridges, the views of the waterfalls and the views from the top were all well worth it, even on a hazy day. (Like we EVER hit a clear day.) :-) Overall, we hiked more than 10 miles for the day. MORE than enough for us! We'll take a two week break before we tackle the 15 miles of Woodhull Mountain in Old Forge.
Sunday, August 28, 2011
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
We found the trailhead without any difficulty. But the trail, that was a different story. We wanted to go up the green trail and back down the red trail for a loop trail. We decided that from our research from the book on firetowers and other info from the Internet. Turns out none of our sources of information were correct. All were outdated! Couldn't find the GREEN trail, because we believe there never WAS a green trail. And the steep red trail is still there, but no longer marked because the non-existent green trail is now the red trail. We sorted it all out! (That's what we do.) The new RED trail consists of a series of switchbacks that make the 1900 foot climb a little more enjoyable, albeit a mile longer. Once we sorted it out and climbed for about 3 hours, all was good and we actually found a firetower with great views, even on a hazy day. The photo is proof that it exists, at the end of the CURRENT red trail! Life is good.
Monday, August 22, 2011
A broken suspension bridge had us wading across the Hudson River for openers. A floating bridge, shown here with Roger crossing it, was our next mini-adventure. And that was just in the first mile. After that we learned why this is considered a "difficult" climb in the Firetower Challenge. Its steep climbs and solid bedrock trails challenged us, but after 2 1/2 hours of climbing we reached the summit and the firetower. Fantastic views! It's why we do this. Along the way we met a solo hiker named Bob from Long Island on his 65th of the 100 highest peaks in the Adirondacks. He hiked down with us. Maybe THAT will be OUR next challenge? Not!
Wednesday, August 10, 2011
We found out why it is called Hurricane Mountain when we reached the summit. On an otherwise calm day, the winds on top caused us to go for our jackets, even on a mid-August afternoon. Wow! and "majestic" describe the mountain views from this summit, even on a hazy day. You can identify Whiteface Mountain by its ski trails carved into its face. Lake Champlain and Vermont can be seen to the east. It was a 2000 foot climb, but well worth it for the view. We got drenched on the way back down, but it was still worth it for the great views.
Saturday, August 6, 2011
We hiked our 20th mountain today. What we found on top was the highlight of our day, and an excellent example of an active American Family. At the 3597 foot summit we met the Sundeen Family from Voorheesville, NY, outside of Albany. Each year they take vacation time to climb 2 or 3 of the firetower mountains in the ADK Firetower Challenge. They started the boys out when they were 3 and 5. Today they are 10 and 12, and still hiking their way up the Challenge ladder. We met them on top of their 18th mountain completed. Before the week is out, they hope to be up to #20. Great parents with a great idea. We applaude them!
Thursday, August 4, 2011
We climbed up to this firetower today at 2780 feet, sometimes looking funny climbing on our hands and knees. But that's not as funny as a story we found about an Owls Head Fire Observer and his wife, who lived here for many years. One very hot day the observer sent his wife down the mountain to get some groceries and beer. When she got back, the wife began her trek back up the mountain with her supplies in her pack basket. Well, along the way she got thirsty so she put the pack basket down and drank a beer. She then threw the can off to the side and continued her journey up the mountain. It was a VERY hot day, and she had to take a few more breaks along the way and proceeded to drink a beer with every break. A trail of empty cans marked her path to the tower.
When she finally reached the cabin, her husband looked inside the pack basket to retrieve a beer to quench his thirst from a long hot day in the tower. He searched and searched but could not find a single beer. He yelled, " Hey, I thought I told you to get some beer!"
His wife replied, " You did, it is very hot, and I got thirsty along the way!"
Here is a picture of the firetower at the top of Owls Head Mountain, and that pink dot at the base of it is Kate. She managed to make it all the way to the top with enough beer for us each to enjoy one to celebrate our climb. That makes 19 of 28 mountains done to date!
Tuesday, August 2, 2011
"Boulders and bedrock" describe this strenuous trail to the top. That "climb" was more than 1500 feet in elevation change. But we were certainly not alone, even on a Tuesday afternoon. More than 15,000 people climb this firetower mountain every year. And we think most of them were on the trail this day. :-) We earned that beer at the top! It was a GREAT day with GREAT views and a real sense of accomplishment. Thanks for checking in.