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/\4000' SUMMITS /\ //\\in the White Mountains, /\ //\\///\\\ /\the Adirondacks, //\\ ///\////\\\\ /\ //\\ & Maine /\ / ^ \/^ ^/^ ^ ^ \/^ \/ ^ \ / ^\ /\ / ^ / ^/ ^ ^ ^ ^\ ^/ ^^ \

4000' Peaks in the Adirondacks

MOUNTAIN ELEV. DATE TRAILS SUMMIT BREW
1 Marcy 5344' 1996, 1997, 2002 Orebed Brook, Range, Hopkins
2 Algonquin 5114' 1997, 2004 Van Hoevenberg, Avalanche Pass
3 Haystack 4960' 1998, 2015 Phelps, Range Trail Fishbrook Hopholler Wethop Wedding IPA
4 Skylight 4924'
5 Whiteface 4867' July 27, 2000 Connery Pond, Whiteface Brook
6 Dix 4857'
7 Iroquois 4840' Oct 7, 2004 Van Hoevenberg, Avalanche Pass Fishbrook Sherpa Ale
8 Gray 4840' b
9 Basin 4827' Aug 1, 1998, July 12, 2002 Phelps, Shorey's Shortcut, Range, Orebed
10 Gothics 4736' 2002, 2005, 2015 Orebed Brook, Range Trail Davidson's Sagamore, Fishbrook Hopholler Wethop Wedding
11 Colden 4714' Oct 3, 2005 Van Hoevenberg, Avalanche, L Morgan Porter Davidson's Sagamore Ale
12 Giant 4627' 2001 Roaring Brook Trail
13 Nippletop 4620' Aug 11, 2002 West River, Indian Head, Fish Hawk, Nippletop
14 Santanoni 4607' b
15 Redfield 4606' b
16 Wright 4580' 97, Sept 13, 2003 Van Hoevenberg, Algonquin, Wright
17 Saddleback 4515' Aug 1, 1998, July 12, 2002 Phelps,Shorey's Shortcut,Range,Orebed
18 Panther 4442' b
19 Tabletop 4427' b
20 Rocky Peak Ridge 4420'
21 Macomb 4405' b
22 Armstrong 4400' July 13, 2002, Oct 5, 2005 Orebed Brook, Range Trail
23 Hough 4400' b
24 Seward 4361' b
25 Marshall 4360' b
26 Allen 4340' b
27 Big Slide 4240' Oct 9, 2006 Brothers, Slide Mtn. Brook Trail, Phelps Trail Lake Placid Frostbite Ale
28 Esther 4240' b
29 Upper Wolf Jaw 4185' July 13, 2002, Oct 4, 2005 Orebed Brook, Range Trail
30 Lower Wolf Jaw 4175' Oct 11,1999 Sachs, Rooster Comb, Hedgehog, WA White
31 Street 4166' b
32 Phelps 4161' Oct 12, 1998 Van Hoevenberg, Phelps Trail
33 Donaldson 4140' b
34 Seymour 4120' b
35 Sawteeth 4100'
36 Cascade 4098' Oct 5, 2005 Cascade Trail
37 South Dix 4060'
38 Porter 4059' Oct 5, 2005 Cascade Trail, Porter Mtn. Trail
39 Colvin 4057' Aug 11, 2002 West River, Indian Head, Fish Hawk, Nippletop
40 Emmons 4040' b
41 Dial 4020' Aug 11, 2002 West River, Indian Head, Fish Hawk, Nippletop
42 East Dix 4012' b
43 MacNaughton 4000' b
44 Green 3980' b
45 Blake 3960'
46 Cliff 3960' b
b = bushwhack, no maintained trail to summit.
The Brothers 3681' Oct 9, 2006 Garden,Brothers Trail
Noonmark 3556' Oct 11, 2006 Round Lake
Ampersand 3352' 2005,2006,2012 Ampersand Trail Davidson's Sagamore Ale
Black Mountain 2646' 1980,1988,2011 Millman, Lapland, Black Mountain Ponds Trail Fishbrook Pond Amarillo Ale
Erebus 2527' 1981-2015 Fishbrook Pond Trail Fishbrook Pond Pale Ale & countless other fine brews!


1996

.:: 1996 Mount Marcy Expedition ::.

(March 11, 2006) Well, since I done lost my original notes, I'll have to resort to my razor-sharp memories of happenings ten years time ago. Of a by-gone era. Mount Marcy is the highest of the High Peaks, 5344', which be more than a mile. And generally a popular hike by shameless peakbaggers. But on this day the summit was devoid of said folk. Perhaps it was the extreme conditions. Conditions that sent much of our party on retreat.

First time on Marcy, first time in the High Peaks for much of our expedition. Joe C, Chris, Missy, Mikey, Marlene, Rob, Rich, JB & Buddy the Dog were the adventurers on this weekend. (Hope I didn't forget anyone.) And some excellent black & white photos were had. The end of an era. (And of my black & white film.)

Set out from Upper Works on the Calamity Brook Trail to Flowed Land, a body of water in the flow and south of Colden Lake and Avalanche Lake. At this point, an emergency arose. A Boy Scout had fallen off a cliff. Rob, an EMT, without hesitation took off with the reporting Boy Scout to aid the injured boy. El Whoppo and I decided to scout the trail ahead and lean-to possibilities. We found a spot on the Opalescent River a coupla miles up. (Seems trivial now.) Shortly after we returned, Rob returned and his resue was successful.

I'll never forget this. Rob really came up big. The kid's a hero to me. The kids' ARE alright. Anyhoo, we hiked a coupla miles to a lean-to on the Opalescent. Camped in fowl weather for the night. Met up with a drifter and his dog (the Blonde One, a good dog) who honed our hospitality then ratted us out. (We were, admittedly, not a seasoned group environmentally.) Meanstwhile, we (ignorance isn't always a virtue) tempted a big-ass bear. Our campsite was a mess - foodstuff all over the place. And a frikken BIG bear took an interest... Circled our camp several times whilst we cleaned our mess and packed away our food.

We survived that one. Thank goodness Buddy the Guard Dog was asleep.

JB -- The 1996 Marcy Expedition calls for some belated commentary. Mount Marcy, the high peak of the High Peaks, was scaled on a blustery day by mountaineers Missy, Mikey, Marlene, Rob, Rich, Buddy the Dog & I. It was RAW above treeline. The wind was a whippin'. Like a mutha. As we approached summit Marlene's packcover flew off her backpack and down the mountainside, never to be seen again.

Marlene -- Everyone gave me so much crap (in a fun way) about that packcover (which was BRAND NEW by the way!)? I was being voted most prepared camper and then they kept teasing me for "polluting" the mountain. Too funny. I have such specific memories of that trip.... such as the BEAR that wandered into our campsite and how Missy and I climbed onto the roof. Nobody was looking and it was just walking down the trail next to the water and at first I couldn't believe what my eyes were seeing. What was it about us and bears? Remember Lake O'Hara and the bear? Anyway.....I also recall that Mike set up his tent too close to the trail and a ranger made him move it, and how during the rain at night all the water flowed under it and they didn't have enough dry clothes. Do you remember I had packed a linguini and clam sauce meal and was cooking it (we were first back from the peak) and everyone was drooling over it and then they realized they didn't pack enough Ramen's for their party?

As for the climb itself, I think more people came on the hike but didn't go all the way up. I still say to this day that that was the most scared I have ever been on a mountain. That wind was HOWLING up there and I had the pack on and it kept pushing me closer to the edge and I really, really thought I was going to go right off the side. Once I found a little crevice and sat in it, I was too petrified to move...I really couldn't, it was the weirdest thing....you had to talk me out by taking the pack from me and help me up to the top where you can see from those pics how thrilled I was ;) lol! We also stopped for a bit to have lunch in a nice little clearing spot before attacking the top. You know, I really need to go on a hike again.


1998

.:: 1998 HAYSTACK, BASIN, SADDLEBACK EXPEDITION ::.

(July 30, 1998) The summer trip in 1998 was an ambitious one. Mt. Haystack (3rd highest mountain in the Adirondack High Peaks at 4961') was our primary goal. On Thursday morning, July 30th, 9 hikers followed our fearless leader Buddy the Dog from the Keene Valley to the Phelps Trail. A few miles later we passed the Johns Brook Lodge and continued to Base Camp at the Bushnell Falls Lean-to. We took some time bear-bagging our supplies, a lesson learned from the incident on the Mt. Marcy Expedition the previous year.

(July 31, 1998) The 9 adventurers departed camp early Friday morning towards Slant Rock, continuing on the Phelps Trail. The Range Trail took us over Little Haystack and up Mount Haystack. Sounds a tad easier than it was...

Six mountaineers reached the summit on July 31: Allie, Lori, Chris, Mike, JB and Buddy the Dog. It was clear and cool on top, and the view was tremendous.

(August 1, 1998) Mike Paz and I continued Saturday morning towards Basin (4826' - #9) and Saddleback (4515' - #17). We again followed Bushnell Falls via the Phelps Trail to Slant Rock. Shorey's Shortcut was a helluva trail, a climb in itself, finally intersecting with the Range Trail once again. Basin and Saddleback are both double mountains, a pretty good trek for sure. Got a nice eyeful of the next mountain over, Gothics, a future destination. Some of the trails were just breathtaking, sculpted with moss and wildflowers. Amongst the finest I've seen.

(August 2, 1998) We returned via the Orebed Brook Trail to Johns Brook Lodge, then back to Bushnell Falls. Some rough and scenic terrain... -- JB --

.:: 1998 PHELPS: 4161' ::.

(Monday, October 12, 1998) Took the Van Hoevenberg Trail from Adirondack Loj to the Phelps Trail to the summit of PHELPS MOUNTAIN. Sucked in on this day, I had a good feelin'. And encouraged the folks comin' down to no avail. As I lunched on one of the rock outcrops on top, the peaks of MARCY, COLDEN, ALGONQUIN, & WRIGHT (South to west, left to right) slowly emerged through the clouds. One of those unique moments in the mountains. A good walk rewarded. Phelps was named after Orson "Old Mountain" Phelps, who cut the first trail up Marcy. Nice day hike, 8.8 miles round trip. -- JB


2000

.:: Mt. Whiteface. 4867' ::.

(July 27, 2000) On Thursday, before heading to Mt. Erebus for the summer trip, Kelsie and I climbed Mount Whiteface (4867'), the High Peak northeast of Lake Placid. Whiteface is a ski destination with an auto road, the most developed of the High Peaks. Despite this, a great trek. Took the Connery Pond/Whiteface Brook Trail, about 6 miles each way. Overcast and misty, pretty easy going for the most part, with spotty visibility. --JB


2002

.:: 2002 Gothics & the Great Range ::.

(July 11-14, 2002) The Gothics-Great Range Summer Expedition was a dream come true. El Whoppo & I got a gander at Gothics back in 1998 from Saddleback. I was obsessed with it. (Still am.) We knew we had to return. And Norman Zeke was game, rounding out the summit party.

(July 11, 2002)Day 1: We hiked in on the Phelps Trail from the Garden and set up camp near Wolf Jaw Brook. Pretty much did the Great Range in two trips from the center outwards. The Orebed Brook Trail meets the Range Trail between Saddleback and Gothics.

(July 12, 2002)Day 2: Headed out early on the Orebed Brook Trail to the Range Trail, then a loop up and over Saddleback, Basin, Little Haystack & Marcy. Then over Little Marcy, the Hopkins Trail to the Johns Brook Lodge and back to camp. A long rewarding day.

(July 13, 2002)Day 3 found us back on the Orebed Brook Trail and the Range Trail and up Gothics, Pyramid Peak, Armstrong & Upper Wolf Jaw. As fate might have it, on Pyramid Peak a fellow Sox fan was in the midst of opening a bottle of bubbly and proposing to his sweetheart. But forgot his camera. We witnessed, wished 'em well, and mailed a coupla pictures. Cool moment to step into. El Whoppo was more interested in the bubbly...

Photographic evidence also indicates that, around this point in time, Zeke picked up a hitch hiker - a deer tick. Got him some lyme disease a few weeks hence. Not a good thing. But everything else was mahvelous on this trek. We stood atop some of the finest mountaintops in the Adirondacks. Good to be King.....

(July 14, 2002)Day 4 While the Lord rested, we packed up & hoofed out. -- JB


(August 11, 2002) From the trailhead in St. Hubert (off the Golf Course), hit the trail about 8am. An early start for this camper. It was the Ladies Mile to the East River Trail towards (and over) Indian Head and Fish Hawk Cliffs. Great views here as you climb above Lower Ausable Lake. Summited Mt. Colvin (4057') via the Carry Trail then doubled back to Elk Pass.

Nippletop (4620') was next, a fine name and a fine mountain. At this point I ran low on water. Water's plentiful early in this trek but scarce for much of the rest. Brought a coupla liters and a water filter, but ran out with no prospects for a coupla hours. Finally found a swamp between the peaks and filtered some warm voodoo water. Better than nothing. Tasted horrible. When you're thirsty, well, I'm just sayin'. Water sometimes is better than anything. I plodded onwards, about as out-of-it as I ever was. At some point I found a stick, a hiking stick. Which I never had a need for.

The Henry Goddard Leach Trail took me over Dial (4020') & Bear Den (3423'), and I dragged my sorry ass back to camp. Tough hike for me. Probably the toughest hike I've done thus far. Water was an issue. A loop of around 16 miles with lotsa gain. Some o' these Adirondack ranges are pretty relentless. No riding ridges, just all the way up and all the way down. Some nice views of Gothics and the Great Range, and also of the Dix Range, a future destination. -- JB


2003

.:: WRIGHT PEAK 4580' ::.

(Sept. 13, 2003) I'd climbed this fine mountain in 1996, and returned in 2003 to Wright Peak (4580') on a gray fall day in search of the wreckage from a B-47 Bomber that struck the mountain in 1962. Nice short hike, a nick over 5 miles total. The grey lady ruled, scattered views but really an excellent day. There was lotsa wreckage from the crash. Surprised I didn't see it before. Then again I wasn't aware of it. (No excuse for having the blinders on.) Gonna hafta research this crash.

The plaque reads: "Strategic Air Command B-47 crew killed here 16 January 1962 while on a mission preserving the peace of our nation." I believe this was (largely unreported by the mainstream press, and predating blogs) the Russkies unprovoked attack on Mt. Marcy. Had they taken the highest peak in the Daks, we'd all be drinkin' Stoli now. Hmmmm.... -- JB


.:: 2003 EREBUS #26 ::.

Fishbrook Pond Summer Trip July 24-27, 2003...

A bakers' dozen adventurers climbed the mighty mountain this summer. Jo-Ann, Mikey, Missy, Mary, Marlene, Zeke, Devo, Johnny, Rick, Jay, Jamie, Dan & Woody. The Saturday hike took us to Sleeping Beauty. Perhaps the crowning achievement of this trip was (aside from luring Jo-Ann up for the second time n 30 years) was acquiring a sea-faring vessel for the Oktoberfest. Yep, seaworthy fer sure. Field tested. Weasel caught a WHOPPO whilst fishin' from it. Just sayin'......

Oktoberfest #26 Ties Yanks for Championships. * .:: BLACK MOUNTAIN: 2646' ::.

(Newton, MA, Oktober 17, 2003) This Oktoberfest was truly one for the ages. Temps in the mid-70's, peak leafage and a surprise appearance from the impeached and subsequently peached Director Rich Justo. Yep, the first peached in history. And a bang-up directorship to boot. The Saturday hike was memorable: 7 mountaineers (Rob, Weasel, El Whoppo, Zeke, Devo, JB & Bean the Dog) made the 10-mile trek up Black Mountain, at 2646' the highest on Lake George. We tramped north from Fishbrook past Millman Pond and Lapland Pond. Cut through the valley alongside the Black Mountain Ponds, then upwards. Caught some gorgeous views from a rock outcrop partways up, then tackled the switchbacks & sweatrock. The gods smiled upon us with incredible views of Lake George's islands and beyond. Ripples of mountains.... Yep....

*Go Marlins....
PS - I'm not bitter... just semi-suicidal. -- JB

Over a period of 26 years on Fishbrook Pond, we've had only a handful of encounters with Forest Rangers. They're real common in the High Peaks, and evidently getting serious here in the Eastern Adirondacks. The point is presumably low-impact on nature, which we are not. We break some rules. If this guy was a hardass, we could have paid heavily. He served a warning, and maybe we can take our game up a notch.


2004

.:: 2004 HIGH PEAKS & EREBUS ::.

(October 7-8, 2004) Classic loop in the High Peaks, starting from Heart Lake on the Van Hoevenberg Trail, over Algonquin Peak (#2 @ 5115'), Boundary I & II, then a herd path up Iroquois Peak (#6 @ 4849'). Doubled back over the Boundarys to descend Algonquin and intercept the Avalanche Pass Trail at Lake Colden. "The most spectacular route in the Adirondacks..." the guidebook says. They ain't lying. Avalanche Lake is just an incredibly beautiful place, nestled between the sheer cliffs of Mt. Colden and Algonquin. A network of boardwalks and ladders called Hitch-up-Matildas make the Pass passable without swimming.

Saw a coupla black bear about a mile from Marcy Dam. Startled a small one near the right side of the trail - it lumbered into the woods. And as I reached for my camera I heard a growl from behind me on my left. No photo op here. Didn't look back, just kept on going... filled out a bear report at Marcy Dam. This is a superb loop - one of my favorites all-time.

And on the 8th day (of October), I hoofed it back to Avalanche Lake to take a few more pictures. Kinda overcast so the pics from the day before looked better. A special place though... -- JB

(September 18, 2004) With the 27th Annual Oktoberfest atop Mt. Erebus almost upon us, the director-at-large, a.k.a. the Weasel, set forth the proposition that a fine brew be drunk atop the mountain in 2004. And so it was written. Then brewed. Weasel & JB brought the kettle to a rolling boil, tossed in a few ingredients from Mother Earth (Caramel 20 barley, 3 helpings of Cascade Hops), with a smattering of Saaz hops for the bittering. SHERPA ALE, now fermentatin' in a small town close to nowhere. And champin' at the bit to be drunk by a bunch of yahoos on top of a mountain in the Adirondacks. (The Good Lord willin' & the barleymalt don't rise...) Speaking of which... the trail was reportedly very flooded for the summer trip a coupla months ago. Might want to hike this in the daylight. Just sayin'......

(October 2, 2004) The high noon bottling session for Sherpa Ale was a lookin' like a lonesome train... When suddensome, a dedicated crew done arrived. Kate & Big Nude came ready to rock, and the Weasel & his kinfolk a tad later. Courtney assisted Kate on the labeling, Big Nude & Sandy prepared the bottles for capping, and the Weasel supervised the capping.

(November 13, 2004) Sherpa Ale was served atop three mountains in the 'Dacks on Columbus Day Weekend. The Weasel hauled a case up Erebus and I drank some atop Algonquin & Iroquois. And unfortunately, the mountaineers atop Erebus ran dry 2 days in and were unable to be saved. At least 'til they got to the Davidson Brothers Brewery on Sunday. I myself (on top and below) kept well-hydrated throughout. -- JB


2005

.:: 2005 HIGH PEAKS & EREBUS ::.

(October 2, 2005) Rollin' into upstate NY - Davidson Brothers Brewery for lunch and a Smoked Porter & IPA. Camped at Whispering Pines (on Rt73 between Lake Placid & Keene). Staked out sunset near Adirondack Loj, then retired to the Great Adirondack Brewing Co. and Lake Placid Brewery. Both coincidently serve beer. Superfine beer. A week on the Peaks - can't get much better than that....

/\ .::/18\::.

MT. COLDEN (4714').

(October 3, 2005) Beautiful day. Set out from Adirondack Loj to Marcy Dam on the Van Hoevenberg Trail, then on towards Mt. Colden on the spectacular Avalanche Pass Trail, complete with ladders and hitch-up-matildas set into the rockface to negotiate Avalanche Lake. Did this trail twice last year, and it is a gem. The lake divides the cliff faces of Algonquin & Colden. Incredible spot. Saw a weasel in the wild! This sucker bolted when it first saw me, but I stood perfectly still and she approached, obviously curious. As I got my camera focused I moved and she vanished. Dammit! (Subsequently saw another Weasel on Erebus, but that's another story entirely...)

Was aimin' for Trap Dike, a steep climb up a fault in the center of Colden, but upon scrutinizin' with binocs, waterfall & wetness turned me away. Sos I headed upwards on the Red Trail, heading east then north from Lake Colden. And up in a serious way. Great trail, whole lotta rock and hand over foot climbing. It was wet rock but generally not too slick. Pleasantly surprised. 'Specially after 'the incident'... Anyways, after a Sagamo (3rd highest mountain in the IIiire Ale (Davidson BrothersB) on the summit, I diiescended via thei L. Morgan PorteBr Trail to Lake Arnold and looped back to IH1Van Hoevenberg.

How did it take me this long to climb this mountain? Admired it for years... It is a beauty, visually & physically. One of my top 3 'Dacks peaks alongside Gothics & Haystack. Tall, but worth the climb...

GOTHICS (4736'), ARMSTRONG (4400') & UPPER WOLFJAW (4185').

(October 4, 2005) Champin' at the bit to get back to GOTHICS. Did a little variation on a loop El Whoppo, Zeke and I did in 2002. From the Garden took the Phelps Trail (Johns Brook Trail) to Johns Brook Lodge, the Orebed Brook Trail to the Range Trail. And up 'n over GOTHICS, ARMSTRONG & UPPER WOLFJAW.

The going was slower going than anticipated - wet rock and muddy trails. Knew I bit off more than I could chew and hustled where I could. A race against nightfall. I was confident that when I looped back to the Phelps Trail, those 3 flat familiar miles back to the Garden wouldn't pose a problem, even in darkness. I'd footed this trail many a time in the last few years. But when I reached the Interior Outpost I gambled and chose the untested Southside Trail, which could save me almost a mile. Bad choice. Nice enough trail but wet and slow and a lotta rock-hopping on Johns Brook.

Well, it got dark but I found my way to the brook crossing less than a mile from the parking lot. My flashlight was working. Crossed Johns Brook but the marked trail seemed to end abruptly so I backtracked to the last sign. (Cue in "Can't Find My Way Home" by Blind Faith.) Again I followed the markers and the trail ended. Did this maybe 5 times. Like an idiot. Finally, after rechecking the map, decided to bushwhack to the Phelps Trail, which was about 1/2 mile from the parking lot and probably 1/4 mile from where I was. If I couldn't find it I was prepared to hunker down for the night. Guess they don't call me BeerCompass for nothing. Found the trail and was sitting on a barstool in the Lake Placid Brewery by 10pm. Showered and thirsty.

/\ .::/19-20\::.

CASCADE (4098') & PORTER (4059').

(October 5, 2005) Some good old-fashioned shameless peak-bagging here. Shout it out from the mountaintop: I gots 20 'Dacks High Peaks! (Just braggin'.) Truth be told, amongst the 8 peaks I (triumphantly) stood upon this week, only 3 made the list. But that don't mean that I'm not GREAT! I'M Great! THE GREATEST! GREAT! etc... (OK, 'nuff said. Just back from the New England Beer Festival so I'm in writin' mode.) There was nary a cascade on the Cascade Trail. Nada. Nyet. None.

MT. AMPERSAND (3352') & MIDDLE SARANAC LAKE.

(October 6, 2005) Comes a time a mountainman's got to have a drink... Well, this man was a bit parched. So's I sits meself down on a stool at the Great Adirondack Brewing Company in Lake Placid. And this friendly wholesome bartender (Marcy, a fitting name for the area) starts ravin' about Ampersand. Caught my ear and fogettabotit, an incredible mountain. (That's fo' my NY brethren..)

AMPERSAND is in the Saranac Lake region, and the trail is scenic, an ancient forest trek before the climb. A beautiful trek, a fine mountaintop with views of the lakes to the north and the mountains down south. The gods were smilin', and the wind was a whippin'. A Davidson Brothers Sagamore Ale celebrated the summit. Met Marcy and her retriever on the way down and thanked her. Afterwards, on the urge of another friendly local, did a short (1 mile) trek to Ampersand Beach on Middle Saranac Lake for a swim. A fine day indeed.

MT. EREBUS (2527') & FISHBROOK POND #28.

(October 7-9, 2005) The 28th Annual Oktoberfest at Fishbrook Pond saw a severe turn in the weather. The clear warm Adirondack clime I had soaked in all week (and the NYers who hiked up on Wed. & Thursday) turned raw on Friday evening. And the rain and wind never let up from then on.

That being said, we had a helluva time. Norman Zeke directed, we celebrated two 50th birthdays (Johnny Mudd & Devo), and welcomed back Bernie & Quarter who we hadn't seen in a few years. Dap to Weasel & Quarter who hiked in the downpour on Saturday and slept in the lean-to on that raw night. Good turnout, maybe 15 folks & 3 dogs (Woody, Beany & Scruffy). (And a weasel...)

MILLMAN POND

Couldn't convince anyone on this rainy Saturday morning, so's I had to go it by myself. Hiked over to Millman Pond. Raw and rainy, the trail was a stream, but it was a great diversion. Rain was a non-issue under the cover of woods, and my feets were wet anyway so what the f@ck! The lean-to at Millman is really nice - set up on a hill above the pond and the boardwalk that leads to water's edge. This is a REALLY nice place to camp. Hung out for a while, took some pictures - these misty scenes make for innerestin' photos. Had me a brew and some trailmix. Disappointed that the bottle of Chivas in the lean-to was empty... On the trek back I was growled at - deep and resonant, maybe a bear but couldn't spot anything.

Thanks to Stew & Bernie who provided some fine, fine, superfine photos, more of which will be forthcoming as I clear some space. And Norman Zeke for the excellent hats and direction.I think Stew got up a day before anyone and captured some great shots of the mountain before all hell broke loose. Also the first golf shots I've seen. Looks like Vinnie Bones & Johnny Mudd were co-champions. As this has become a tradition, I think we need some documentation in the Historical arena. Anyone have a list of the Champs? Photos? A scanned scorecard? Anyone? Bueller?? C'mon people, don't disappoint me! -- JB

(October 29, 2005) As I review and add images of this fine trip, several things come to mind. Things that crossed my mind whilst hiking. THESE HERE MOUNTAINS ARE PRETTY SERIOUS. By that I mean that scaling them is by no means what it was before the trails were blazed and smoothed. Climbing Colden & Gothics is a row to hoe even nowadays. But imagine scaling these peaks without a trail and ladders, without handholds on the rockface. Not impossible but surely not a daytrip. Trap Dike was the original route up COLDEN. Assessed as the easiest route - the weakest point on the mountain. When I bypassed this and took the the well-trodden Red Trail from Lake Colden, it was obvious that there is no easy route up this mountain.

That being said, I never quite understood the placement of the cables on GOTHICS. Took advantage of them, basically to change muscles. But it seems there are more stategic locations... Maybe descending in the rain or ice has something to do with it. GOTHICS remains one of the finest mountains in the Northeast.


2006

.:: 2006 FISHBROOK POND ::.

(January 7, 2006) The Official 1st Annual Winter Erebus Trip became a daytrip. The NY DEC declared the road to Dacy Clearing was open, but it wasn't. So I bagged the backpack in favor of a daypack. A shot of Woodford Reserve at the Hogtown parking area at high noon sent me on my way. Crisp and clear, 16f, maybe 6 inches of snow, and about 10 miles roundtrip. Had snowshoes & stabilicers but didn't need 'em.

Very cool seeing this place in midwinter. Both Bumps Pond and Fishbrook Pond were frozen, but there was some running water on parts of the trail. And lots of blowdown. A batch of Sleeping Beauty hikers early on but no one beyond Bumps. Walked across Fishbrook Pond on my return. After seeing footprints... A fine day with no regrets. -- JB

.:: 2006 EREBUS & HIGH PEAKS ::.

MT. EREBUS (2527') & FISHBROOK POND #29.

(Oktoberfest 2006) 29 BABY! Yep, the mountain gods smiled upon us once again. The storm kicked in last year and never let up. 2006: nada. One o' dem amazin' fall weekends that was too good to be true. Many of the usual shenanigans ensued, as tradition hath writ.

The Vista, Take 2...

On Saturday we hiked to the Vista, only it wasn't really the Vista. It was the Other Vista. Very scenic nonetheless. Who knew there was another Vista? OK, I'll take the blame. I done lead 'em up the path again. Zeke was smart and bugged out halfway to get fly-fishin'. Neil & I became the alpha-dogs, finally breaking Midnight, who dragged tail fer the last few. Great hike (despite some whining) on a beautiful day. Added up to about 13 miles.

/\ .::/21\::.

The BROTHERS & BIG SLIDE (4240').

(October 9, 2006) .::/21\::. After a spectacular weekend on Erebus in the Southeastern Adirondacks, Big Slide (4240') was a readyin' to be roped. (Reckon that's cowboy fer climbed.) Took the Brothers (3 of 'em, 2940', 3120' & 3681') from the Garden, the trail skirting the cliffs and rockface, and affording excellent views along the way. From the Brothers Trail, it was the Slide Mtn. Brook Trail, then the Phelps Trail - 9.5 miles roundtrip, 2800' gain. And, of course, bagged peak #21 in the 'Dacks. 25 to go....

MT. AMPERSAND (3352').

(October 10, 2006) AMPERSAND. Second time in 2 years - and a keeper fer sure. OK, not the required 4000', but incredible views south towards Ampersand Lake and the mountains, and north towards the Saranac Lakes and onwards. Lakes to the north and mountains to the south - nuttin' wrong with that!

NOONMARK (3556').

(October 11, 2006) NOONMARK. As a longtime fan of the Noonmark Diner, I got wind of Noonmark Mountain. And a Mighty Wind it was. A scenic hike around Round Lake and onwards and upwards towards the Noonmark summit. Which affords a 360 view of the Great Range and onwards. Despite being a sub-4000 peak, this is a classic.


2011

ROUND MOUNTAIN TRAIL

(September 19, 2011) Perfect day in the Dix Mountain Wilderness, High Peaks. Took the Round Pond Trail and veered north towards Round Mountain. Sidetracked by a scenic pond, ripe for moose. Or so I thought. A curious beaver engaged me, and I got some good video and pictures. At first I thought the beaver was just curious, as she slowly swam closer and closer. When the tail-slap happened I realized she was claiming her turf. Apparently missed the turnoff to the mountaintop, but no worries. Had lunch and a field test of the fine Fishbrook Pond Amarillo Ale on Chapel Pond, where some very hungry minnows entertained me. A fine day indeed.


2012

.:: 2012 35th ANNUAL OKTOBERFEST at FISHBROOK POND ::.

(Oktober 4-6, 2012) #35 is in the books. Rob, Joe, El Whoppo, Domenic, Vinnie, Pat, Zeke, Chaz & JB climbed the mountain on this singular occasion. Nice showing as many of the crew were amongst the walking wounded this year. Many opted for the Pike Brook Road Trail, a longer, easier hike. Some got lost. I took the tried and true Dacy Clearing Way, as did Rob and Joey, who I met Saturday on their descent. Looked like a rainy day but of course turned out nice. Took a buncha pictures and met at the Adirondack Bar and Grill for lunch. Then it was the High Peaks for me.

AMPERSAND 3352'

(Oktober 7, 2012) Ampersand Mountain is one of my favorite hikes. 3rd time atop this mountain. The trail was pretty wet and muddy from the rains. After a spectacular drive through the center of the Dacks, boot hit dirt at high noon. Ascent is 1775' in 2.7 miles, with a bit of hand over foot scampering. Short but sweet! The views are incredible, the Saranac Lakes, Marcy & the High Peaks, Ampersand Lake...... I saluted the mountain with a Sierra Torpedo. Very popular mountain on the weekend. Ampersand wins the Most Beautiful Women on a Mountain award this year. Just sayin'...


2013

.:: 2013 EREBUS 36: The Four Elders ::.

(October 10-13, 2013) This is the story of the Four Elders. On a picturesque Columbus Day weekend in the Adirondacks, and after the traditional round of golf at the Queensbury Country Club, with Zeek taking home the coveted trophy once again, 11 mountaineers made the journey to Fishbrook Pond on Mt. Erebus. Almost summer weather (though it got down in the 40s at night), with a bountiful supply of chow, brews, and medicinal herb, the outdoorsmen went about their usual business. Rebel rousing, poker games, fly fishing, hiking and Rootin' Tootin' Trouble. I hauled up a mule's load of beer: 2 bombers of our Ten Toes Centennial IPA homebrew, a growler of Adirondack Dirty Blonde, and a case of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. Joey had a selection of Guinness, and, well there was a LOT of beer. And weed as well. A great time was had no doubt, and again just perfect autumn weather. We rarely get bad weather any more. Praise global warming?

At some point during the weekend, Joe, El Whoppo, Zeek & I were talkin' about the days of yore, when men were men and feets were sore. (I rhymed that.) And how we missed our fallen comrades, none dead yet, thank goodness, but just gettin' old. El Whoppo, I think, coined us the Four Elders. Fact is, of the old Tappan Zee folks, we're the ones who make the hike year after year. (Devo's actually the 5th elder, though he couldn't make it this year. Stew, I think, will make the hike again.) All of us are approaching (or passing) the 60 year mark, so there are some health issues, bad hearts, bad hips, bad knees, bad ankles, bad mojo, etc.

Of course, there are veterans and new blood on the mountain. (The new bloods favor Coors Light. Whatcha gonna do?) Charles, Pat & Vinny Bones have been a core part of our crew forever, Rob & Dominic skirt decades as well. But now that Johnny Mudd had called it a day, it kinda brought reality into focus. Rudy's knees are shot, Oaks & Mark hung it up years ago, and the Brothers Weezhul have had some serious issues - Weezhul, in fact, was nearly pronounced dead. So there's some talk of doing something (involving camping) in addition to the traditional trip. Stay tuned.....

(Halloween 2013) Attending the Almost Dead Party for the Weezhul last weekend were 3 of the 4 Elders: El Whoppo, Joey, and myself. And Mikey Stew, Mark, Quarter, and the Weezhul hisself, all of whom have not been regular in recent years. (Not exactly how I meant it to sound, but that's up for debate.) El Whoppo presented his plan to the 'Lost Boys': (and this is paraphrased but accurate) "Every other Columbus Day weekend would be hikers will be transported via Norman Zeek's boat to Black Mountain Point, and the festivities will begin there." It's a fine and inclusive plan, and logistics will have to be hammered out, especially transport.

For me, personally, I'm willing to split time - camp at Fishbrook and hike down to Black Mountain Point for a night, and double back to the pond. If it's the islands this won't be possible. At any rate, the Fishbrook Pond Oktoberfest will continue onwards, as the youngbloods have dug in. And until I can't do it, I'll be there.

Lowdown on the High Peaks . . .

(October 13-14 2013) After Erebus I drove up to Lake Placid in the High Peaks on Sunday, took a motel and visited the brewpubs, where I witnessed an incredible day in Boston sports history. Hoping to hike on Monday, but it was rainy and socked in. Visited the John Brown Farm, where his body lies a moulderin' in the grave...


2015

.:: 2015 HIGH PEAKS ::.

(Oktober 4 - 7, 2015) Joey's bucket list inspired this fine trek, Zeek and I were thrilled to attend. After lunch at the Noon Mark Diner in Keene, near the Garden Trailhead, we parked and packed at Marcy Field, Zeek shuttled us to the trailhead. Hit trail mid-afternoon towards our basecamp, a lean-to (complete with bear canisters) near Johns Brook Lodge. The water crossings were a bit hairy with packs on, but an easy uneventful 3 mile hike. Nice lean-to, picnic table & clean outhouse, livin' in luxury. The 'no campfire' regulation sucks, but we entertained ourselves with bedtime stories from the High Peaks Guidebook.

LITTLE HAYSTACK 4692'. HAYSTACK 4960'.

(Oktober 5, 2015) Monday morning we hit trail around 9:30am, a tad later than we wanted. From Johns Brook Lodge it was the Phelps Trail to the Range Trail, very wet and rugged trails almost from the outset. Tough mountains here, a summit is well-earned. When we hit the fork in the road, we went straight ... Actually we opted for Haystack over Marcy (the original plan was both) based on time. A fine choice in my opinion.

GOTHICS 4736'.

(Oktober 6, 2015) Left camp a bit late again, around 9:45am for Gothics. The Orebed Brook Trail took us to the Range Trail. We avoided Shorey's Shortcut! This was a beautiful trail, much easier on the feets than Phelps yesterday. And at least one major change since my last visit in 2005. A major slide took out a small (but well-placed) ladder, and hundreds of trees and such. Now there's a stairway that must have several hundred steps. Zeek and I ventured onto the rockface for a more adventurous climb as Joe guided us from the woods. Mossy and wet in places, this was no picnic. Got us ready for what makes Gothics my favorite mountain in the Dacks.


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