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Colvin and Blake, July 4

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  • Colvin and Blake, July 4

    This week gave me a magic combination of 3 days off and good weather, so I made arrangements and sandwiches, and left on Monday with my gear and my peak wish-list. I found a tentsite that night at Roaring Brook Falls, had my usual camping-solo fears, until a small group of kids and their outdoor-adventure leader set up within sight. That went a long way towards taming the dark scary woods. Slept great.

    Tuesday morning was sunny, cool and humid. Two out of three ain’t bad. I signed in at 6:30 and went down the Lake Road to the Gill Brook cutoff and started up. The trail was good, and mud wasn’t bad at all. Actually, most of the spots had firmed up enough so you could step directly on the mud knuckles left by other boots, leaving the trail (relatively) flat behind you. Temporary, but gratifying game to pass the time. Soft under the feet, too. I remember there being two steep slabs on the way up Colvin that needed my full attention. That was when I realized I had put too many “just in case” items in my daypack - I guess that’s easy to do when hiking alone, but now I saw the potential of a heavy pack to create its own special emergency by pulling me backwards when I scramble. After some careful progress, I got to Colvin's summit at 9:45. What a cute summit! A few open outcrops for different angles of the Great Range, Giant and RPR, Nippletop and Dial.
    The col between Colvin and Blake took me about an hour and a half. Two ladders help with the steepest bits down that side of Colvin. To my dismay, the ladder-climbing motion also gives you a chance to guesstimate just how long ago your deodorant chose to bail on this hike. (Answer: hours) I stashed some extra stuff (not food - sorry critters!) at the Carry Trail junction, which made the climb up Blake a little nicer. One tough scramble, some smaller ones, and then the trail evened out to the obvious (?) summit of Blake - tree carving and rock cairn. That made number 7 and 8 for me. A couple that I had met on Colvin soon arrived - they were well into their 46 (at 38 now, I believe) so I asked lots of questions, they were generous with insights. Really impressed with them. I tried not to look at Colvin on the way back because when I did, my brain would plot how to avoid climbing it again. After second-time Colvin, I hiked for a bit with another solo hiker - she was undecided on hiking today, but she said her cat woke her up at 5 am, and she took it as a sign and went for it. Why not!
    I had considered going up Sawteeth, for a third peak - I *sort of* had enough time, in that I wasn’t on a schedule. I was exhausted, though, and wanted to have energy for the next day. My final excuse was that it seemed like too good a mountain to do in a wasted, impatient state. So I went to Fish Hawk cliffs and Indian Head, and stared at Sawteeth instead. Views, sunshine and rest, and the smell of sunbaked pine needles. I may have dozed off for a few minutes. Very glad to see Lake Road and mindlessly trudge back to the register. Signed out at 6 pm.

  • #2
    Must have run into you as we (party of 3 including wife and daughter) did same, signed in gate at 712 and out about 645 after same route. Wow that 1.3m b/t C and B were rough, not quite as bad on the way back up Colvin, but solid 1,5 hours each way. Spectacular day, also visited both sets of cliffs. Minimal bugs and the mud was manageable. Very good day, and very few people. Good news story too after talking to rangers and seeing the search heli plus many DEC vehicles that it turned out ok for him.

    Comment


    • stone611
      stone611 commented
      Editing a comment
      Was I coming down from Blake as you were coming up? I remember the daughter in that group seemed pretty chipper and relatively unaffected by all the exertion required what a trouper. It definitely was a good day to visit those cliffs!

  • #3
    I don't remember if we crossed paths. I was doing a loop of Sawteeth, Blake, Colvin, Nippletop and Dial. Had you planned for Sawteeth you could have descended from the CoBl col to the Warden's camp and then climbed Sawteeth from the south...a beautiful and little travelled area. The descent to the Warden's camp is, however, steep. It's called the elevator shaft for good reason. On the bright side, you avoid reclimbing Colvin.

    Comment


    • stone611
      stone611 commented
      Editing a comment
      I believe I met you on my way up Blake? When I got back to the register, rangers were asking about a man who was lost. I had only seen one man hiking by himself, and all I could tell them was he wore an ADK cap and was (in my snap judgement) highly unlikely to need help... nice to meet you! Looking at the map, my energy level probably wouldn't have lasted to the Warden's camp and back up, although that does look like an interesting route. I had never seen the cliffs before, I'm glad I did that at least.

    • Thomas
      Thomas commented
      Editing a comment
      That would have been me in the ADK cap. Nice meeting you too. Sorry if I didn't stop to chat. Sometimes on those long days, when I still have more ahead of me than I have behind me, I just want to keep moving. Glad you had a good day. A lot of people wouldn't put Colvin and Blake on their favourite list!

  • #4
    did any of you also encounter the 'ambassador' setup near the parking lots? i hiked out of the AMR today and was surprised to see him setup there. he was quite friendly and from our quick conversation seemed to serve a mix of educational and logistical roles. the only information i can see with a quick google search is a job posting from a few months ago - http://www.conservationcorpsjobs.com...n-reserve-amr/

    is this a new development or am i just behind on the times? i hadn't parked there since mid fall before today.

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    • #5
      Hmmm no ambassador seen. Maybe all the DEC action distracted. Stone - yea, we passed, we were chasing a 20 year old up and down C&B. Fun at 50.

      Comment


      • stone611
        stone611 commented
        Editing a comment
        Ha! No kidding! Hiked with my 15 yr old once, hardly saw him all trip until he ran out of snacks and wanted some of mine...

    • #6
      Originally posted by greatexpectations View Post
      did any of you also encounter the 'ambassador' setup near the parking lots? ...
      ​Yes. On June 17th I noticed a new booth in the AMR's public parking area. It was manned and the individual was providing route information to two hikers. The booth was closed when I returned late in the afternoon (~6:00 PM).
      Looking for Views!

      Comment


      • greatexpectations
        greatexpectations commented
        Editing a comment
        makes sense, i figured i must have just missed mention of it. it seems to me a useful service and location.

    • #7
      I was there on Saturday, saw the booth, and what looks to be a newly expanded parking lot. However, with the gazillion "No Trespassing" signs all around it, it was not clear to me whether the new parking area was a legit place to be or not. I did not park there, and meant to ask the ambassador, but alas, no ambassador at 05:45 in the morning nor at 16:15 when I returned, though lots of cars parked in the new area on my return.

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